César Award for Best Actress

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César Award for Best Actress
César de la meilleure actrice
Awarded for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Country France
Presented by Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma
Currently held by Sandrine Kiberlain
9 Month Stretch (2014)
Official website http://www.academie-cinema.org/

The César Award for Best Actress (French: César de la meilleure actrice) is one of the César Awards, presented annually by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma to recognize the outstanding performance in a leading role of an actress who has worked within the French film industry during the year preceding the ceremony. Nominees and winner are selected via a run-off voting by all the members of the Académie.

History[edit]

Superlatives[edit]

Superlative Best Actress Best Supporting Actress Overall
(including Most Promising Actress)
Actress with most awards Isabelle Adjani 5 Dominique Blanc 3 Isabelle Adjani 5
Actress with most nominations Isabelle Huppert 12 Dominique Blanc
Noémie Lvovsky
5 Isabelle Huppert 14
Actress with most nominations
without ever winning
Catherine Frot 6 Noémie Lvovsky 5 Catherine Frot
Noémie Lvovsky
6
Film with most nominations Too Beautiful for You
The Ceremony
8 Women
Feelings
Polisse
2 The Crisis 3 Venus Beauty Institute
8 Women
Polisse
4
Oldest winner Emmanuelle Riva 85 Suzanne Flon 72 Emmanuelle Riva 85
Oldest nominee Emmanuelle Riva 85 Denise Grey 86 Denise Grey 86
Youngest winner Sandrine Bonnaire 18 Emmanuelle Béart 23 Charlotte Gainsbourg 14
Youngest nominee Charlotte Gainsbourg 17 Christine Pascal 22 Charlotte Gainsbourg 14

As of 2013, 69 actresses have been nominated in the category, with a total of 29 different winners. The average age at first nomination is 36 and the average age of winners at first win is 38.

With five wins (1982, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2010), Isabelle Adjani has more César Award for Best Actress than any other woman. Five actresses have won two Best Actress César: Romy Schneider (1976, 1979), Sabine Azéma (1985, 1987), Catherine Deneuve (1981, 1993), Nathalie Baye (1983, 2006) and Yolande Moreau (2005, 2009).

Adjani also holds the record of most César Award in an acting category and of most César in a single artistic category. She is followed with 4 César by Dominique Blanc (1 Best Actress César and 3 Best Supporting Actress César) and Nathalie Baye (2 Best Actress César and 2 Best Supporting Actress César).

Isabelle Huppert holds the record of most nominations with 12, followed by Catherine Deneuve and Miou-Miou with 10 nominations each. Huppert has been nominated a total of 14 times, which makes her the overall most-nominated female performer.

Cécile de France is the only actress to have been nominated for two different roles the same year, in 2007 for Avenue Montaigne and for When I Was a Singer. The Académie has since modified the nomination rules to ensure that no one could receive more than one individual nomination by category.

Six women have won both the César Award for Best Actress and the César Award for Best Supporting Actress:

  • Nathalie Baye (Best Supporting Actress in 1981 and 1982, Best Actress in 1983 and 2006)
  • Annie Girardot (Best Actress in 1977, Best Supporting Actress in 1996 and 2002),
  • Dominique Blanc (Best Supporting Actress in 1991, 1993 and 1999, Best Actress in 2001),
  • Karin Viard (Best Actress in 2000, Best Supporting Actress in 2003),
  • Marion Cotillard (Best Supporting Actress in 2005, Best Actress in 2008)
  • Emmanuelle Devos (Best Actress in 2002, Best Supporting Actress in 2010).

Nathalie Baye is the only actress with multiple wins in both categories. She is also the only performer to have won an acting César in three consecutive years, in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Three films have received both accolades: One Deadly Summer in 1984 (Best Actress to Isabelle Adjani, Best Supporting Actress to Suzanne Flon), Indochine in 1993 (Best Actress to Catherine Deneuve, Best Supporting Actress to Dominique Blanc) and Queen Margot in 1995 (Best Actress to Isabelle Adjani, Best Supporting Actress to Virna Lisi).

