c Wild Bunch

Source: Wild Bunch

‘Les Miserables’

Ladj Ly’s explosive social drama Les Misérables won best film at a politically charged 45th Cesar awards on Friday evening which also saw Roman Polanski feted with best director for historical drama An Officer and A Spy. 

The ceremony for France’s equivalent of the Oscars in the Salle Pleyel concert hall in central Paris unfolded in an atmosphere of heightened tension.

It has been a rocky six weeks for the awards, following a backlash by female rights activists against the fact that Polanski’s film was the frontrunner in the first round of voting with 12 nominations.

The backlash came just three months after a fresh allegation of rape dating back to the 1970s against Polanski, which he denied. 

In a separate affair, the entire board of the association in charge of the Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques which oversees the awards resigned just days before the ceremony amid mounting film industry criticism over a lack of transparency and diversity at the body. 

Aside from the César for best director, An Officer And A Spy also won best costume for Pascaline Chavanne and best adapted screenplay, which Polanski shared with UK writer Robert Harris. 

In a sign of how the issue has divided the industry, the announcement of Polanski’s win was greeted by a mixed response of applause and shouts in the Salle Pleyel. 

Roman Polanski c Georges Biard

Source: Georges Biard

Roman Polanski

Polanski did not attend the ceremony, saying in statement on the eve of the event that he feared a “public lynching”. The cast and crew also stayed away. 

Actress Adèle Haenel and director Céline Sciamma who were in attendance with Portrait Of A Lady On Fire left the room after Polanski’s victory was announced.  

Les Misérables won in another three other categories: best male hope for co-star Alexis Manenti, best editing for Flora Volpelière and the public prize.

The film originally premiered in competition at Cannes last year, where it shared the jury prize with Bacurau, and was then nominated for best international film at the Academy Awards. 

The other key winner was Nicolas Bedos’s feel-good drama La Belle Époque which won best original screenplay for the director, best supporting actress for Fanny Ardant and best production design for Stéphane Rozenbaum.

Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar-feted, international hit Parasite continued its award-winning streak, clinching best foreign film. 

In other categories, Mounia Meddour’s Algeria-set drama Papicha won best first film and best female hope for its star Lyna Khoudri. Jérémy Clapin’s Oscar-nominated I Lost My Body won the César for best feature-length animation while Dan Levy won best original music for the work’s haunting score.  

The full list of winners: 


  • La Belle Époque, Nicolas Bedos
  • By The Grace Of God, François Ozon
  • The Specials, Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
  • An Officer And A Spy, Roman PolanskI
  • Les Misérables, Ladj Ly
  • Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Céline Sciamma
  • Oh Mercy!, Arnaud Desplechin


  • Nicolas Bedos, La Belle Epoque
  • François Ozon, By The Grace Of God,
  • Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, The Specials,
  • Roman Polanski, An Officer And A Spy
  • Ladj Ly, Les Misérables
  • Céline Sciamma, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
  • Arnaud Desplechin, Oh Mercy!


  • Nicolas Bedos, La Belle Époque
  • François Ozon, By The Grace Of God 
  • Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, The Specials,
  • Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini, Alexis Manenti Les Misérables
  • Céline Sciamma, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire


  • Costa-Gavras, Adults In The Room
  • Roman Polanski, Robert Harris, An Officer And A Spy
  • Jérémy Clapin, Guillaume Laurant, I Lost My Body
  • Arnaud Desplechin, Lea Mysius, Oh Mercy!
  • Dominik Moll, Gilles Marchant, Only The Animals


  • Anaïs Demoustier, Alice And The Mayor
  • Eva Green, Proxima
  • Adèle Haenel, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
  • Chiara Mastroianni, On A Magical Night
  • Noémie Merlant, Portrait of A Lady On Fire
  • Doria Tillier, La Belle Epoque
  • Karin Viard, Perfect Nanny


  • Daniel Auteuil, La Belle Époque
  • Damien Bonnard, Les Misérables
  • Vincent Cassel, The Specials
  • Jean Dujardin, An Officer And A Spy
  • Reda Kateb, The Specials
  • Melvil Poupaud, By The Grace Of God
  • Roschdy Zem, Oh Mercy!


