France's Critics Union handed out its prizes for 2008 on Monday night with top honours in Paris going to Agnes Varda's Les Plages D'Agnes as the best French film while Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood took the best foreign film award.
The Critics group is also the organization that runs Critics' Week at Cannes.
Accepting the prize for Les Plages D'Agnes, 80-year-old Varda commented, 'This is, in a way, my final film.'
In her feature directing debut, Sandrine Bonnaire won the prize for best first French film for Elle S'Appelle Sabine - the film ran in Directors' Fortnight in 2007. Singled out for a prize created last year and which sees critics award a notable French co-production was Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's Je Veux Voir.
Literary prizes for books about film went to Lawrence Grobel's Al Pacino: Interviews With Lawrence Grobel and Bertrand Tavernier's expanded Amis Americains. Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux, as Institut Lumiere director/publisher, and Tavernier accepted the award for the second time as the same book's first edition took the prize back in 1993.