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CÉSAR – He is a faithful of the high mass of French cinema. In 1996, Anthony of Caunes assumed for the first time the role of master of Caesar ceremony. Here he is for the 10th time back at the controls of the upcoming edition, which will be held on February 25 at the Olympia and live on Canal +.
But if there is a ceremony that he would not have wanted to present, it is that of last year. “I would not have liked to be in the place of Marina Fois”, confides bluntly Antoine de Caunes during a press conference at which The HuffPost attended this Friday 28 January. “The configuration was so special, the atmosphere was freezing with only 150 spectators in the room and very few films were released because of the confinements. It was difficult to build something around that”, he continues.
“A Joyful Caesar Ceremony”
Marina Foïs had indeed had the difficult task of hosting the ceremony as the Academy began its overhaul after a deep internal crisis and that France was living under confinement, leaving all places of culture closed. The evening was a flop in terms of audiences: only 1.6 million people were in front of their television. She had, moreover, aroused a torrent of criticism deploring the navel-gazing of the world of cinema in the midst of a pandemic.
The horizon is happier for Antoine de Caunes this year. The host, also an actor and director, is delighted to see that “the cinema came back to life in 2021 with more than 100 million admissions”. “I want a joyful ceremony, emotions and laughter, a celebration of cinema as an art, but also as entertainment,” he promises as 22 statuettes will be presented on February 25. The film lost illusions adapted from Balzac’s work, the biopic Aline on Celine Dion and the Musical Annette by Leos Carax are among the favourites, proof of the diversity of genres in French production.
At the Olympia, Antoine de Caunes will have the chance to reconnect with the public since the 1,700 red armchairs in the room will be filled “with an audience of artists and the public upstairs” – if the sanitary conditions do not change. . The host has been working “for a while now” on this edition to “find the right balance between valve and respect for the celebration of cinema, which like the whole country is coming out of a difficult period.”
If he intends to ensure a “scrupulous parity of remitters and remitters” in the evening, we already know that an honorary Cesar will be awarded to Australian actress Cate Blanchett (seen very recently in don’t look up on Netflix) and that screenwriter and director Danièle Thompson will officiate as president.
A happening like that of Corinne Masiero?
In the shadows, Antoine de Caunes has surrounded himself with a team of authors to write his interventions, including Swiss comedian Marina Rollman, host Charline Roux, comedian Martin Darondeau (from the duo Jordi and Martin) , soon joined by screenwriter Thomas Bidegain (Stillwater, The Sisters Brothers, Dheepan).
Should we expect a happening as divisive as that of Corinne Masiero last year, which got naked to alert the government to the situation of intermittent workers in the face of the Covid-19 crisis?
“It’s not our intention to write sequences like that”, replies Antoine de Caunes who, as a regular at the ceremony, reminds us that it is live and that he will therefore not have everything under control. “People come to the microphone, speak up and sometimes say things that weren’t intended. It’s also part of the fun of exercise. But if we can avoid this register, we will do it.”
See also on The HuffPost: What Aïssa Maïga would do if she were president of the Académie des César