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The French cry: ‘Vive le cinéma, vive la différence!’

by John Lichfield.

Whatever happens to The Artist and its 10 nominations at tonight’s Oscar ceremony, it has been an extraordinary 12 months for French cinema.

The jury for the “French Oscars”, or Césars, in Paris on Friday were spoiled for choice. Should the most glittering prizes go to a French-made, silent, black and white film about Hollywood which has conquered the world and even, er, Hollywood?

Or should they go a heart-warming comedy about physical handicap, Intouchables, which has been shattering box-office records in France?

The French film academy split the spoils, giving six Césars to The Artist, including Best Film and Best Director to Michel Hazanavicius. But the César for Best Actor went not to the star of The Artist, Jean Dujardin, but to Omar Sy, 34, the comedian-turned-actor who plays a minor criminal turned nurse and carer in Intouchables. No black actor had won the prize before.

Read the rest of this article from the Independent.

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