  • Fanny Ardant, La Belle Époque
  • Josiane Balasko, By The Grace Of God
  •  Laure Calamy, Only The Animals
  •  Sara Forestier, Oh Mercy!
  •  Hélène Vincent, The Specials


  • Swann Arlaud, By The Grace Of God
  • Grégory Gadebois, An Officer And A Spy
  • Louis Garrel, An Officer And A Spy
  • Benjamin Lavernhe, Love At First Sight
  • Denis Ménochet, By The Grace Of God


  • · Luàna Bajrami (Portrait Of A Lady In Fire)
  • · Céleste Brunnquell (The Dazzled)
  • · Lyna Khoudri (Papicha
  • · Nina Meurisse (Camille)
  • · Mama Sané (Atlantics)


  • Anthony Bajon, Name Of The Land
  • Benjamin Lesieur,The Specials
  • Alexis Manenti, Les Misérables 
  • Liam Pierron, School Life 
  • Djebril Zonga Les Misérables


  • Atlantics, Mati Diop
  • In The Name Of The Land, Edouard Bergeon
  • The Wolf’s Call, Antonin Baudry
  • Les Misérables, Ladj Ly
  • Papicha, Mounia Meddour


  • 68, Mon Père Et Les Clous, Samuel Bigiaoui
  • The Cordillera Of Dreams, Patricio Guzmán
  • Lourdes, Thierry Demaizière, Alban Teurlai
  • M, Yolande Zauberman
  • Wonder Boy, Anissa Bonnefont


  • The Bears’ Famous Invasion, Lorenzo Mattotti
  • Swallows Of Kabul, Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévelle
  • I Lost My Body, Jérémy Clapin


  • Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)
  • Young Ahmed, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (Belgium)
  • Joker, Todd Phillips (US)
  • Lola, Laurent Micheli (Belgium)
  • Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino (US)
  • Parasite, Bong Joon-Ho (Korea)
  • The Traitor, Marco Bellocchio (Italy)


  • Nicolas Bolduc, La Belle Époque
  • Pawel Edelman, An Officer And A Spy
  • Julien Poupard, Les Misérables
  • Claire Mathon, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
  • Irina Lubtchansky, Oh Mercy!


  • Stéphane Rozenbaum, La Belle Époque
  • Benoît Barouh, The Wolf’s Call
  • Franck Schwarz, Edmond
  • Jean Rabasse, An Officer And A Spy
  • Thomas Grézaud, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire


  • Emmanuelle Youchnovski, La Belle Époque
  • Thierry Delettre, Edmond
  • Pascaline Chavanne, An Officer And A Spy
  • Alexandra Charles, Joan Of Arc
  • Dorothée Guiraud, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire


  • Rémi Daru, Séverin Favriau, Jean-Paul Hurier, La Belle Époque
  • Nicolas Cantin, Thomas Desjonquères, Raphaël Mouterde, Olivier Goinard, Randy Thom, The Wolf’s Call
  • Lucien Balibar, Aymeric Devoldère, Cyril Holtz, Niels Barletta, An Officer And A Spy
  • Arnaud Lavaleix, Jérôme Gonthier, Marco Casanova, Les Misérables
  • Julien Sicart, Valérie de Loof, daniel Sobrino, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire


  • Fanny Danché, Florent Vassault, La Belle Époque
  • Laure Gardette, By The Grace Of God
  • Dorian Rigal-Ansous, The Specials
  • Hervé de Luze, An Officer And A Spy
  • Flora Volpelière, Les Misérables


  • Fatima Al Qadiri, Atlantics 
  • Alexandre Desplat, An Officer And A Spy
  • Dan Levy, I Lost My Body
  • Marco Casanova, Kim Chapiron for the group Pink Noise, Les Misérables
  • Grégoire Hetzel, Oh Mercy!


  • In The Name Of The Land,  Edouard Bergeon
  • The Specials, Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
  • Les Misérables, Ladj Ly
  • Little White Lies 2, Guillaume Canet
  • Serial (Bad) Weddings 2, Philippe de Chauveron