Saturday, February 28, 2009

French film awards accused of box office snub

PARIS (Reuters) – French cinema held its version of the Oscars on Friday in a ceremony where self-congratulation after a year of box office and critical triumphs was dosed by claims that the biggest hit of all was snubbed.

The annual Cesars awards provide the local industry with one of its annual highlights, with a glitzy if rarely glitch-free night often mocked in France for its mix of gushing tributes and onstage gaffes by stars and presenters.

This year, French cinema had an unusually successful period to look back on, with an Oscar for actress Marion Cotillard, the first French film winner at Cannes in more than 20 years, and the biggest box office success in the industry's history.

But controversy is rarely far away and this year was no exception with claims that the Cesars ignored the popular comedy "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" (Welcome to the Sticks).

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