In 1993, she passed from the status of great actress to that (never refuted since) ofcinema icon French. 30 years ago, when Gala appeared in newsstands, Catherine Deneuve was awarded the Cesar for Best Actressfor her role as Éliane Devries, heiress of a colonial plantation in the 1930s, in Indochina. Régis Wargnier’s film has a global success, with 3 million admissions in France alone. This large historical fresco of 2h40 had been entirely written and financed around the actress then 49 years old.
Indochina was also a renewal for the one who, at that time, struggled to find scripts to his liking and was less and less on the bill since the early 1980s. “It’s Catherine’s year!”even exalts the voice-over of the 1993 César ceremony, while Catherine Deneuve went on stage to recover this prize won against Anémone, Emmanuelle Béart, Juliette Binoche and Caroline Cellier.
From the desk of the Césars, Catherine Deneuve pays close attention to the four screenwriters of the film, Catherine Cohen, Louis Gardel, Erik Orsenna, Régis Wargnier. “I would like to thank the writers, who are not here tonight. They dreamed of me […] JI thank them for having written Éliane while thinking of me“she greets them, emphasizing the quality of their writing. “I had the same kind of emotion as reading the script for Last Metro“had indicated Catherine Deneuve to the Figaroscope at the time of theatrical releaseIndochina. A comparison between the two films that seems to have made work of prophecy.
Indeed, her role as Marion Steiner in François Truffaut’s film had already earned her a César for best actress in 1981, won against Nathalie Baye, Nicole Garcia and Isabelle Huppert. But this second award won with Indochina tastes even tastier. Because in twelve years, the Césars (of which it was only the sixth edition in 1981) have gained in prestige. And this prize comes to dedicate a actress performance which places him in the firmament of French cinema.
Catherine Deneuve, not Caesarized for 30 years
This status of icon, Catherine Deneuve built it slowly, without foreseeing it, film after film. Over the decades, the actress has multiplied the films in front of the camera of renowned directors. “I would like to say to you here tonight my gratitude and appreciationbecause I can’t tell them anymore, I think a lot about them and it’s a little thanks to them if I’m here tonight: I’m thinking a lot tonight Jacques Demyto Luis Buñuel and François Truffaut“she was moved in 1993 during her acceptance speech. Three very big names in cinema, who had already passed away in 1993, and who had been able to spot his talent very early on.
But, despite a special status still recognized and celebrated today, Catherine Deneuve has not been honored by the Césars since 1993. Before Indochinashe had already been nominated five times, in 1976, obviously in 1981, in 1982, in 1988 and in 1989. After this second César, she was again nominated eight times, in 1994, in 1997, in 1999, in 2006 , in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In total, the actress has been nominated for the César 14 timesfor only two victories.
However, the recognition of Catherine Deneuve’s performance in Indochina is international. Her role as Eliane Devries also earned her in 1993 to be nominated for the Oscar for best actress. A hope of a whole country that will ultimately be disappointed. The Oscar was won that year by Emma Thompson for her role in the film Return to Howards End. She and Catherine Deneuve were opposite Mary McDonnell, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon. Indochina was also rewarded at the Golden Globes, a few weeks before the 1993 Cesar.
Photo credits: DA Gala / BEST_IMAGE
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Catherine Deneuve: 1993, the year of the coronation of an icon of French cinema – Gala