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César Awards 2020: ‘Les Misérables’ Wins Best Film, No-Show Roman Polanski Takes Best Director

The 45th César Awards took place Friday in Paris — but not without controversy. Here's the full list of winners.

Director Ladj Ly poses as he arrives at the Cesar award ceremony, in Paris. The Cesar awards ceremony for France is the equivalent of the OscarsCesar Award, Paris, France - 28 Feb 2020

“Les Misérables” director Ladj Ly

Christophe Ena/AP/Shutterstock

The 45th César Awards ceremony took place on Friday, February 28, at the Salle Pleyel in Paris to honor the best in French cinema of 2019 — and at a fractious moment for the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. The event was emceed by French comedian Florence Foresti, with actress Sandrine Kiberlain presiding. See the full list of winners below.

Earlier this month, the entire board of directors of the French academy announced their planned resignation after the publication of an open letter from hundreds of members calling for a complete overhaul of the organization. The announcement unspooled in the wake of allegedly dodgy financial practices, an overall lack of transparency, and the repeated omission of filmmakers Claire Denis and Virginie Despentes from the Academy’s annual Dîner des Révélations event, focused on emerging talent. The young guests are asked to nominate talent they’d like to see at the event, and allegedly then-president Alain Terzian nixed requests for Denis (on hand tonight to co-present Best Director with Emmanuelle Bercot) and Despentes.

What’s more is that along with this internal controversy, mixed feelings there and elsewhere abroad swirled around the César-leading 12 nominations for controversy magnet Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus Affair drama “An Officer and a Spy.” In the lead-up to the ceremony, women’s activism groups gathered outside the Salle Pleyel to protest Polanski, who did not attend this year’s ceremony. Neither did any creative talent from “An Officer and a Spy,” known in France as “J’accuse.”

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No matter, as this year, the film took home honors for Director, Adapted Screenplay (for Roman Polanski and Robert Harris) and Costumes. The Césars have been kind to Polanski in the past, awarding him Best Director in 2014 for “Venus in Fur,” Best Adapted Screenplay for “Carnage” in 2012, along with multiple prizes each for “The Ghost Writer,” “The Pianist,” and “Tess.”

“Activists are threatening me with a public lynching. Some have called for demonstrations, others are planning to make it a platform,” he told Agence France Presse earlier this week. “This promises to look more like a symposium than a celebration of cinema designed to reward its greatest talents.”

Oscar nominee “Les Misérables” won Best Film, while Oscar Best Picture winner “Parasite” won the prize for Foreign Film, wrapping its awards season sweep. Meanwhile “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” went home with only one award — Best Cinematography for Claire Mathon. Here are all of this year’s winners.

BEST FILM
“Les Misérables,” dir. Ladj Ly

BEST DIRECTOR
Roman Polanski, “An Officer and a Spy”

BEST ACTRESS
Anaïs Demoustier, “Alice and the Mayor”

BEST ACTOR
Roschdy Zem, “Oh Mercy!”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Swann Arlaud, “By the Grace of God”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Fanny Ardant, “La Belle Époque”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Dan Levy, “I Lost My Body”

BEST FOREIGN FILM
“Parasite,” dir: Bong Joon Ho

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Claire Mathon, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

BEST EDITING
Flora Volpelière, “Les Misérables”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Nicolas Bedos, “La Belle Époque”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Roman Polanski, Robert Harris, “An Officer and a Spy”

BEST SOUND
Nicolas Cantin, Thomas Desjonquières, Raphael Moutarde, Olivier Goinard, Randy Thom, “The Wolf’s Call”

AUDIENCE PRIZE
“Les Misérables,” dir: Ladj Ly

BEST SHORT FILM
“By a Hair,” dir: Lauriane Escaffre, Yvonnick Muller

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“M,” dir: Yolande Zauberman

BEST FIRST FILM
“Papicha,” dir: Mounia Meddour

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“I Lost My Body,” dir: Jérémy Clapin

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
“The Night of the Plastic Bags,” dir: Gabriel Harel

BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER
Lyna Khoudri, “Papicha”

BEST COSTUMES
Pascaline Chavanne, “An Officer and a Spy”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Stéphane Rozenbaum, “La Belle Époque”

BEST MALE NEWCOMER
Alexis Manenti, “Les Misérables”

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