Lumiere Awards: 'Elle,' 'My Life as a Zucchini' Take Top Prizes

2:00 PM 1/30/2017

by Rhonda Richford

Oscar nominees Isabelle Huppert and "My Life as a Zucchini" won in their categories at the Gallic Golden Globes.

Elle - Still 5- Isabelle Huppert - H 2016
Guy Ferrandis/SBS Productions, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Two Oscar nominees took home big prizes at France's Lumiere Awards, with Isabelle Huppert winning the best actress prize for her role in Elle and My Life as a Zucchini scoring a best animated film win, as the French foreign press academy handed out prizes during a ceremony held at the Madeleine Theater in Paris. 

Huppert, fresh from an overnight flight returning from Sunday's SAG Awards, thanked the academy and said she was "surprised and very touched" by the recognition. She also said director Paul Verhoeven was "extraordinary" to work with.

Verhoeven's Elle was the big winner with three trophies, including best film, best director and Huppert's actress nod. It had been nominated in four categories, tied with Albert Serra's The Death of Louis XIV, Alain Guiraudie’s Staying Vertical and Stephane Brize’s A Woman’s Life.

Verhoeven was still in Los Angeles and spoke via video message, in whcich he thanked Huppert for the "audacity" of her performance and delighted the crowd with a promise to return. "I hope to do my next movie in France," he said. "This film is a miracle," he added when he next accepted the award for best film.

Jean-Pierre Leaud won the best actor prize for his role as the titular king in The Death of Louis XIV, and the film also won in the best cinematography category.

Zucchini also won in the best screenplay category for Celine Sciamma, who won a special prize for her Girlhood from the academy in 2015.

The ceremony also paid hommage to a very pregnant Marion Cottilard, who thanked the academy and the French film community which supports independent film. "I share this with all of French cinema," she said. 

Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux was also honored by the academy, which he noted recognized many films that have been in competiton over the years. He went on to thank former film festival president Gilles Jacob, as well as director Bertrand Tavernier, who won in the best documentary category.

Fremaux sat with Huppert and presented the best film category.

While the awards — often referred to as the France's equivalent of the Golden Globes, though the 100-strong academy is made up of a wide swath of foreign journalists from 20 countries — were founded in 1995, they have been growing quickly both in scope and prestige in the last few years.

Divines, which was nominated for a Golden Globe in the best foreign-language category, won in the best first film category for director Houda Benyamina’s first feature, and young actresses Oulaya Amamra and Deborah Lukumuena were recognized for their "Revelation" performances. 

When Benyamina took to the stage she noted that her speech would be "short, concise, and classy" to the laughter of the audience, alluding to her much-criticized Cannes speech in which she defiantly shouted about being brave and "having clitoris."

A full list of winners is follows.

  • Best Film

    Elle by Paul Verhoeven (WINNER)
    The Death of Louis XIV by Albert Serra
    Nocturama by Bertrand Bonello
    Les Ogres by Lea Fehner
    Staying Vertical by Alain Guiraudie
    A Woman’s Life by Stephane Brize

  • Best Director

    Paul Verhoeven for Elle (WINNER)
    Bertrand Bonello for Nocturama
    Stephane Brize for A Woman’s Life
    Lea Fehner for Les Ogres
    Alain Guiraudie for Staying Vertical
    Albert Serra for The Death of Louis XIV

  • Best Actress

    Isabelle Huppert for Elle (WINNER)
    Judith Chemla for A Woman’s Life
    Marion Cotillard for From the Land of the Moon
    Virginie Efira for In Bed With Victoria
    Sidse Babett Knudsen for 150 Milligrams
    Soko for The Dancer

  • Best Actor

    Jean-Pierre Leaud for The Death of Louis XIV (WINNER)
    Pierre Deladonchamps for The Son of John
    Gerard Depardieu for The End
    Nicolas Duvauchelle for A Decent Man
    Omar Sy and James Thierree for Chocolat
    Gaspard Ulliel for Just the End of the World

  • Best Screenplay

    Celine Sciamma for My Life as a Zucchini (WINNER)
    David Birke for Elle
    Lea Fehner, Catherine Paille and Brigitte Sy for Les Ogres
    Emilie Freche and Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar for Heaven Will Wait
    Alain Guiraudie for Staying Vertical
    Francois Ozon for Frantz

  • Best Cinematography

    Jonathan Ricquebourg for The Death of Louis XIV (WINNER)
    Christophe Beaucarne for From the Land of the Moon
    Benoit Debie for The Dancer
    Antoine Heberle for A Woman’s Life
    Leo Hinstin for Nocturama
    Pascal Marti for Frantz

  • "Revelation" Performance by a Young Actor

    Damien Bonnard for Staying Vertical (WINNER)
    Corentin Fila and Kacey Mottet Klein for Being 17
    Finnegan Oldfield for Bang Gang
    Toki Pilioko for Mercenary
    Sadek for Tour de France
    Niels Schneider for Dark Inclusion

  • "Revelation" Performance by a Young Actress

    Oulaya Amamra and Déborah Lukumuena for Divines (WINNER)
    Paula Beer for Frantz
    Lily Rose Depp for The Dancer
    Manal Issa for Parisienne
    Naomi Amarger and Noemie Merlant for Heaven Will Wait
    Raph for Slack Bay

  • First Film

    Divines by Houda Benyamina (WINNER)
    Apnee by Jean-Christophe Meurisse
    The Dancer by Stephanie di Giusto
    Dark Inclusion by Arthur Harari
    Still Life by Maud Alpi
    Mercenary by Sacha Wolff

  • Best French-Language Foreign Film

    Hedi by Mohammed Ben Attia (Tunisia) (WINNER)
    Belgica by Felix van Groeningen (Belgium)
    The Unkown Girl by Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium)
    Just the End of the World by Xavier Dolan (Canada)
    Mimosas by Oliver Laxe (Morocco)
    The First, The Last by Bouli Lanners (Belgium)

  • Best Animated Film

    My Life as a Zucchini by Claude Barras (WINNER)
    The Girl Without Hands by Sébastien Laudenbach
    Louise by the Shore by Jean-François Laguionie
    The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit
    Long Way North by Remi Chaye

  • Best Documentary

    A Journey Through French Cinema by Bertrand Tavernier (WINNER)
    The Woods by Claire Simon
    Dernieres Nouvelles du Cosmos (The Latest News From the Cosmos) by Julie Bertuccelli
    Thanks Boss! by Francois Ruffin
    La sociologue et l’ourson (The Sociologist and the Bear) by Etienne Chaillou and Mathias Théry
    Swagger by Olivier Babinet

  • Best Music

    Ibrahim Maalouf for Dans les forets de Siberie (In the Forests of Siberia) (WINNER)
    Sophie Hunger for My Life as a Zucchini
    Laurent Perez del Mar for The Red Turtle
    ROB for Planetarium
    Philippe Rombi for Frantz
    Gabriel Yared for Just the End of the World