Sunday, February 26, 2006

"The Beat my Heart Skipped" picks up 8 French awards

France's annual cinema awards went overboard in recognising Jacques Audiard's "De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté/The Beat my Heart Skipped" (co-written with Tonino Benacquista and loosely based on James Toback's 1978 "Fingers") on Saturday night, offering it no less than 8 of the coveted César awards including best film and best director. "This is becoming embarassing," he said after picking up his last award. The tale of a crooked real estate agent and his dream of becoming a concert pianist has been a hit amongst art-house audiences since its release. Yet despite being a strong favourite, its lead actor Romain Duris missed the Best Actor award, which went to veteran Michel Bouquet for his standout role as President Mitterand in "Le promeneur du Champ de Mars/The Stroller in the Champ de Mars".

The César awards often skirt controversy in their choices. Amongst the films picking up awards was the harrowing documentary "Darwin's Nightmare" (Best First Film for Hubert Sauper).

Best Original Screeplay went to Radu Mihaileanu and Alain-Michel Blanc for the highly rated "Va, vis et deviens", the moving tale of an Ethopian boy fighting his way back to life.

Best foreign film was Client Eastwood's "Million Dollar Bay" ("Brokeback Mountain" was not released in time to qualify). British actor Hugh Grant picked up an award for his body of work. "I don't win a lot of prizes," he said, "especially at home. Thank you France".

For an interview (in English) about Audiard's remake of "Fingers", see Movie City News.

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