Cesar Awards: 'Custody' Wins Best Film

12:19 PM 2/22/2019

by Rhonda Richford

Robert Redford served as the guest of honor, while Diane Kruger led a tribute to late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Jusqu a la garde Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Venice International Film Festival

France's Cesar Awards on Friday crowned Custody the best film of the year. Filled with long speeches and no commercial breaks, the ceremony clocked in at three hours and 10 minutes, with Robert Redford as the guest of honor and Diane Kruger leading a tribute to late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. 

In accepting his honor, Redford recalled his teen travels to Paris and Cannes, joking that he bought a beret before his trip to blend in, but it made him stand out. He said that returning reminds him of how as he gets older, the years seem to get shorter. It was a touching speech, even if the audience might have expected some political words from the normally outspoken Sundance founder.

Redford, who has said he has retired from acting after declaring The Old Man and the Gun his last film, fleetingly told press the world needs to fight climate change but shied away from questions backstage at Paris' Salle Pleyel.

His Horse Whisperer co-star Kristin Scott Thomas presided over the ceremony, with Monica Bellucci, Guillaume Canet and Lily Rose Depp among those in the audience. 

Kruger, a longtime friend and fan of Lagerfeld, paid tribute to the designer, who died Wednesday. "It's impossible to imagine climbing the steps in Cannes or an Oscar ceremony without one of his mythical creations," the actress said, calling him an icon. "His sense of humor and worldview, often hilarious, will be missed. I miss him, I miss him terribly."

Xavier Legrand's domestic-violence drama Custody was, if not a total surprise, an unexpected winner for best film. The pic had been nominated for 10 awards and had already won three in the best editing, screenplay and actress categories, but the Oscar-nominated director had been tipped for best first film honors, having won the Louis Delluc prize in that category in December. 

Legrand urged the audience to pay heed to incidents of domestic violence, citing some somber statistics from the stage. "I think it's time to think of these victims on days other than Nov. 25 [International Women's Day] ," he said.

Prize winners for the films Little Tickles and Wicked Girl, who took home best adapted screenplay and best animated short honors, respectively, also called attention to the frequency of child sexual abuse in their acceptance speeches.

Gilles Lellouche's mid-life crisis comedy Sink or Swim was also nominated for 10 prizes, but despite being a box office hit, it only received one trophy, the best supporting actor prize for Philippe Katerine.

Jacques Audiard could be considered the biggest winner of the night, with The Sisters Brothers taking home four awards. That the English-language Western had nine nominations was already a coup, and Audiard snagged the best director prize as well. 

Hirokazu Kore-eda's Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters won in the best foreign-language category over fellow Oscar nominees Cold War, from Poland's Pawel Pawlikowski, and Capernaum, from Lebanon's Nadine Labaki; and Netflix's Girl, the Cannes Camera d'Or winner from Lukas Dhont. The three will be have another chance again on Sunday, though this year there is no French film in competition.

  • Best Film

    Memoir of War, Emmanuel Finkiel
    The Trouble With You, Pierre Salvadori
    The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard
    Sink or Swim, Gilles Lellouche
    Guy, Alex Lutz
    WINNER - Custody, Xavier Legrand
    In Safe Hands, Jeanne Herry

  • Best Director

    Emmanuel Finkiel, Memoir of War
    Pierre Salvadori, The Trouble With You
    WINNER - Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers
    Gilles Lellouche, Sink or Swim
    Alex Lutz, Guy
    Xavier Legrand, Custody
    Jeanne Harry, In Safe Hands

  • Best Actor

    Edouard Baer, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres
    Romain Duris, Our Struggles
    Vincent Lacoste, Amanda
    Gilles Lellouche, In Safe Hands
    WINNER - Alex Lutz, Guy
    Pio Marmai, The Trouble With You
    Denis Menochet, Custody

  • Best Actress

    Elodie Bouchez, In Safe Hands
    Cecile de France, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres
    WINNER - Lea Drucker, Custody
    Virginie Efira, An Impossible Love
    Adele Haenel, The Trouble With You
    Sandrine Kiberlain, In Safe Hands
    Melanie Thierry, Memoir of War

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Jean-Hugues Anglade, Sink or Swim
    Damien Bonnard, The Trouble With You
    Clovis Cornillac, Little Tickles
    WINNER - Philippe Katerine, Sink or Swim
    Denis Podalydes, Sorry Angel