Four women have won the César Award for Best Actress after previously winning the César Award for Most Promising Actress:

Only one film has received both accolades: The Dreamlife of Angels in 1999 (Best Actress to Elodie Bouchez, Most Promising Actress to Natacha Régnier).

Nine women have received nominations in the three competitive acting categories: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Actress. They are Emmanuelle Béart, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dominique Blanc, Anne Brochet, Karin Viard, Sandrine Kiberlain, Emmanuelle Devos, Marion Cotillard and Sylvie Testud. So far, no actress has achieved to win the three awards.

To date, the longest living winner is Emmanuelle Riva, aged 86, and the most short-lived is Romy Schneider, who died at 43. The earliest winner who is still alive is Miou-Miou (Memoirs of a French Whore, 1980).

Posthumous nominations[edit]

There have been only two posthumous nominations for any acting César and both occurred in the Best Actress category. Romy Schneider was nominated in 1983 for The Passerby, seven months after her death possibly by suicide. Pascale Ogier died of a drug overdose at 25, three months before receiving a nomination for Full Moon in Paris in 1985.

Romy Schneider is the only actress to have been presented a posthumous Honorary César, in 2008. Actor Alain Delon presented the César, as the date also corresponded to the forty years of the iconic film La Piscine in which they starred together. During the standing ovation, he turned towards a giant portrait of the actress and declared in German that she was the love of his life.

International presence[edit]

As the César Awards are centered on the French Cinema, the majority of recipients are French and performed in French language. The only non-French winner of the Best Actress César is Belgian actress Yolande Moreau (2005, 2009). Isabelle Adjani's mother is German and Marina Hands's father is British, but they both only hold French citizenship. Romy Schneider was born German and Bérénice Bejo Argentine, but both had become French naturalized citizens by the time of their wins.

International actresses who have received nomination are:

The Best Actress César has been awarded twice for a foreign-language performance: to Isabelle Adjani for her English-language performance in Possession (1982) and to Sylvie Testud for her Japanese-language performance in Fear and Trembing (2004). In addition, Bérénice Bejo is the only performer in the history of the César to receive an award for a silent role, in The Artist (2012).

Other awards[edit]

Four actresses have received nominations for both the César Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Actress:

Cotillard is the only woman to have won a Best Actress César and Oscar for the same performance. The other actress to have won both awards is Simone Signoret but she did it with two different films.

Bérénice Bejo is the only actress to have been nominated for the César Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, in 2008 for The Artist; she won the César but lost the Oscar. Juliette Binoche is the only actress to have won both awards, but for two different performances.

Two actresses have won both the Best Actress César and the Best Actress Award of the Cannes Film Festival for the same performance: Isabelle Adjani for Possession and Elodie Bouchez for The Dreamlife of Angels. In addition, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche have won both awards as well, but not for the same role.

Winners and nominees[edit]

Following the AATC's practice, the films below are listed by year of ceremony, which corresponds to the year following the film's year of release. For example, the César for Best Actress of 2010 was awarded on February 27, 2010 for a performance in a film released between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.

Actresses are selected via a two-round vote: first round to choose the nominees, second round to designate the winner. All the members of the Académie, without regard to their branch, are eligible to vote on both rounds. The number of nominees, initially set to four, was expanded to five in 1984 and then to seven in 2012.

Winners are listed first in bold, followed by the other nominees in alphabetic order.

1970s[edit]

Year Winner and Nominees Film Original Title Role(s)
1976
(1st)
Romy Schneider That Most Important Thing: Love L'Important c'est d'aimer Nadine Chevalier
Isabelle Adjani The Story of Adele H. L'Histoire d'Adèle H. Adèle Hugo
Catherine Deneuve Lovers Like Us Le Sauvage Nelly Ratabou
Delphine Seyrig India Song Anne-Marie Stretter
1977
(2nd)
Annie Girardot Docteur Françoise Gailland Françoise Gailland
Isabelle Adjani Barocco Laure
Miou-Miou F comme Fairbanks Marie
Romy Schneider Une Femme à sa fenêtre Margot Santorini
1978
(3rd)
Simone Signoret Madame Rosa La Vie devant soi Madame Rosa
Brigitte Fossey Les Enfants du placard Juliette
Isabelle Huppert The Lacemaker La Dentellière Pomme
Miou-Miou This Sweet Sickness Dites-lui que je l'aime Juliette
Delphine Seyrig Repérages Julie
1979
(4th)
Romy Schneider A Simple Story Une Histoire simple Marie
Anouk Aimée Mon premier amour Jane Romain
Annie Girardot The Key Is in the Door La Clé sur la porte Marie Arnault
Isabelle Huppert Violette Nozière Violette Nozière

