×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Resnais seizes 7 Cesars

'Chanson' big winner at top French kudos show

PARIS — Alain Resnais’ musical comedy “On Connait la Chanson (Same Old Song)” was the big winner at the 23rd Cesar awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars.

The pic, which has taken in over $12 million at the French box office, walked off with seven Cesars, including best film and best actor for Andre Dussollier.

This was the third time that a Resnais pic has won France’s top film prize, following from “Providence” in 1978 and “Smoking/No Smoking” in 1994. But the 75-year-old helmer missed out on the coveted director nod, which went to Luc Besson, for his megabuck sci-fi adventurer “The Fifth Element.”

Besson, who spends much of his time in the U.S., was on hand to lift the trophy, remarking wryly that it was pleasant to fi-nally get the prize having been nominated unsuccessfully for best film on four occasions (“Subway” in 1986, “The Big Blue” in 1989, “Nikita” in 1991 and “Leon” in 1995.) Last year, Besson won the best director Lumiere de Paris (the French Golden Globe) for “The Fifth Element.”

Saturday’s awards turned out to be a personal triumph for writing and acting partners Jean-Pierre Bacri and Agnes Jaoui. They won the supporting actor and supporting actress Cesars as well as script for “On Connait la Chanson.” Ironically, the duo were the presenters of the script prize, and so simply handed their Cesar to themselves. The writing pair now has three Cesars, having won for their penmanship on “Un Air de Famille” last year and “Smoking/No Smoking” in 1994.

Best actress Cesar provided a crumb of consolation for Robert Guediguian and the team that brought “Marius et Jeannette” to the screen. Despite seven nominations and a run at the box office which has seen this $1 million Marseille-based love story gross $11 million, only actress Ariane Ascaride got rewarded — a decision that brought the only tears of the evening from the respected cinema and legit thesp.

Best first film proved a popular choice as comic Alain Chabat strode onto the stage to pick up his Cesar for “Didier,” which Chabat is to remake in English for Miramax.

Biggest hand of the evening went to Michael Douglas, who brought the house to its feet with a no-notes French speech thanking the locals for his Cesar d’Honneur. Clint Eastwood got a similar award, handed to him by veteran Nouvelle Vague director Jean-Luc Godard; but Eastwood’s carefully prepared and written Gallic speech lost some of its effect when the actor/director failed to locate his glasses.

Never afraid to use a big media moment to fight its corner, the film industry took time out from the awards to give the floor to an impassioned plea form Brigitte Fossey for France to stand its ground and defend culture in the on-going Multilateral Invest-ment Agreement, which is being prepped by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

British brass-band movie “Brassed Off” added best foreign film Cesar to the Lumiere it won last December in the same category.

CESAR 1998 MAIN WINNERS

Film — “On Connait la Chanson,” Alain Resnais.

Director — Luc Besson, “The Fifth Element.”

Actor — Andre Dussollier, “On Connait La Chanson.”

Actress — Ariane Ascaride, “Marius et Jeannette.”

Supporting Actor — Jean-Pierre Bacri, “On Connait la Chanson.”

Supporting Actress — Agnes Jaoui, “On Connait la Chanson.”

Young Actor — Stanislas Merhar, “Nettoyage a Sec.”

Young Actress — Emma de Caunes, “Frere.”

First Film — “Didier,” Alain Chabat.

Script — Jean-Pierre Bacri and Agnes Jaoui, “On Connait la Chanson.”

Foreign Film — “Brassed Off,” Mark Harman.

More Film

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Crosses $250 Million at Foreign Box Office

    Things are going swimmingly at the box office for “Aquaman” as the Warner Bros.’ superhero flick hits another major milestone overseas. James Wan’s take on the ruler of the seven seas just passed $250 million internationally, and a weekend haul of $126.4 million from 43 territories brings its foreign tally to $261.3 million. “Aquaman” — [...]

  • Mortal Engines

    'Mortal Engines' to Lose More Than $100 Million at Box Office

    “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. “Mortal Engines” [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content