Brad Pitt as a surprise guest, the broadcast interruption, Juliette Binoche’s repartee … What you missed from the César 2023


This Friday, February 24, the 48th edition of the Césars took place at the Olympia. Between surprise guest and humorous interventions, the ceremony could not help but carry multiple political messages.

In an attempt to revitalize the often decried Cesar ceremony, this 48th edition has tried to renew itself. While the evening was broadcast live and unencrypted on Canal + this Friday, February 24, the latter was not presented with one and the same voice but by thirteen personalities from the world of cinema. The presidency of the event was entrusted to Tahar Rahim. Then the presentation was delegated to a collegiate team of mistresses and masters of ceremonies. Emmanuelle Devos, Léa Drucker, Eye Haïdara, Leïla Bekti, Jérôme Commandeur, Jamel Debbouze, Alex Lutz, Raphaël Personnaz, Ahmed Sylla, Marina Foïs in the cast.

Jamel Debbouze was the first to jump into the arena. “I’m here because no one wanted to present alone”, jokes the comedian while warmly thanking the academy for offering him this opportunity. However, he revealed that he had set a sine qua non condition: to be the first to speak “because it’s the best moment of the evening, the most touching, everyone is still full of hope…”, jokes the actor. To present the first César of the evening, he is finally accompanied by actress Monica Bellucci. A duo who could only recall the cult film Asterix and Obelix: Cleopatra mission, in which Monica Bellucci plays the Queen of Egypt and Jamel Debbouze, Numerobis, the latter’s architect. This game, the two personalities replayed it 100% on the stage of the Olympia, going so far as to slip, throughout their conversation, into the shoes of the two Egyptians.

Jamel Debbouze and Monica Bellucci JOHANNA GERON / REUTERS

His interventions, although very funny, have proven to be incisive with regard to French cinema on many occasions. From the price of cinema tickets, to the accessibility of auteur films, including the lack of diversity among the nominees in each category or the growing rise of platforms. Everything goes there. “We are in deep shit. But we are the cinema or we are not the cinema ? We are the best cinema in Europe“, launched the actor and humorist Jamel Debbouze before adding: “I know how to stay that way.” His idea to lower the cost of an evening at the cinema for a couple, including the tickets, the popcorn and the nanny? Lower the nanny rate. And if this sketch seems innocent in appearance, it is ultimately in the image of his intervention: to convey strong messages while ironizing the situation.

The repartee of Juliette Binoche

However, the comedian was caught off guard in the middle of his speech. At the moment, he was suggesting that the key to guaranteeing greater theatrical success for auteur films was to add special effects to scripts. “Because when I read, I’m sorry : “Vincent Lindon languidly walks towards Juliette Binoche”, at “Languidly” we emptied the room. If you replace “languidly” with ninjas, my mother’s life is not the same film. […] There something is happening, there we make entries !“, he launches without imagining that the main concerned was going to manifest.

“I do not agree. You haven’t seen the movie!then chants Juliette Binoche while getting up from her chair. “I did not expect this intervention. What’s happening to her? Did you write this text to him?whispers Jamel Debbouze while pretending to go backstage.

A wave of support for Ukraine and Iran

After various allusions oriented towards French cinema, two women intervened to bring words from countries in turmoil. The ceremony is marked from the start of its broadcast by a message carried by Juliette Binoche paying homage to Ukraine. “A year ago, to the day, the Russian army under the orders of its president violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine”, she said before reading with great emotion the testimony of Svetlana, a Ukrainian who lost her family in the war.

Later in the evening, in the preamble to the announcement of the nominees for the César for best foreign film, Golshifteh Farahani sent his words of support to his people, the Iranian people. The young woman quotes Victor Hugo before affirming: “Perhaps it was his words that made me a freedom-loving exile […] but it’s not about me. This single person mentioned at the end of the poem is today a young girl, a young Iranian boy who is fighting against the death of human conscience.

Interruption of the ceremony

An activist from the Last Renovation environmental movement took the stage JOHANNA GERON / REUTERS

This year was no exception to the rule. Indeed, it is customary during each edition of the César that an incursion of demonstrators takes place. While Ahmed Sylla and Léa Drucker produced their sketch mixing Italian accent and Greek accent, an activist from the environmental movement Last Renovation came on stage.

“It had to fall on me”, gets annoyed with second degree Ahmed Sylla. A few seconds after this irruption on stage, the ceremony is suspended for a few moments. A clip grouping various trailers is then broadcast accompanied by a scrolling message justifying the stopping of the live broadcast by “an incident”.
When he returned to the air, the comedian joked about the situation, noting that his T-shirt – where “761 days left” was written – was not “not even ironed”.

feminist messages

A definitely political ceremony. The place of women in French cinema is more than ever exposed in the spotlight. And while no director was named, Alice Diop said after winning the César for best first film: “We will not be passing through, nor a fad (…) Thank you girls”, thus paying homage to the directors of the new generation. Wage inequalities were also on the agenda. “If I had been a producer, I would have paid you like a male actor!”launched the host for one evening, Eye Haïdara, by stating the nominees for the César for best actress in a supporting role.

The surprise for David Fincher is none other than … Brad Pitt

During the ceremony, Virginie Efira was commissioned to present the César d’honneur to director David Fincher. Rewarding all of his work, The Game To The Social Network Passing by Gone Girl, the American did not deserve. And to make this moment even more magical, a surprise has been concocted for him. And that surprise is none other than… Brad Pitt himself. The Hollywood actor, close to the director, then launched into a monologue, punctuated by various personal anecdotes, extolling the merits of the person concerned. A speech that sounds like a declaration of friendship… in its own way. “I adore this man with all my heart […] He’s the funniest bastard I know.” Then add: “My life changed forever that day in 1994 when I had coffee with David Fincher.”

The performance of rapper Dinos

Dinosaurs and Charlotte Gainsbourg JOHANNA GERON / REUTERS

An unexpected interpretation preceded the nomination for best original music: a concert by Charlotte Gainsbourg with rapper Dinos. The two artists interpreted on the piano voice the song written by Serge Gainsbourg, like a boomerang, sung by Étienne Daho and Dani. A performance that cries out for renewal. Indeed, she was far from being part of the habits of the ceremony. Receiving such opposing artists was unprecedented and Dinos did not fail to underline it. “Thank you to the César Academy for opening its door to rap, it was high time”, congratulates the 29-year-old rapper. Also on the sidelines of the presentation of the Césars, the pair Liliane and Catherine were back for a series of a few unpublished sketches. So, would this be the sign of a comeback of the satirical show carried by Alex Lutz and Bruno Sanches?

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