1980s[edit]

Year Winner and Nominees Film Original Title Role(s)
1980
(5th)
Miou-Miou Memoirs of a French Whore La Dérobade Marie
Nastassja Kinski Tess Tess d'Uberville
Dominique Laffin The Crying Woman La Femme qui pleure Dominique
Romy Schneider Clair de femme Lydia
1981
(6th)
Catherine Deneuve The Last Metro Le Dernier Métro Marion Steiner
Nathalie Baye A Week's Vacation Une Semaine de vacances Laurence
Nicole Garcia My American Uncle Mon Oncle d'Amérique Janine Garnier
Isabelle Huppert Loulou Nelly
1982
(7th)
Isabelle Adjani Possession Anna / Helen
Fanny Ardant The Woman Next Door La Femme d'à côté Mathilde Bauchard
Catherine Deneuve Hotel America Hôtel des Amériques Hélène
Isabelle Huppert Coup de torchon Rose Marcaillou
1983
(8th)
Nathalie Baye La Balance Nicole Danet
Miou-Miou Josepha Josepha Manet
Romy Schneider (posthumous) The Passerby La Passante du Sans-Souci Elsa Wiener / Lina Baumstein
Simone Signoret L'Etoile du Nord Madame Baron
1984
(9th)
Isabelle Adjani One Deadly Summer L'Eté meurtrier Eliane
Fanny Ardant Confidentially Yours Vivement dimanche ! Barbara Becker
Nathalie Baye J'ai épousé une ombre Hélène Georges
Nicole Garcia Les Mots pour le dire Marie
Miou-Miou Entre Nous Coup de foudre Madeleine
1985
(10th)
Sabine Azéma A Sunday in the Country Un Dimanche à la campagne Irène
Jane Birkin The Pirate La Pirate Alma
Valérie Kaprisky The Public Woman La Femme publique Ethel
Julia Migenes Carmen Carmen
Pascale Ogier (posthumous) Full Moon in Paris Les Nuits de la pleine lune Louise
1986
(11th)
Sandrine Bonnaire Vagabond Sans Toit ni loi Mona Bergeron
Isabelle Adjani Subway Helena
Juliette Binoche Rendez-vous Nina / Anne Larrieux
Nicole Garcia Death in a French Garden Péril en la demeure Julia Tombsthay
Charlotte Rampling On ne meurt que deux fois Barbara Spark
1987
(12th)
Sabine Azéma Mélo Romaine Belcroix
Juliette Binoche Mauvais Sang Anna
Jane Birkin La Femme de ma vie Laura
Béatrice Dalle Betty Blue 37°2 le matin Betty
Miou-Miou Ménage Tenue de soirée Monique
1988
(13th)
Anémone The Grand Highway Le Grand Chemin Marcelle
Sandrine Bonnaire Under the Sun of Satan Sous le Soleil de Satan Mouchette
Catherine Deneuve Agent trouble Amanda Webber
Nastassja Kinski Maladie d'amour Juliette
Jeanne Moreau The Miracle Le Miraculé Sabine
1989
(14th)
Isabelle Adjani Camille Claudel Camille Claudel
Catherine Deneuve A Strange Place to Meet Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre France
Charlotte Gainsbourg The Little Thief La Petite Voleuse Janine Castang
Isabelle Huppert Story of Women Une Affaire de femmes Marie Latour
Miou-Miou The Reader La Lectrice Constance / Marie

1990s[edit]

