Robert Wilson accepts Trophee des Arts

Isabelle Huppert currently working with theater director

NEW YORK -- Cultural icons from Europe and the U.S. came together on Nov. 2 as French actress Isabelle Huppert presented the French Institute Alliance Francaise's 2009 Trophee des Arts to theater pioneer Robert Wilson at the Plaza Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Isabella Rossellini and Rufus Wainwright were among the crowd at the black tie gala. Previous stars honored with the award, created in 1992, include Christian Lacroix, Quincy Jones, Lauren Bacall, Huppert (in 2003), Charlie Rose and James Ivory.

The annual gala raises funds for FIAF programs.

Huppert told THR that long-time acquaintance Wilson is "a perfect example" of an artist who manages to cross the pond, saying the American is "immensely acclaimed, recognized and loved in Europe."

The actress is currently performing in a Wilson production of German playwright Heiner Muller's "Quartett," an adaptation of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," at Brooklyn's BAM.

"With him, theatre becomes a playground of infinite liberty," Huppert told the crowd of around 450 people at the gala.

Huppert also told THR that she was delighted that Switzerland had picked the movie "Home," in which she stars, as its candidate for the foreign-language Oscar. "I really enjoyed it, and it is a metaphor on modern life," she said of the film, which is about how a highway affects the life of a family in a rural town. "They think the family can protect them, but they can't really hide from reality."