On the evening of January 30th, the The French Union of Film Critics (also known as Syndicat Francais de la Critique Cinema) had their annual award ceremony at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. The Union is made up of over 250 journalists and critics, and it is currently being led by critic Isabelle Danel.
One notable award that was presented went to Paul Verhoeven’s breakout drama Elle. In addition to winning the Union’s award for ‘Best French Film,’ the movie also took home Golden Globes for ‘Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama’ and ‘Best Foreign Language Film.’ Furthermore, the film received 11 nominations for the French Cesar awards and two Oscar nominations – one for Best Actress and the other for Best Foreign Language Film.
The movie follows the story of Michèle, the head of a video game company, after she is attacked in her own home. The plot follows her journey in tracking down her attacker. The protagonist is expertly portrayed by star Isabelle Huppert, who was nominated for a career 16th Cesar award for her performance. She is also known for her performances in Amour (2012), The Piano Teacher (2001), and I Heart Huckabees (2004). Her costars include French actors Laurent Lafitte and Anne Consigny, among others.
The film is only one out of a handful of films in the Union’s history to win the award for ‘Best French Film,’ despite having a non-Frenchman as the director.
Other awards presented by the Union this year include ‘Best Foreign Film’ for the Brazilian drama Aquarius by Kleber Mendonca Filho’s and nabbed Best Series for the television program The Bureau.