After winning multiple prestigious awards internationally, "The Artist" continued to collect more prizes in its homeland, France. The acclaimed silent drama has grabbed six trophies, including the coveted Best Film, at the 37th annual Cesar Awards on Friday night, February 24 in Paris.
In addition to the Best Film gong, the critics' darling movie took home Best Director kudo for Michel Hazanivicus. "This is a film that started out at the very bottom, it's a film nobody wanted to make, and now we are right at the top," said the filmmaker upon receiving his award. "It's a beautiful story."
Though the film's lead actor, Jean Dujardin, lost the Best Actor prize to Omar Sy, its leading lady, Berenice Bejo, successfully claimed the Best Actress trophy. On her speech, the actress playing Peppy Miller in the movie admitted that she "had desperately wanting to win" the prize.
"The Artist" also bagged Best Cinematography award for Guillaume Schiffman, Best Music Written for a Film prize for Ludovic Bource, as well as Best Production Design for Laurence Bennett. By being the biggest winner at the French version of the Academy Awards, the film raised French hopes that it could also win big at the Oscars on Sunday.
The black-and-white movie is nominated in 10 categories at the Oscars, including Best Pictures, Best Actress and Best Actor. Should Dujardin win the Best Actor prize, he will be the first France-born actor to win the golden statuette for a male lead role.
The 37th annual Cesar Awards ceremony was held at the Chatelet Theater, and was hosted by Antoine de Caunes for the eighth time. Aside from announcing the complete movie winners, the show awarded British actress Kate Winslet with an Honorary Cesar prize. The "Carnage" actress received a standing ovation as she stepped on the podium to pick her special prize.
"We are all blessed to be a part of an international film community," she said. "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."