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CÉSARS 2017

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The César for Best Film goes to Elle

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- Paul Verhoeven’s film takes home the top prize. Isabelle Huppert and Gaspard Ulliel take away the trophies for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively

The César for Best Film goes to Elle
Paul Verhoeven with his César for Best Film for Elle

The Best French Film of the year award for 2016, presented at the 2017 César awards ceremony, went to Elle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Paul Verhoeven, a film which won Isabelle Huppert the second César for Best Actress of her career, and confirmed its status as the favourite, along with the spirit of openness devoid of national chauvinism of French film professionals. The Dutch director thus joins the list of 42 directors who have previously won the award, which includes Michael Haneke, Abderrahmane Sissako, Denys Arcand, Bob Swaim and Joseph Losey.

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This spirit of defiance in the face of the nationality of artists also brought home three Césars for It’s Only the End of the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Xavier Dolan, with the award for Best Actor going to Gaspard Ulliel and two awards handed over in person to the Canadian filmmaker, those for Best Director and (to his great surprise), Best Editing.

In a list of winners in which no one film dominates excessively, another film which stands out is Divines [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Houda Benyamina
film profile
]
 by Houda Benyamina, who scored a hat-trick with the César for Best First Feature Film, the award for Best Supporting Actress (Déborah Lukumuena), and the award for Most Promising Actress (Oulaya Amamra). Along with Elle, only two other films bagged two awards: My Life as a Courgette [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Claude Barras
film profile
]
 by Swiss director Claude Barras (named Best Animated Film and Best Adaptation thanks to Céline Sciamma), and Chocolat [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
by Roschdy Zem (with Swiss actor James Thierrée taking home the award for Best Supporting Actor and the award for Best Production Design going to Jérémie D. Lignol). Moreover, in line with the highly transnational nature of this year’s edition of the awards, the César for Most Promising Actor went to French-Canadian actor Niels Schneider for Dark Inclusion [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Arthur Harari
film profile
]
.

The biggest loser of the evening was Frantz [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: François Ozon
film profile
]
 by François Ozon, which only bagged one César (for Director of Photography Pascal Marti) despite having received 11 nominations, whilst Slack Bay [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Bruno Dumont
film profile
]
by Bruno Dumont (nine nominations), From the Land of the Moon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Nicole Garcia (eight), In Bed with Victoria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Justine Triet
film profile
]
by Justine Triet (five), and Agnus Dei [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Anne Fontaine (four) went home empty-handed.

Last but not least, worth mentioning was the tone of resistance set by the victory in the category of Best Foreign Film by I, Daniel Blake [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by British director Ken Loach, and by the politically engaged speeches (each alluding to the circumstances in their respective countries) by François Ruffin (winner of the César for Best Documentary with Merci Patron! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and American star George Clooney (winner of the Honorary César).

The winners:

Best Film
Elle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Paul Verhoeven

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Best Actor
Gaspar Ulliel – It’s Only the End of the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Best Director
Xavier Dolan – It’s Only the End of the World

Best Original Screenplay
Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget – The Together Project [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Best Adaptation
Céline Sciamma – My Life as a Courgette [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Claude Barras
film profile
]

Best Supporting Actress
Déborah Lukumuena – Divines [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Houda Benyamina
film profile
]

Best Supporting Actor
James Thierrée – Chocolat [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]

Most Promising Actress
Oulaya Amamra – Divines

Most Promising Actor
Niels Schneider – Dark Inclusion [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Arthur Harari
film profile
]

Best First Feature Film
Divines – Houda Benyamina

Best Documentary
Merci Patron! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – François Ruffin

Best Animated Feature Film
My Life as a Courgette – Claude Barras

Best Cinematography
Pascal Marti – Frantz

Best Editing
Xavier Dolan – It’s Only the End of the World

Best Original Music
Ibrahim Maalouf – In the Forests of Siberia [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Sound
Marc Engels, Fred Demolder, Sylvain Réty, Jean-Paul Hurier – The Odyssey [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Best Costume Design
Anaïs Romand – The Dancer [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Best Production Design
Jérémie D. Lignol – Chocolat

Best Short Film
Maman(s) – Maïmouna Doucouré
Vers la tendresse – Alice Diop

Best Animated Short Film
Ce qui a deux âmes – Fabrice Luang-Vija

Best Foreign Film
I, Daniel Blake [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Ken Loach (United Kingdom/France/Belgium)

(Translated from French)

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