Roman Polanski’s Best Director Win Triggers Walkout at 2020 Cesar Awards

The exiled filmmaker’s ‘An Officer and a Spy’ has also brought home Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Costume Design kudos, while Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’ claims Best Foreign Film.

AceShowbiz -Actress Adele Haenel sparked a walkout at the 2020 Cesar Awards in France on Friday, February 28 after leaving the event in disgust as Roman Polanski was named Best Director.

The filmmaker, who remains in exile in Europe after running from a 1977 rape conviction in America, cancelled plans to attend the French equivalent of the Oscars on the eve of the show to avoid a “public lynching” after feminist activists unveiled plans to stage a demonstration outside the Paris prizegiving.

Despite his absence, his latest movie, “An Officer and a Spy“, scooped a trio of honours, including Best Director for Polanski, which led to a number of audience members leaving their seats at the Salle Pleyel.

Best Actress nominee Haenel, who had earlier slammed officials at the French Film Academy for nominating Polanski at all, was visibly upset as his name was announced, and promptly exited the hall, as a group of others soon followed, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” star is herself a sexual assault survivor, having accused director Christophe Ruggia of abusing and harassing her since first starring in his movies at the age of 12.

“An Officer and a Spy” also triumphed in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, recognising Polanski and co-writer Robert Harris, while Pascaline Chavanne took the Cesar for Best Costume Design.

It lost out on the top accolade of Best Film to Ladj Ly’s “Les Miserables (2020)“, which took home a total of four awards, including Best Male Newcomer for Alexis Manenti.

The Best Actress honour was collected by Anais Demoustier for “Alice and the Mayor”, and Roschdy Zem claimed the male equivalent for “Oh Mercy!“.

Lyna Khoudri was declared Best Female Newcomer for her work in “Papicha”, which was also named Best First Film for director Mounia Meddour, while the supporting actor and actress prizes went to Swann Arlaud (“By the Grace of God”), and Fanny Ardant (“La Belle Epoque”).

There was also another win for South Korean thriller “Parasite“, which earned director Bong Joon Ho the Best Foreign Film award, weeks after his historic Oscars victories.

The full list of 2020 Cesar Awards winners is:

  • Best Film: “Les Miserables (2020)“, Ladj Ly
  • Best Director: “An Officer and A Spy“, Roman Polanski
  • Best Actress: Anais Demoustier, “Alice and the Mayor”
  • Best Actor: Roschdy Zem, “Oh Mercy!
  • Best Foreign Film: “Parasite“, Bong Joon-Ho
  • Best Documentary Film: “M”, Yolande Zauberman
  • Best First Film: “Papicha”, Mounia Meddour
  • Best Original Screenplay: “La Belle Epoque”, Nicolas Bedos
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: “An Officer and a Spy“, Roman Polanski, Robert Harris
  • Best Supporting Actress: Fanny Ardant, “La Belle Epoque”
  • Best Supporting Actor: Swann Arlaud, “By the Grace of God”
  • Best Female Newcomer: Lyna Khoudri, “Papicha”
  • Best Male Newcomer: Alexis Manenti, “Les Miserables (2020)
  • Best Animated Film: Jeremy Clapin for “I Lost My Body
  • Best Editing: Flora Volpeliere – “Les Miserables (2020)
  • Best Cinematography: Claire Mathon – “Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Best Costumes: Pascaline Chavanne – “An Officer and A Spy
  • Best Production Design: Stephane Rosenbaum – “La Belle Epoque”
  • Best Original Score: Dan Levy – “I Lost My Body
  • Best Sound: Nicolas Cantin, Thomas Desjonquères, Raphaël Mouterde, Olivier Goinard, Randy Thom – “Le chant du loup”

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