Oscar-nominated Amour filmmaker Michael Haneke has won two Cannes Palmes d’Or and yet never taken home a César Award. Tonight, that was rectified in spades when Amour took the Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Original Screenplay Césars at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone was also a big winner at France’s equivalent to the Oscars with four prizes including Adapted Screenplay. Shut out was Noémie Lvovsky’s Camille Redouble which was the most-nominated film by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma coming into the party. Ben Affleck’s Argo was named Best Foreign Film.

Amour producer Margaret Menegoz first accepted the Original Screenplay prize for Haneke, who is expected in L.A. tomorrow, saying “Michael is enchanted, flattered and full of happiness that this academy that represents the most emotive of cinemas, has finally recognized him as one of their own.”

Emmanuelle Riva, who is up for a Best Actress Oscar on Sunday and the oldest woman ever to have that distinction, was in Paris to accept her César for Amour. Following a standing ovation, she said, “I worked on this film with great passion and I am very lucky at this hour or my life” to come across such a “wonder” of a subject that is “so close to all of us. This is the first time I have received a César and I thank everyone.” When she tried to pick up her César and walk offstage, she had to hand the trophy off, “It’s heavier than I am!” Riva’s partner in Amour, Jean-Louis Trintignant was not present for his win as Best Actor. But his son mounted the stage to accept the prize and promptly called his dad in Brussels where the actor was performing a play. From the speaker phone on his son’s cell, Trintignant said, “Thank you everyone who voted for me and those who didn’t vote for me because the others are good too. I’m a bit emotional, kisses to everyone.”

Ben Affleck sent a note that read, “I am sincerely sorry to not be able to be with you tonight, but in the name of all the team I thank the Academy for this honor. For an American director, to be recognized by the French film industry and the public is a particular honor.”

Kevin Costner, in attendance to receive the Honorary César, was teary-eyed in accepting his trophy. “Everyone should know once in his life,” this type of honor, he said. “Pas de mystère, I’m an American and pas de mystère, j’ai fait des films de cowboy,” he continued. Speaking of his upcoming thriller Three Days To Kill, Costner said, “My career wouldn’t be complete without making a movie here in your beautiful country,” and thanked director McG who was also at the ceremony. Costner closed with, “Thank you for accepting me for who I am.”

Despite host Antoine de Caunes playing at least one presenter off by riding a scooter around the stage during his thank yous, the ceremony lasted a good three hours – and that’s without commercials or musical numbers (except for a gag that saw a Russian troupe singing France’s national anthem intercut with stock footage of France’s most famous exile, Gérard Depardieu). A full list of winners follows:

Best Picture
Amour

Director
Michael Haneke, Amour

Actress
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Actor
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

Supporting Actress
Valérie Benguigui, What’s In A Name

Supporting Actor
Guillaume de Tonquedec, What’s In A Name

Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke, Amour

Adapted Screenplay
Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Rust & Bone

Newcomer (Female)
Izia Higelin, Mauvaise Fille

Newcomer (Male)
Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust & Bone

Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, Rust & Bone

Sound
Antoine Deflandre, Germaine Boulay, Eric Tisserand, Cloclo

Cinematography
Romain Winding, Farewell, My Queen

Editing
Juliette Welfling, Rust & Bone

Costumes
Christian Gasc, Farewell, My Queen

Art Direction
Katia Wyszkop, Farewell, My Queen

First Film
Louise Wimmer, Cyril Mennegun

Foreign Film
Argo

Animated Film
Ernest Et Célestine, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier

Documentary
Les Invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz

Short Film
Le Cri Du Homard, Nicolas Guiot

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