Law awarded French medal

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LONDON -- British actor Jude Law, who recently added producer to his resume for the remake of "Sleuth," wowed a conspicuously female-heavy media crowd Thursday as he picked up the French accolade Ordre des Arts et des Lettres here.

The actor received the medal at the French ambassador's residence at Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the capital's most exclusive addresses.

French Ambassador Gerard Errera told the small and exclusive audience that Law's medal was for someone who has not only distinguished himself in both theater and film and the promotion of the arts but also for what he has done "as a human being."

Errara drew chuckles from the intimate gathering when he observed that France was a strange country and that giving such an award to "foreigners, including British people" only reinforced that view.

For his part, the British actor said he was speechless after having the medal pinned to his chest. "At the age of 15 I discovered French films. It is a cinema that is always true to itself, like the people of France," Law said in thanking the Errera for the plaudit.

The residence also played host to the launch of the new-look "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" showcase, which aims to bring a selection of yet-to-be-released French movies chosen by British distributors to audiences throughout the country.

The showcase, which runs March 29-April 1, opens with Olivier Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic "La Vie En Rose" and closes with the Patrice Leconte comedy "My Best Friend."

Other titles in the lineup include Alante Kavaite's thriller "Ecoute Le Temps," Alain Resnais' "Private Fears in Public Places" and Santiago Amigorena's thriller "A Few Days In September."

Organized by French trade promotion body Unifrance, this year's event is billed as "bigger and better" than ever.
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