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As part of a moving tribute Monday at Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Film Society of Lincoln Center bestowed its 39th annual Charlie Chaplin Award for Lifetime Achievement to French screen legend Catherine Deneuve.
Deneuve flew in from France for the ceremony. She was feted by Susan Sarandon, her co-star in Tony Scott‘s horror film The Hunger (1983) and the event’s honorary co-chair; James Gray, the American director who is popular in France; Francois Ozon, who directed her in 8 Women (2002) and Potiche (2010); Chiara Mastroianni, Deneuve’s daughter with the late Marcello Mastroianni; and Martin Scorsese, the great director and film lover, who said he has admired Deneuve’s work since he first saw her on the big screen 47 years ago. Scorsese then invited Deneuve to join him and the other presenters onstage to collect her statuette. The actress, who wore a striking blue dress, seemed a bit overwhelmed by the proceedings and could muster only a brief, but gracious, acceptance speech in which she attributed her success to being very “lucky.”
Previous recipients of the career honor include Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and, last year, Sidney Poitier.
Deneuve, 68, has been an international superstar for almost a half-century, known for both her striking beauty and her understated craft. She first rose to prominence as a result of her involvement in a trio of films that were released within a span of three years, all before she turned 25: Jacques Demy‘s musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Roman Polanski‘s psychological-horror flick Repulsion (1965) and Luis Bunuel‘s erotic drama Belle du Jour (1967).
She subsequently was heralded for her work in Bunuel’s drama Tristana (1970), which was nominated for the best foreign-language film Oscar; Robert Aldrich‘s crime drama Hustle (1975); Francois Truffaut‘s The Last Metro (1981), also nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar and for which she won the best actress Cesar; Regis Wargnier‘s drama Indochine (1992), which won the foreign-language film Oscar and Golden Globe and for which she received a best actress Oscar nom (her only recognition by the Academy) and won the best actress Cesar; Andre Techine‘s dramas My Favorite Season (1993) and Thieves (1996), both of which brought her nominations for the best actress Cesar; Lars von Trier‘s musical-drama Dancer in the Dark (2000), the final installment in von Trier’s “Golden Heart Trilogy,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes; and Potiche, for which she received her 11th and most recent Cesar nomination, 10 of which have been for best actress.
Deneuve has said that she has no plans to retire in the near future.
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