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London's Favourite

London's Favourite French Film 2008 - The Results

By No author

On the 19th June, after weeks of anticipation, the results were finally revealed at the Gala Award Night held at the French Institute in South Kensington. Paul Ryan, who presented the award last year together with Patricia Connell, France In London’s Managing Director, was unwell and was unfortunately unable to make it to the event. Julien Planté, who is in charge of the film sections at the French Institute stepped in to save the day and what a day he saved.

The auditorium was absolutely packed with an impressive mix of people: some had been invited, others had bought their tickets, others had won their tickets and finally, the distributors were there to pick up their awards.
Contrary to the previous years, there was also something new, Lorraine Levy, the director of the film, Mes Amis, Mes Amours, about to be shown after the awards, was in the audience. For the first time ever her film was going to be seen by a fee paying crowd and she was both anxious and looking forward to it.


The Awards

Patricia Connell, briefly thanked the audience and explained how people had been voting on the website. Visitors had to pick a maximum of 5 films out of a list of 35 which had all been released in the UK in the last 12 months.
All in all, a few thousand votes had been cast and the winners were finally announced.



First Place

La Vie en Rose (Dir. Olivier Dahan) with Marion Cotillard in the Role of Piaf
Marion Cotillard won both a Bafta and an Oscar for her part.


Tell No One
Tell No One



Second Place Tell No One (Dir. Guillaume Canet) with François Cluzet, André Dussollier and Marie-Josée Croze.



Third Place

Persepolis (Dir. Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi)



1    La Vie en Rose    (Dir. Olivier Dahan)
2    Tell No One    (Dir. Guillaume Canet)
3    Persepolis    (Dir. Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi)
4    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly    (Dir. Julian Schnabel)
5    Welcome to the Sticks    (Dir. Dany Boon)
6    Two days in Paris    (Dir. Julie Delpy)
7    My Best Friend    (Dir. Patrice Leconte)
8    Paris Je t’aime    (Dir. Olivier Assayas, Frédéric Auburtin, Christoffer Boe)
9    Moliere    (Dir. Laurent Tirard)
10  The Singer    (Dir. Xavier Giannoli)

Zac Brilliant (MD of Icon), Justin Marciano (MD of Revolver) and Isabelle Stewart of Optimum), all came on stage to say a few words and received their respective awards.

The atmosphere in the auditorium was by then relatively relaxed and friendly and came the Free Draw winners’ turn to receive their prizes (All the voters were entered in a free prize draw).


The Free Prize Draw Winners

1st Beatrice Tissier  - A week for up to eight people in one of St Tropez most exclusive Villas courtesy of The Villa Book.
2nd Lucy Ash – A long weekend for 4 in a beautiful apartment in Paris in St Germain des Prés.
3rd Micheal Howes – A weekend stay for 2 in one of the Hotel du Vin's many hotels.

For the full list of winners , click here



Lorraine Levy and Mes Amis, Mes Amours




Lorraine Levy came on stage to introduce her latest film Mes Amis, Mes Amours based on her brother Marc’s best-selling novel. She was initially quite nervous and only gave a very short introduction after deciding to let the film speak for itself.

Mes Amis, Mes Amours

The audience laughed and laughed and it can be said that this film with little pretention other than being a lovely little romantic comedy, was on the whole very well received by the public. Many thought that she had created a sweet fun story The actors  obviously  worked well together. The duo Lindon/Elbé was less stereotyped and based on more of an equal footing that could have been expected from the novel, and as a result it made it more subtle and more believable in many ways.
Bernardette Lafond’s part was less eccentric than could be expected and again was more realistic.  What made the film so interesting for us French Expats living in London was to be able to see London though the eyes of a French person who had never lived here but for a few days staying at her brother's or during filming. She made us discover a London that we don’t often get to see. The London that lies right on the other side of London, Borough market, the East end, London Bridge even.  
You may have seen her very first film as a director a few years ago: ‘La première fois que j’ai eu 20 ans’. Lorraine, who up until recently was primarily a scriptwriter, wished to be also behind the camera and eventually made the jump. Of course, the Lycée was there as well as a few shots of South Kensington, but no Bute Street (Frog Street) to be seen and the familiar Frenchbook shop was no longer the same with perhaps the only exception of having l’Equipe being sold in the background and transformed into a bookshop from another time another era. Lorraine has managed to put into pictures her brother’s book and make it probably better in the process. What was, let’s be honest a very poor story, has become a fun little romantic comedy.  Sorry Marc, but Lorraine has made a better job of it than you have.


Lorraine Levy
Lorraine Levy


Lorraine was very good at answering the public’s questions even when some of them were relatively not very diplomatic. She informed the audience that she was currently working on a new script. The story is based in England on the coast and she dreams of having for her next film Emma Thomson as her lead actress. She also admitted to thinking of camping in front of Emma’s door to get her to say yes because she is so hard to get hold of. Emma Thomson only does one film a year and she is so very much in demand throughout the world. So this could be the answer but it might also be construed as harassment.
The public warmed up to her very quickly and there wasn’t one negative point made about her or her film.
So well done Lorraine. We all look forward to seeing your next film when you have finally put it to bed.


The film is out exclusively in London from July 4th.


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