“The Night of 12” by Dominik Moll crowned César for best film

Bastien Bouillon and Bouli Lanners received the prize for best male hope and best actor in a supporting role, for their interpretation of a duo of investigators from the judicial police (PJ), who are trying to elucidate the assassination of a young girl, without witnesses.

Inspired by a news item, “La Nuit du 12” delivers a gallery of suspects, who do not even realize the misogyny of their words, and also attacks machismo in the police.

Dominik Moll, by winning his second director statuette, 22 years after “Harry a friend who wants you well”, had “a thought for the real Clara, the real victim of the affair which gave rise to the film. ” Her name was Maud.

He paid tribute to the French public “who have an appetite for films that go off the beaten track”: his feature film benefited from strong word-of-mouth and gathered 509,000 spectators.

“I miss them”

The crowning glory of “La Nuit du 12” sends a welcome message, said one of the film’s producers, Caroline Benjo. “Filmmakers had to seize the narrative” on violence against women, she said. “Long live the women and long live the men who join their fight,” she added in a strong speech, heard tears in her eyes by actress Judith Chemla, who publicly denounced the domestic violence she suffered.

This signal was all the more expected as the nominations had even more than in previous years left the directors aside: none nominated for best director, only one for best film (Valéria Bruni Tedeschi).

Several laureates took advantage of their thanks to bring them out of oblivion. Like Virginie Efira, César for best actress for “Revoir Paris”, who wanted to dedicate this prize to her director Alice Winocour and “extend it” to others, including Rebecca Zlotowski (“Les enfants des autres”, absent from appointments).

“We will not be passing through or a fad,” promised filmmaker Alice Diop, César for best first film for “Saint Omer”. To this day, Tonie Marshall remains the only woman to have received a César for best director with “Vénus Beauté (institut)” (2000).

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“The Innocent” big loser

Noémie Merlant had a thought for all those “who should have been celebrated”. “I miss them,” said the actress, César for Best Supporting Actress for “The Innocent”. This film by Louis Garrel, which was the favorite with eleven nominations, is the big loser of the evening, with only one other trophy, for its screenplay.

On the male performer side, Benoît Magimel lived “a pretty crazy moment” by winning for the second year in a row the César for best actor, with “Pacification – Torment on the islands”, unheard of.

In a completely different category, American star Brad Pitt made a surprise appearance to award an honorary Cesar to one of the filmmakers who forged his game, David Fincher (“Seven”, “Fight Club”).

“I salute the culture of French cinema, your commitment to a cinema that reflects what we are smaller and simpler and not just our heroic aspirations when we put on tights,” said Fincher.

The Caesars have not forgotten Ukraine, mentioned by Louis Garrel (this country “has been experiencing a tragedy for a year now because of this crazy and criminal war”), nor Iran, by Golshifteh Farahani (“Choose this regime or we, the people of Iran”).

A climate activist, supporting the Last Renovation collective and wearing a “We have 761 days left” T-shirt (we have 761 days left) briefly interrupted the start of the ceremony, before leaving. This sequence was not shown on Canal+, broadcaster of the Césars.

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