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The Artist sweeps up at French Cesar Awards

The Artist

Story by Jack Foley

SILENT movie homage The Artist has dominated another awards ceremony ahead of its expected triumph at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

Michel Hazanavicius’ film took six trophies at the 37th annual Cesar Awards on Friday night (February 24, 2012) in Paris, including French film of the year and best director for Hazanavicius.

Berenice Bejo was also crowned best actress for her breakout role in the movie, although the film’s leading man, Jean Dujardin lost out to Untouchable‘s Omar Sy.

Another award for The Artist did, however, go to Ludovic Bource, who took the Cesar for best musical score to add to his BAFTA and Golden Globe.

The big surprise, however, was seeing Omar Sy pip Dujardin to best actor for his role in Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s Untouchable, the No. 1 film at the French box office in 2011 and now the third-most-popular film in French history since 1945.

Untouchable stars Francois Cluzet as a quadriplegic man whose life changes when a young man from the suburbs, played by Sy, comes to take care of him.

Its success prompted a delighted Sy to perform a little victory dance in front of the assembled audience.

Another of the night’s notable prizes went to British actress Kate Winslet, who received an Honorary Cesar award in recognition of her career.

Upon receiving her award from filmmaker Michel Gondry, who stepped in for Roman Polanski and wrote her a poem, Winslet said: “We are all blessed to be a part of an international film community. You could have given it to somebody else, but you gave it to me, so thank you. I know how lucky I am not only to be here this evening but to really love my job.”

Winslet later returned to the stage to accept the award for Polanski when he won the award for best adapted screenplay for Carnage along with Yasmina Reza.

Next awards story: The Artist dominates BAFTAs