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Robert Redford gets honorary French 'Oscar'

Robert Redford evoked some of his earliest memories of visiting France as he was awarded an honorary Cesar (22 February 2019)
Robert Redford evoked some of his earliest memories of visiting France as he was awarded an honorary Cesar (22 February 2019) REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

"Custody", Xavier Legrand's debut film about a couple's custody battle, won four main awards at the Césars, the equivalent of the  'Oscars' for French cinema. Veteran actor Robert Redford received an honorary award.

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"Custody", a film about domestic violence and a divorced couple's battle over their son, was the big winner at the "French Oscars" -- the Cesars -- on Friday, where veteran US actor and director Robert Redford was presented with an honorary award.

Custody - Official Trailer

Released in France under its original title of "Jusqu'à la garde", "Custody" is director Xavier Legrand's first feature-length movie and took home four awards including best film and best original screenplay.

It also earned a best leading actress award for Lea Drucker, who plays Miriam, a brave but fragile mother struggling to recover after her separation and fighting to protect her son from his violent father.

"When we made the film in 2016, 123 women were killed by their partner or ex-partner" in France, Legrand said as he picked up his award.

"Since January 1, 2019, 25 women have been killed, which means we've gone from one woman every three days, as it was in 2016, to one every two days."

El director Xavier Legrand y Alexandre Gavras reciben el premio César a la mejor película por "Custodia Compartida". París, 22 de febrero de 2019.
El director Xavier Legrand y Alexandre Gavras reciben el premio César a la mejor película por "Custodia Compartida". París, 22 de febrero de 2019. ®REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Honorary César for Robert Redford

The awards ceremony, the biggest of its kind recognising French cinema, is now in its 44th year and was held at a glittering gala celebration in Paris.

"I would like to dedicate this award to all the Miriams, all the women who are not living a fiction but a tragic reality," Drucker said as she collected her statuette.

The awards also paid homage to Redford, 82, granting him an honorary Cesar and the US star used the occasion to share some of his earliest memories of visiting France.

The honorary award last year went to Spanish actress Penelope Cruz.

Jacques Audiard received the best director award for "The Sisters Brothers" ("Les Freres Sisters") while Alex Lutz took best actor for his depiction of "Guy", which he also wrote and directed.

The big favourite ahead of the night, "Sink or Swim" ("Le Grand Bain"), a comedy about a group of men throwing themselves into the world of synchronised swimming, had a disappointing evening, winning only a best supporting actor award for Philippe Katerine.

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