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Resnais’ ‘Smoking’ duo dominates Cesar prizes

Alain Resnais’ two-picture, multiple-ending “Smoking”/”No Smoking” swept the French Cesar Awards (the Gallic equivalent of the Oscars) Saturday, winning best French film, director and actor for Pierre Arditi.

But that left the country’s most successful box office pic of recent times, “Les Visiteurs,” and France’s most expensive film of all time, “Germinal,” out in the cold.

Despite 12 nominations, Claude Berri’s “Germinal” had to settle for a costumes win and an award to Yves Angelo for cinematography, while Jean-Marie Poire’s “Les Visiteurs” picked up a solitary Cesar for Valerie Lemercier as supporting actress.

In a widely acclaimed decision, Juliette Binoche won best actress for her perf in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Blue,” while Jane Campion added another trophy to her collection as “The Piano” was named best foreign film.

With culture minister Jacques Toubon attending the awards, French film technicians took the opportunity to demonstrate outside the ceremony venue, demanding that efforts are made to help France’s struggling technical services industry.

Film: “Smoking”/”No Smoking,” Alain Resnais

Director: Alain Resnais, “Smoking”/”No Smoking”

Actor: Pierre Arditi, “Smoking”/”No Smoking”

Actress: Juliette Binoche, “Three Colors: Blue”

Supporting actor: Fabrice Luchini, “Tout Ca Pour Ca”

Supporting actress: Valerie Lemercier, “Les Visiteurs”

Script: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnes Jaoui, “Smoking”/”No Smoking”

First film: “The Scent of Green Papaya,” Tran Anh Hung

Young actor: Olivier Martinez, “Un Deux Trois Soleil”

Young actress: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, “Les Gens Normaux n’ont rien d’exceptionnel”

Foreign film: “The Piano,” Jane Campion

Photography: Yves Angelo, “Germinal”

Costumes: Sylvie Gautrelet, Caroline de Vivaise, Bernadette Villard, “Germinal”

Editing: Jacques Witta, “Three Colors: Blue”

Music: Khaled, “Un Deux Trois Soleil”

Sound: Jean-Claude Laureux, William Flageollet, “Three Colors: Blue”

Short film: Gueule d’Atmosphere, “Olivier Peray”

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