Burton, Cotillard given France's top cultural honour

American film director Tim Burton and Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard have collected France’s highest artistic prize this week, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.


Burton, whose live-action 3D version of Alice in Wonderland comes out in cinemas in France next week, called it his "greatest" laurel yet as he was made a knight at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

"From the beginning of my career, I've always felt a very special place here in my heart for France," said Burton, who will chair the Cannes film festival jury this year.

"I always felt the French were looking for the poetry, looking for the meaning, looking for the things that I was trying to do.”

Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand presented Burton the medallion for creating a film universe which he said was “so personal, distinctive and poetic that it fascinates ceaselessly".

But Cotilliard, who scooped the Academy Award for best actress in 2008 for her depiction of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, instead winced when Mitterrand accidentally pricked her while pinning the medal to her blouse.

Mitterrand, who was quick to apologise, paid homage to Cotillard’s "charm so French".

Previous recipients of the honour include singers Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Kylie Minogue, and actors Dennis Hopper, Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman.


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