Silent film The Artist wins big at France's César Awards

Silent film The Artist has won a host of trophies— including best picture, best actress and best director — at France's answer to the Academy Awards.
Bérénice Bejo reacts after being awarded with the best actress trophy during the 37th César Film Awards in Paris on Friday. (Jacques Brinon/Associated Press)

Silent film The Artist has won a host of trophies— including best picture, best actress and best director — at France's answer to the Academy Awards.

Just two days before the Oscars, co-star Bérénice Bejo and director Michel Hazanavicius took top honours at the César Awards on Friday. When accepting his directing honour, Hazanavicius thanked Bejo, his wife.

Best actor honours went to Omar Sy, star of the blockbuster feel-good movie Intouchables (Untouchable).

He notably beat The Artist star Jean Dujardin who won the category at Cannes, the Golden Globes and Britain's BAFTAs — and is among the best-actor nominees at the Oscars. In the film, Dujardin plays a Hollywood silent film star whose career declines at the advent of talkie movies.

Other winners include:

  • Musical score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist.
  • Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist.
  • Most promising actress: Nadira Ayadi, Poliss and Clotilde Hesme, Angele and Tony (tie).
  • Most promising actor: Gregory Gadebois, Angele and Tony.
  • Supporting actor: Michel Blanc, The Minister. 
  • Supporting actress: Carmen Maura, Service Entrance.
  • Original screenplay: Pierre Schoeller, The Minister. 
  • Adapted screenplay: Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza, Carnage.
  • Documentary: Christian Rouaud, Tous au Larzac.
  • Foreign film: Asghar Farhadi, A Separation (Iran).
  • First film: Sylvain Estibal, When Pigs Have Wings.
  • Animated film: Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux, The Rabbi's Cat.
  • Honorary César: Kate Winslet.