There were bound to be some pin-drop moments during tonight’s César Awards, but for the most part things ran smoothly until Roman Polanski was named Best Director for his Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer And A Spy, late into the evening. The film had already taken Best Costumes and Best Adapted Screenplay, yet when it was announced that Polanski was named Best Director, walkouts followed.
Most notable was actress Adèle Haenel (herself nominated in the lead category for Portrait Of A Lady On Fire) who recently accused another director of sexually abusing her from age 12. Each of the three times that Polanski’s Venice Grand Jury Prize winner was awarded a César tonight, there was discomfort in the room.
More from Deadline
- César Awards: Roman Polanski Wins Best Director, Spurring Walkouts; Ladj Ly's 'Les Misérables' Best Film - Full List
- Roman Polanski Says He Will Not Attend César Awards
- César Awards Board To Resign Amid Académie Membership Backlash & Controversy Over Roman Polanski Nominations
A l'annonce du César de la Meilleure Réalisation pour Roman Polanski ("J'accuse"), Adèle Haenel quitte la salle.
— CANAL+ (@canalplus) February 28, 2020
The entirety of the evening was punctuated with nods at both Polanski and the current state of France’s film academy whose board is resigning amid criticism from the voting body.
Comedic actress Florence Foresti, the host of the ceremony, kicked off the show with a pretaped Joker-themed bit which included her objectifying a young male dancer. She went on to say, “There are 12 moments where we’re going to have an issue tonight” presumably referencing An Officer And A Spy‘s 12 nominations.
The Césars were facing difficult odds this year given the controversy swirling around. And while Foresti did a solid job of running the proceedings, it is entirely welcome that the overseeing board has resigned with a move to overhaul the org ahead.
The groups that had earlier protested the ceremony also weighed in:
#cesar2020 #polanski les César de la honte ! #polanski meilleure réalisation : Adèle Haenel quitte la salle suivie par plusieurs dizaines de personnes . « Célébrer un violeur, c’est cracher à la figure de toutes les victimes » https://t.co/2vJKrkaIAO
— Osez le féminisme ! (@osezlefeminisme) February 28, 2020
Best of Deadline
- Hong Kong Filmart Postponed Due To Coronavirus Fears; Event Moves Two Weeks Before Toronto
- Peacock Programming: List Of NBCUniversal Streaming Service’s Series, Films, Sports, News & More
- Stan Lee's Legacy: Ranking The Hollywood Heroes Co-Created By The Marvel Comics Icon