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‘Triplets of Belleville’ tops France’s Lumieres

Awards are France's equivalent of the Golden Globes
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

Sylvain Chomet’s “The Triplets of Belleville,” which will vie for two Oscars, was named best French film of 2003 on Tuesday at the ninth Lumieres Awards, the country’s equivalent of the Golden Globes.

Alain Resnais was voted best director for his operetta “Pas sur la bouche” (Not on the Mouth). He received a standing ovation along with the prize after some embarrassing moments for the organizers, who showed a trailer of Pierre Salvadori’s comedy “Apres vous” (After You) in place of a clip from Resnais’ stylish period musical.

“Bouche” cornered nine nominations for the Cesar Awards, France’s top film awards, which will be presented Saturday. “Belleville,” nominated for animated film and original song Academy Awards, also is competing for three Cesars.

Bruno Todeschini won best actor for his role in Patrice Chereau’s “Son Frere” (His Brother), while Sylvie Testud scooped best actress for her role as a French girl who tries to fit into Japanese society in Alain Corneau’s “Fear and Trembling.” Gregori Derangere was named best male newcomer for Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s “Bon Voyage,” and Sasha Andres was voted best female newcomer for Siegrid Alnoy’s “Elle est des notres” (She’s One of Us).

The small-scale but upbeat ceremony was organized by the L’Academie des Lumieres, whose member base of 200 Paris-based foreign correspondents decide on the annual awards. Those attending included Constantin Costa-Gavras, whose “Amen” won last year’s best film honor, and French director Chereau, who headed the Cannes jury last year.

Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand’s “The Barbarian Invasions” won the prize for best Francophone film, while writer-director Julie Bertucelli won the best screenplay award for her first film, “Depuis qu’Otar est parti” (Since Otar Left) along with co-writers Roger Bohbot and Bernard Renucci.