So, I did a mess up, I did not do a simple double-check: I promised I would cover the César’s Film Awards red carpet on a timely manner, but I was under the impression it would be hosted in March, instead of last Friday, February 25th. And not to justify my tardiness but … like, the Cold War came back, with a pinch of the things that came before the Cold War.
The irony of escapism is that you always need it the most when you shouldn’t. But since the human brain can only process so many long-term crisis, plus all the other clear-and-present crises that are still going on, microdosing it is.
But with the invasion of Ukraine having started less than 24 hours before, it’s obvious the mood at the Césars was clearly somber and restrained, compounded with Gaspard Ulliel’s much too early death after a skiing accident in January, and to whom the ceremony was dedicated. So in a way, it would be kind of shitty to compare this red carpet to the fun people were having at the Goya’s or even the SAG Awards later that weekend. Still, these are French people, and French people not-in-the-mood will outstyle Americans feeling themselves any time of the week.
Let’s Thirst Away.
The big winner of the night was Xavier Giannolli’s Lost Illusions, which went home with 7 awards including Best Picture. Based on the novel by Balzac, it stars an ensemble cast that nabbed Best Supporting Actor nominations for Xavier Dolan, Jeanne Balibar, Cécile de France, a Best Supporting win for Vincent Lacoste and Most Promising Actor for its lead, Benjamin Voisin. Here he is with Cécile de France, in Fendi and Dior respectively. Lacoste wore a Celine, with a loose shirt and one of those pants with waist-bands thingies, a clear nod to the 19th Century bohemian he plays in the film. I kinda love it.
Speaking of Celine, Best Actress went to Valérie Lemercier playing not-Céline Dion in Aline, also helmed by her. Not a big fan of the subdued Stéphane Rolland she wore, mostly because his latest collections include things that are perfectly suited to evoke Céline Dion’s vibe. What I did love was Aïssatou Diallo Sagna’s dress, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for The Divide. Prior to this, she was an hospital assistant. If I’m correct, her dress is from Senegalese designer Collé Sow Ardo
The winner for Most Promising Actress was Anamaria Vartolomei for Happening, almost foretold after the rave reception the film and her performance garnered. Do I like this Chanel? Not the biggest fan, it’s a little bit twee, and I’ll never be a fan of ruffled-y skirts, but it’s bold and a great way to cap-off the victory lap of your breakout. Also… like, have you seen her eyes?
It’s an honor just to be nominated Julia Ducournau’s Titane, Palme D’Or winner and Film-Twitter’s 2022 pride and joy went home empty handed, with Best Director going to Leos Carax for Annette, whose win was overdue according to Kayleigh. Still, this year did have three women directors nominated, including Ducournau, Valérie Lemercier and Audrey Diwan for Happening, so I guess the Academie is trying to unfuck up giving the award to Polanski in 2020. I don’t have an ID on Ducourneau’s dress, but here she is with Titane’s star Agathe Rouselle, wearing Louis Vuitton, and she is fucking pulling it off, proving that it’s not LV’s red carpet designs that suck, it’s the people they choose to wear them. Nicolas Ghesquière’s ideas are too out there to be worn by your average, conventionally-pretty stars, because they look fucking uncomfortable in them. With the exception being Cate Blanchett, but I’ll get there. Artists like Rouselle, now a face of the brand, make sense of these creations because they give them life.
Case in point, look at Léa Seydoux (nominated for France) in this custom Louis Vuitton. This is as lovely and conventional as it gets, but it still looks kinda boxy for a woman with, you know, lovely curves.
My favorite look among the men was Pierre Niney wearing a dark-silver Dior, nominated for Boîte noire (Black Box), which you’ll soon see adapted to the English-language and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. There’s no announcement or anything, it’s just a certainty.
Also a fan of this Chanel worn by Jeanne Balibar, nominated for Lost Illusions:
And I really loved this coat-dress hybrid by Alexis Mabille on Laure Calamy. Calamy, who you might (or should) know from Call My Agent!, was the incumbent Best Actress winner and a second-time nominee for Her Way.
Adèle Exarchopoulos (nominated for Mandibles) killed it again in Paco Rabanne. See designers of the world? You can make a woman with curves look sexy and classy! Adèle has been pulling that for years now.
Audrey Diwan also wore Chanel, from the same collection as Balibar. I also dig this, but I think it would’ve worked better as a jumpsuit.
Lucie Zhang was nominated for Most Promising Actress for Jacques Audiard Paris 13th District. She’s wearing Dior with a beautiful skirt print, but I don’t like the ruffles in the top part.
Another Most Promising Actress nominee was Noee Abita for Slalom. I like this Celine, but her 60s-style hairdo is the standout here, she’s totally pulling it off.
Ok, but now we just want to thirst.
Oh, I’m sorry! I would’ve assumed there was more than enough (respectful, classy) thirst to be had in any of the previous looks? Ok, fine, let’s just start with the man, myth, legend Omar Sy, who presented the Best Actress Awards. Who wouldn’t love this much swagger, but he has a way of making swagger chic. Omar Sy: Creator of Chic Swagger. The title is yours for the taking Monsieur. So… France’s most popular actor over the last decade is a beautiful Black, Muslim man… how do you like that Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour!
A second with Ana Girardot in Maison Valentino:
Here we have popular Belgian comedian Nawell Madani and her partner, Djebril Zonga, nominated in 2020 as Most Promising Actor for Les Misérables (not that one). They recently became parents to a baby girl.
They are in contention for the hottest couple of the evening with the ones in the banner picture: Virginie Efira (nominated for Benedetta) and Niels Schneider. They met in the set of An Impossible Love, where they play lovers separated by age and class and… you’ve already closed this tab to check it out, right? At least watch the whole thing and not just the, ahem… “selection”, you filthy, thirsty bastards!
Bonus: Cate Blanchett won an award in this one too?
Yep, shortly after winning the Goya’s first International Honorary Award, she won the Césars equivalent, presented by Isabelle Huppert (in Balenciaga), while Cate Blanchett showed up in Louis Vuitton, proving that you can pull those off. You just need to have Cate Blanchett’s swagger and poise. Still, not as good as the Armani she wore at the SAG Awards on Sunday, which reminded us that a) Breathing is important, b) When we think of Cate Blanchett, we think of her as one of the most beautiful, or the classiest or the most stylish women of our times. But we also forget that she’s HOT.
Alberto Cox acknowledges he might be too straight for these fashion reviews. Also, the producers behind Emily in Paris might want to take a look at the Césars, when an awards ceremony does a better job of representing France’s diversity, you REALLY have a problem.
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