The César Awards 2020: Celebrating the Stars at Le Fouqeut’s

The César Awards 2020: Celebrating the Stars at Le Fouqeut’s

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courtesy of Le Fouquet’s

The Césars, AKA “the French Oscars,” are awarded annually by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma during a sparkling red carpet ceremony at Salle Pleyel, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in Paris.

So, what’s so special about French Cinema then? “French directors have always known how to perfect the art of entertainment. From love stories and comedies to family films, creative filmmakers often manage to walk the tightrope between serious and entertaining movies. Creating light, funny moments in moving dramas is true art and the French have that down pat,” explains Geraldine Dobey, General Manager of Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s. “And, France is a gift for locations,” adds Ms Dobey who hails from Ireland.

Le Fouquet’s, located on the Champs Elysées, traditionally hosts the Dîner de Gala created by Pierre Gagnaire, Le Fouquet’s Executive chefs Bruno Gueret & François Xavier Simon, along with a brigade of thousands.

Déjeuner des Nommés at Fouquet’s. Photo: Margaret Kemp

Last Sunday at Le Fouquet’s, following the announcement of “Les Nommés” (the contenders), the chefs served an invitation-only celebration lunch (Déjeuner des Nommés) for press, stars/celebs, actors, producers, and technicians nominated for awards by the 4313 members of the Académie des Césars.

During the lunch, each Nommé(e) received a Certificate of Nomination and each film with at least one nomination can be seen at the achingly hip left bank cinema Les 3 Luxembourg, part of L’Année Cinema César, from 12-25 February 2020. Info on www.academie-cinema.org.

Of the lunch, Gagnaire explained: “This year I decided to send out a sustainable vegetarian menu starring wonderful “forgotten” winter root vegetables – and to flag up new flavors.” Hardly surprising as PG has always been a forward-thinking setter of culinary trends.

Déjeuner des Nommés at Fouquet’s. Photo: Margaret Kemp

The starter, delicate Bavaroise of Jerusalem Artichoke, was punctuated with braised daikon radish, a drizzle of maple syrup/yellow mango/green apple and cucumber. Paired with Champagne Comtesse de Cerhes.

The main of cabbage was stuffed with cabbage (yes, it works, I want the recipe), poised on a delicate, pearl, white cabbage velouté, perfect with Baronne Charlotte 2017, AOC Graves. And dessert? Variations on a theme of L’Opéra – more champagne, of course!

The question everyone was asking: Will they dare to go veggie for the Gala Dinner? It’s a secret; “we’re waiting for feedback from today,” admitted Bruno Guéret.

Whatever, César and Le Fouquet’s go hand in hand. Just take a look at the copper “Walk of Fame” at the entrance to the world’s most iconic brasserie. The “walk” was created by Maurice Casanova, who acquired Le Fouquet’s in 1976 and welcomed the César awards and Le Dejeuner des Nommés. The rest, as they say, is history.

Déjeuner des Nommés at Fouquet’s. Photo: Margaret Kemp

Anna Karina (icon of the French new wave cinema) is 2020’s poster girl (from an image shot by Georges Dambier) for the 45th César Ceremony. The Danish born avant-garde actress, director, writer, singer (1940-2019) was the muse/wife of Jean Luc-Godard; her besties were Serge Gainsbourg, Coco Chanel, Pierre Cardin etc.

This year the 45th Céremonie des César, with President Sandrine Kiberlaine and Mistress of Ceremonies Florence Foresti, takes place on February 28th, 2020.

So, cinéphiles, look out for the following:
(And watch live (en clair) on Canal+ from 9 pm.)

BEST DIRECTOR
NICOLAS BEDOS – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
FRANÇOIS OZON – GRÂCE À DIEU
ERIC TOLEDANO, OLIVIER NAKACHE – HORS NORMES
ROMAN POLANSKI – J’ACCUSE
LADJ LY – LES MISÉRABLES
CÉLINE SCIAMMA – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU
ARNAUD DESPLECHIN – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE

BEST ACTRESS
ANAÏS DEMOUSTIER – ALICE ET LE MAIRE
EVA GREEN – PROXIMA
ADÈLE HAENEL – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU
CHIARA MASTROIANNI – CHAMBRE 212
NOÉMIE MERLANT – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU
DORIA TILLIER – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
KARIN VIARD – CHANSON DOUCE

BEST ACTOR
DANIEL AUTEUIL – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
DAMIEN BONNARD – LES MISÉRABLES
VINCENT CASSEL – HORS NORMES
JEAN DUJARDIN – J’ACCUSE
REDA KATEB – HORS NORMES
MELVIL POUPAUD – GRÂCE À DIEU
ROSCHDY ZEM – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE

BEST FOREIGN FILM
PAIN AND GLORY, director: Pedro Almodovar
LE JEUNE AHMED, directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
JOKER, director: Todd Phillips
LOLA VERS LA MER, director: Laurent Micheli
ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, director: Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE, director: Bong Joon-Ho
THE TRAITOR, director: Marco Bellocchio

Déjeuner des Nommés at Fouquet’s. Photo: Margaret Kemp

BEST DOCUMENTARY
68, MON PÈRE ET LES CLOUS, director: Samuel Bigiaoui
LA CORDILLÈRE DES SONGES, director: Patricio Guzman
LOURDES, directors: Thierry Demaizière, Alain Teurlai
M, dir: Yolande Zauberman
WONDER BOY OLIVIER ROUSTEING, NÉ SOUS X, director: Anissa Bonnefont

BEST FIRST FILM
ATLANTIQUE (Atlantics), director: Mati Diop
NOM DE LA TERRE, director: Edouard Bergeon
LE CHANT DU LOUP, director: Antonin Baudry
LES MISERABLES, director: Ladj Ly
PAPICHA, director: Mounia Meddour

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
NICOLAS BEDOS – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
FRANÇOIS OZON – GRÂCE À DIEU
ERIC TOLEDANO, OLIVIER NAKACHE – HORS NORMES
LADJ LY, GIORDANO GEDERLINI, ALEXIS MANENTI – LES MISÉRABLES
CÉLINE SCIAMMA – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
COSTA-GAVRAS – ADULTS IN THE ROOM
ROMAN POLANSKI, ROBERT HARRIS – J’ACCUSE
JÉRÉMY CLAPIN, GUILLAUME LAURANT – J’AI PERDU MON CORPS
ARNAUD DESPLECHIN, LÉA MYSIUS – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE
DOMINIK MOLL, GILLES MARCHAND – SEULES LES BÊTES

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
FANNY ARDANT – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
JOSIANE BALASKO – GRÂCE À DIEU
LAURE CALAMY – SEULES LES BÊTES
SARA FORESTIER – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE
HÉLÈNE VINCENT – HORS NORMES

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
SWANN ARLAUD – GRÂCE À DIEU
GRÉGORY GADEBOIS – J’ACCUSE
LOUIS GARREL – J’ACCUSE
BENJAMIN LAVERNHE – MON INCONNUE
DENIS MÉNOCHET – GRÂCE À DIEU

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !

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