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César 2022: strong tributes to Gaspard Ulliel and Jean-Paul Belmondo


The 47and edition of the flagship ceremony of French cinema celebrated the memory of the cinema giant and, through the words and tears of Xavier Dolan, that of the actor who tragically disappeared in a skiing accident.

The latest disappearances from the world of cinema were, like every year, still on the lips of the living. Friday evening, during the 47th Cesar ceremony, the Academy paid tribute, tradition obliges, to the personalities of the world of cinema who have disappeared for a year, from Bertrand Tavernier to Jean-Jacques Beineix, via Jean-François Stévenin (not celebrated enough), Françoise Arnoul and Bernard Tapie. With a very special inflection reserved for Gaspard Ulliel, who died last month in tragic circumstances and to whom the ceremony organized in Paris, on the stage of the Olympia, was dedicated.

As the master of ceremonies Antoine de Caunes had suggested a few days ago, the César 2022 opened with a tribute to the 37-year-old actor who died on January 19 in a skiing accident. A few images of Gaspard Ulliel paraded for a little less than a minute, a silent excerpt taken from the finale of Just the end of the world , a magnetic collaboration between the late comedian and Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan. Seconds suspended in time and on the film, moments bathed in a gleam of rust. be a moment “dignified and sober”as the direction of the Caesars had wished.

“While many made a point of speaking first; Gaspard was already distilling a thought, a more accomplished, more chiseled look, a bit like the one he poses at the end of Saint Laurent by Bertrand Bonello», said Xavier Dolan, his throat twisted with emotion. Speaking in the last hour of the ceremony, the director remembered with emotion and (so) at length his comrade and friend, the qualities of the actor as of the man and the tastes they had in common. Endless speech which weighs down an evening which already takes all its time. Theatrical, awkward, not as much as Marie’s happening seeps into the early evening, but not that far.

“I chose to address this letter to you, Madam, because I did not know – other than by telling you how much I admired and loved her – I did not know how to pay her a real tribute, he still mentioned Xavier Dolan while reading, with tears in his eyes, the letter written for the mother of Gaspard Ulliel. I believe he would have liked to know that I wrote this letter while listening to a piece by Olafur Arnalds called tree – the tree. He would have listened to her. Better, we would have listened to it together, without excluding all those who liked it”.

Belmondo, reconciler of cinema

Major disappearance of last fall, Jean-Paul Belmondo was also celebrated by the Academy of Caesar, in the first part of the ceremony, with a long clip compiling a bundle of the most significant roles of Bebel. Breathless, The Man from Rio, Léon Morin, priest, Pierrot le fou, Borsalino, Cartridge, The Heir, A monkey in winter, Itinerary of a spoiled child up to A man and his dog, a generous reminder of the filmography of the giant of French cinema who died on September 6, was invited in the middle of the Césars. The testimony, supported, moving, and interspersed with a few excerpts from interviews, was lulled by the dizzying theme of Professionalsigned Ennio Morricone – as an ultimate tribute from the world of cinema to the “As of aces”.

Belmondo was “the one who, from the 1950s, had reconciled all genres of cinema, author and popular”, slipped Antoine de Caunes, before introducing the long segment, which was applauded by the audience. A tribute in several movements, with a stop in particular devoted to the proximity of the actor who died in September with Alain Delon. “(With) Delon, we were inseparable”remembered the most beautiful broken face of French cinema. “Bebel is no more, long live Belmondo”, concluded the host of the evening, with a welcome sobriety.

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