Mathieu Amalric's 'Barbara' Wins France's Louis Delluc Prize

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
'Barbara'

The prestigious critics' prize was handed out by former Cannes president Gilles Jacob.

The first winner of France’s awards season is in, with Barbara by Mathieu Amalric taking this year’s Louis Delluc prize.

The jury, made up of 14 film critics and headed by former Cannes president Gilles Jacob, unveiled the winner of France’s oldest film award in a ceremony at the legendary Le Fouquet’s restaurant on Friday afternoon.

The jury selects only one film from a shortlist of nine standouts, which this year included Cannes Grand Prize winner BPM (Beats Per Minute) from Robin Campillo and Barbara, which was awarded a special prize for artistry in the Cannes Un Certain Regard section.

Xavier Beauvois' The Guardians, Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts, starring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ado Arrieta’s Sleeping Beauty, which stars Almaric, and Bruno Dumont’s Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc rounded out the fiction selections.

Three documentaries also made the shortlist, including the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight winner Makala, directed by Emmanuel Gras, Eric Caravaca’s Carre 35, and Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro.  

In the best first film category, Raw by Julia Ducournau won the award.

That film was selected from a shortlist that also included Leonor Seraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenue, Lea Mysius’ Ava, Hubert Charuel’s Bloody Milk, Jerome Reybaud’s 4 Days in France and Morgan Simon’s A Taste of Ink.

The Louis Delluc Prize, now in its 75th year, was created in 1937 in honor of the eponymous French critic and journalist, considered one of the founders of film criticism. Past recipients of the award include Jean Renoir, Robert Bresson, Louis Malle, Alain Resnais, Agnes Varda, Francois Truffaut, Leos Carax, Jacques Audiard and Olivier Assayas.