Césars 2022: “Lost illusions” triumph in a failed evening

Make the antenna at 0:37. A record. Not of those who are applauded. A dull evening of the Césars – for the rhythm, not for the prices -, little or not mastered, ended this Friday evening with the triumph of “Illusions perdus”, which broke the bad luck often reserved for ultra- nominated and not awarded. He transformed his 15 chances into 7 victories, a very honest ratio, including that of Best Film in 2021. The triumph of great cinema, of Xavier Giannoli, of a band of formidable actors, of an impossible and brilliant adaptation of Balzac, words, outbursts, sacred fire.

The last minutes of the ceremony were, as often, the best: seeing Valérie Lemercier save “Aline”, nominated ten times, from only one César but that of the best actress. And the pleasure of hearing him thank his mother who finally loved her in a film and to make us laugh frankly by announcing his next biopic on Martine Aubry. Ah, if she could also present the evening, as in the past, but it would have been messy. No doubt you have to be a humorist to present the Césars, a debate that will animate the academy until next year. Pleasure also to see Benoît Magimel come back for good from his demons to win another César, that of the best actor, for “In his lifetime”, where he plays with so much life a man who is going to die. Two French stars, two real ones, with careers that make us capsize.

Pardon Adam Driver, who nevertheless crossed the Atlantic in a tuxedo to lose in this category with “Annette”, but the film by Leos Carax, crowned best director and come back from everything, too, after so many absences and retirements since its debut, is the other big winner of the evening.

Tears of Xavier Dolan

This 47th Cesar ceremony was a failure even when it was successful. Was it necessary to wait until 11:48 p.m., and even before handing over the four most anticipated Césars, to invite Xavier Dolan to go on stage to pay tribute to Gaspard Ulliel, whom he directed in “Just the end of the world”. He smiled then cried, like Léa Seydoux in the room, also an actress in this film. “The gaping wound of his departure”, the Quebec filmmaker sutured it by telling the story of the actor who disappeared at 37 years old.

But even such a moment must be right. Antoine de Caunes presented his tenth Cesar ceremony this Friday evening, remembered as a savior, but he was neither the master of time for an evening more interminable than ever, nor the pace accelerator. Sorry, as Denisot would have said.

Aïssatou Diallo Sagna, at least one surprise

Cate Blanchett was moved by receiving her honorary Caesar, wondering if she was crying “realizing the age that I am now”. Aïssatou Diallo Sagna too, a nurse’s aide who won the César for best female second role in front of very confirmed actresses, for “La Fracture”. “I have a thought for caregivers. I am very proud to represent them, ”launched the ovation nurse. At least one surprise.

Vincent Lacoste, Best Supporting Male Role, was by no means one, but the actor of “Lost Illusions” did not steal his statuette, any more than that collected by Benjamin Voisin, Best Male Hope, who from the top of its 25 years, wears head and shoulders this long and beautiful film in costumes, also rewarded in this category, as well as the decorations, the photo, the adaptation. A good harvest.

Anamaria Vartolomei, Best Female Hope, was the first winner of the evening for “L’Événement”.

The star audience in the room was masked… or not. Not very clear, all that. A little fuzzy, not crazy enough. “The Snow Panther” won the César for best documentary, but where was the animal that would have animated the evening a little? This one was far too domesticated. We know some who even regretted the savagery of past years. Not us. But not that, not that politeness from another time.

But what curse weighs on this ceremony?

We weren’t asking for the impossible, just a good TV night. This Friday evening, it was not the César given to Roman Polanski in 2020 and the furious exit of Adèle Haenel, nor the scat jokes of Marina Foïs, or the naked dress with fake blood of Corinne Masiero in 2021, offends the good taste according to some, brash panache according to others. No, these appeased Caesars were a bit too much.

A full and hidden room, but why so little emotion? Even the one returned to Jean-Paul Belmondo lacked a real vibration on stage. That we expected, however, this tribute. “I have never had a price anywhere, I am the priceless actor”, launched Bébel in a moving archive image. The best punchline of the evening. We would have liked someone to stand up and make us cry live, by putting their guts and their memories on the set. But no, it was too high. Far too dispassionate. And exceeded.

After being scared, the Caesars filed their claws. But what curse weighs on this ceremony? Is it really impossible to get out of the squabble, at worst, or the fair between penguins and long dresses, at best? It ended up making us angry instead of giving us color. On a Friday evening in February, we are entitled to better, much better, to warm up the atmosphere.

The main awards

  • Best film : “Lost Illusions” by Xavier Giannoli
  • Best Achievement: Leos Carax for “Annette”
  • Best Actress: Valérie Lemercier in “Aline”
  • Best actor : Benoît Magimel in “In his lifetime”
  • Best Supporting Actress: Aissatou Diallo Sagna in “The Fracture”
  • Best Supporting Actor: Vincent Lacoste in “Lost Illusions”
  • Best first film: “Magnetics” by Vincent Maël Cardona
  • Most promising Actress : Anamaria Vartolomei in “The Event”
  • Best Male Hope: Benjamin Voisin in “Lost Illusions”

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