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Isabelle Adjani, The World Is Yours
    Leila Bekhti, Sink or Swim
    Virginie Efira, Sink or Swim
    Audrey Tautou, The Trouble With You
    WINNER - Karin Viard, Little Tickles

  • Best Foreign Film

    Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonaugh
    Capernaum, Nadine Labaki
    Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski
    Girl, Lukas Dhont
    Hannah, Andrea Pallaoro
    Our Struggles, Guillaume Senez
    WINNERShoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-Eda

  • Best Animated Film

    Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion, Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy
    WINNER - Dilili in Paris, Michel Ocelot
    Pachamama, Juan Antin

  • Best First Film

    L'Amour Flou, Romaine Bohringer
    Little Tickles, Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer
    Custody, Xavier Legrand
    Savage, Camille Vidal-Naquet
    WINNER - Sheherazade, Jean-Bernard Marlin

  • Best Documentary Film

    America, Claus Drexel
    Da Chaque Instant, Nicolas Philibert
    Le Grand Bal, Laetitia Carton
    WINNER - Ni Juge, Ni Soumise, Jean Libon, Yves Hinant
    The State Against Mandela and the Others, Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte

  • Best Cinematography

    Alexis Kavyrchine, Memoir of War
    WINNER - Benoit Debie, The Sisters Brothers
    Laurent Tangy, Sink or Swim
    Nathalie Durand, Custody
    Laurent Desmet, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres

  • Best Production Design

    Pascal Le Guellec, Memoir of War
    Emile Ghigo, The Emperor of Paris
    WINNER - Michel Barthelemy, The Sisters Brothers
    David Faivre, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres
    Thierry Francois, One Nation, One King

  • Best Original Screenplay

    The Trouble With You, by Pierre Salvadori, Beoit Graffin, Benjamin Charbit
    Sink or Swim, by Gilles Lellouche, Ahmed Hamidi, Julien Lambroschini
    Guy, by Alex Lutz, Anais Deban, Thibault Segouin
    WINNER - Custody, by Xavier Legrand
    In Safe Hands, Jeanne Herry

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

    WINNER - Little Tickles, by Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer
    Memoir of War, by Emmanuel Finkiel
    The Sisters Brothers, by Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain
    Mademoiselle de Joncquieres, by Emmanuel Mouret
    An Impossible Love, by Catherine Corsini, Laurette Polmanss

  • Best Costumes

    Anais Romand, Sergio Ballo, Memoir of War
    Pierre-Yves Gayraud, The Emperor of Paris
    Milena Canonero, The Sisters Brothers
    WINNER - Pierre-Jean Larroque, Mademoiselle de Joncquieres
    Anais Romand, One Nation, One King

  • Best Editing

    Valerie Deseine, Little Tickles
    Isabelle Devinck, The Trouble With You
    Juliette Welfling, The Sisters Brothers
    Simon Jacquet, Sink or Swim
    WINNER - Yorgos Lamprinos, Custody

  • Best Sound

    Antoine-Basile Mercier, David Vranken, Aline Gavroy, Memoir of War
    WINNER - Brigitte Taillandier, Valerie de Loof, Cyril Holts, The Sisters Brothers
    Cedric Delouche, Gwennole le Borgene, Marc Doisne, Sink or Swim
    Yves-Marie Omnes, Antoine Baudouin, Stephane Thiebaut, Guy
    Julien Sicart, Julien Roig, Vincent Verdoux, Custody

  • Best Original Score

    Anton Sanko, Amanda
    Camille Bazbaz, The Trouble With You
    Alexandre Desplat, The Sisters Brothers
    WINNER - Vincent Blanchard, Romain Greffe, Guy
    Pascal Sangla, In Safe Hands
    Gregoire Hetzel, An Impossible Love

  • Best New Actor

    Anthony Bajon, The Prayer
    Thomas Gioria, Custody
    William Lebghil, The Freshmen
    Karim Leklou, The World Is Yours
    WINNER - Dylan Robert, Sheherazade

  • Best New Actress

    Ophelie Bau, Mektoub My Love
    Galatea Bellugi, The Apparition
    Jehnny Beth, An Impossible Love
    Lily-Rose Depp, A Faithful Man
    WINNER - Kenza Fortas, Sheherazade