Lady Chatterley triumphs at Cesars
by Fabien Lemercier
In addition to Best Film, the title picked up four awards – Best Actress (Marina Hands), Best Cinematography, Best Adaptation, and Best Costume Design. The feature, which won the Louis-Delluc Prize in December, was produced by Gilles Sandoz for Maïa Films, in co-production with Arte, Les Films du Lendemain and Belgian outfit Saga Film.
Screened in the Panorama sidebar at the recent Berlin Film Festival and sold to a host of territories by Films Distribution (see article), Lady Chatterley marks the renaissance of a director worthy of the title of heiress of an auteur cinema currently under threat.
Winner of the Caméra d'or at Cannes 1994 for her debut feature (Coming to Terms with the Dead), Ferran was unable for years to make a single film after L'âge des possibles (FIPRESCI Prize at Venice 1996) due to a lack of enthusiasm from financiers, a problem the director highlighted at the ceremony.
“Television channels are very methodically trying to get rid of medium-budget auteur films and the current system is betraying the greatest French filmmakers by gradually numbing viewers’ preferences,” the director stated.
The 2007 Cesars also marked the emergence of Guillaume Canet, crowned Best Director for his second feature, Tell No One [trailer]. The title snapped up four statuettes in total, including Best Actor (François Cluzet).
It was disappointment, however, for Rachid Bouchareb’s Days of Glory [trailer, film focus]. Despite its nomination in nine categories, the film went home with only one Cesar for Best Original Screenplay.
Other stars at the event were British actor Jude Law, presented with an Honorary Cesar, and Pedro Almodóvar, who came to Paris to present the Best Actress statuette.
Winners of the 2007 Cesars:
Lady Chatterley - Pascale Ferran
François Cluzet - Tell No One
Marina Hands - Lady Chatterley
Guillaume Canet - Tell No One
Best Supporting Actor
Kad Merad - Don’t Worry, I’m Fine
Best Supporting Actress
Valérie Lemercier - Orchestra Seats
Best Debut Film
You Are So Beautiful - Isabelle Mergault
Best Foreign Film
Little Miss Sunshine - Jonathan Dayton & Valérie Faris
Best Female Newcomer
Mélanie Laurent - Don’t Worry, I’m Fine
Best Male Newcomer
Malik Zidi - Poison Friends
Best Original Screenplay
Olivier Lorelle & Rachid Bouchareb - Days of Glory
Pascale Ferran, Roger Bohbot & Pierre Trividic - Lady Chatterley
Best Music Written for a Film
Mathieu Chedid - Tell No One
Best Production Design
Maamar Ech Cheikh - OSS 117
Julien Hirsch - Lady Chatterley
François Musy & Gabriel Hafner - The Singer
Hervé de Luze - Tell No One
Best Costume Design
Marie-Claude Altot - Lady Chatterley
Best Documentary Film
Dans la peau de Jacques Chirac - Karl Zéro & Michel Royer
Sweet Dreams - Marilyne Canto
(Translated from French)