0235 GMT February 22, 2019
The film received three prizes in all, including for director Audiard and cinematographer Benoit Debie. Audiard said he was very touched by the honor and thanked his stars Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly. While accepting the cinematography award for an absent Debie, the filmmaker also jokingly thanked himself as he went through a list of those whom the lenser might have thanked, all the way down to his dog, Hollywood Reporter wrote.
The ceremony also paid special tribute to Jane Birkin, the British actress who shot to fame in the 1960s as the muse of Serge Gainsbourg. Taking the stage, she thanked director Pierre Grimblat for casting her alongside Gainsbourg in 1969's 'Slogan'. "It changed my destiny — if not, I would have stayed in England," said Birkin.
Claude Lelouch was also honored and revealed the first image from his upcoming 'The Best Years of Our Lives', the follow-up to his Oscar-winning 'A Man and a Woman', which revisits the characters more than 50 years later, alongside star Anouk Aimee. The still showed Aimee and co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant taking a selfie while bundled up against the wind.
Lelouch framed the film as the latest chapter in an ongoing love story examining the couple later in life. Aimee called the chance to film again a half-century later "an extraordinary experience". Then, in a surprise moment, Trintignant called into the ceremony to thank his director and co-star.
Alex Lutz was named best actor for his role in 'Guy', the story of an aging pop star looking back on his glory days, which Lutz also wrote and directed. The pic also earned the music prize for Vincent Blanchard and Romain Greffe.
In 'Safe Hands' lead Elodie Bouchez was named best actress for her turn in the adoption drama, a role that has also landed her a Cesar nomination.
In the best first film category, Oscar nominee Xavier Legrand took the prize for 'Custody', the divorce drama that won him the Silver Lion in Venice. The movie is also nominated for 10 awards at the Cesars later this month. Legrand thanked the academy, but added that the pic didn't need translation "because, unfortunately, domestic violence is understood all over the world".
Netflix's 'Girl', which took home a handful of awards at Cannes and won the best Flemish film at Belgium's Magritte Awards, was tapped as best foreign film. Taking the stage, helmer Lukas Dhont thanked the Cannes Film Festival and its head Thierry Fremaux.
"The festival is where it all started for us, and it was also our first Cannes, so it was very special," he said.
The film snagged a handful of prizes there, including a best actor trophy for star Victor Polsner.