Year Winner and Nominees Film Original Title Role(s)
1990
(15th)
Carole Bouquet Too Beautiful for You Trop belle pour toi Florence Barthélémy
Sabine Azéma Life and Nothing But La Vie et rien d'autre Irène de Courtil
Josiane Balasko Too Beautiful for You Trop belle pour toi Colette Chevassu
Emmanuelle Béart Children of Chaos Les Enfants du désordre Marie
Sandrine Bonnaire Monsieur Hire Alice
1991
(16th)
Anne Parillaud Nikita Nikita
Nathalie Baye Un week-end sur deux Camille Valmont
Anne Brochet Cyrano de Bergerac Roxane
Tsilla Chelton Tatie Danielle Danielle Billard
Miou-Miou May Fools Milou en mai Camille
1992
(17th)
Jeanne Moreau The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea La Vielle qui marchait dans la mer Lady M.
Emmanuelle Béart La Belle Noiseuse Marianne
Juliette Binoche The Lovers on the Bridge Les Amants du Pont-Neuf Michèle STalens
Anouk Grinberg Merci la vie Joëlle
Irène Jacob The Double Life of Véronique La double vie de Véronique Weronika / Véronique
1993
(18th)
Catherine Deneuve Indochine Eliane Devries
Anémone Le petit Prince a dit Mélanie
Emmanuelle Béart A Heart in Winter Un Cœur en hiver Camille
Juliette Binoche Damage Fatale Anna Barton
Caroline Cellier Le Zèbre Camille
1994
(19th)
Juliette Binoche Three Colors: Blue Trois Couleurs : Bleu Julie Vignon de Courcy
Sabine Azéma Smoking/No Smoking Célia / Sylvie / Irène / Jospéhine
Josiane Balasko Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes Irène
Catherine Deneuve My Favorite Season Ma Saison préférée Emilie
Anouk Grinberg 1, 2, 3, Sun Un, deux, trois, soleil Victorine
Miou-Miou Germinal Maheude
1995
(20th)
Isabelle Adjani Queen Margot La Reine Margot Marguerite de Valois
Anémone Something Fishy Pas très catholique Maxime Chabrier
Sandrine Bonnaire Joan the Maiden Jeanne la Pucelle Joan of Arc
Isabelle Huppert The Separation La Séparation Anne
Irène Jacob Three Colors: Red Trois Couleurs : Rouge Valentine Dussaut
1996
(21st)
Isabelle Huppert The Ceremony La Cérémonie Jeanne
Sabine Azéma Happiness Is in the Field Le Bonheur est dans le pré Nicole Bergeade
Emmanuelle Béart Nelly and Mr. Arnaud Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud Nelly
Juliette Binoche The Horseman on the Roof Le Hussard sur le toit Pauline de Théus
Sandrine Bonnaire The Ceremony La Cérémonie Sophie
1997
(22nd)
Fanny Ardant Pédale douce Eva
Catherine Deneuve Thieves Les Voleurs Marie Leblanc
Charlotte Gainsbourg Love, etc. Marie
Anouk Grinberg My Man Mon Homme Marie Abarth
Marie Trintignant The Scream of the Silk Le Cri de la soie Marie Benjamin
1998
(23rd)
Ariane Ascaride Marius and Jeannette Le Grand Chemin Marcelle
Sabine Azéma Same Old Song On connaît la chanson Odile Lalande
Marie Gillain On Guard Le Bossu Aurore de Nevers
Sandrine Kiberlain Seventh Heaven Le Septième ciel Mathilde
Miou-Miou Dry Cleaning Nettoyage à sec Nicole
1999
(24th)
Elodie Bouchez The Dreamlife of Angels La Vie rêvée des anges Isa
Catherine Deneuve Place Vendôme Marianne
Isabelle Huppert The School of Flesh L'Ecole de la chair Dominique
Sandrine Kiberlain For Sale A vendre France Robert
Marie Trintignant Comme elle respire Jeanne

2000s[edit]

Year Winner and Nominees Film Original Title Role(s)
2000
(25th)
Karin Viard Haut les Cœurs ! Emma
Nathalie Baye Venus Beauty Institute Vénus Beauté (Institut) Angèle
Sandrine Bonnaire East/West Est-Ouest Marie Golovine
Catherine Frot La Dilettante Pierrette Dumortier
Vanessa Paradis Girl on the Bridge La Fille sur le pont Adèle
2001
(26th)
Dominique Blanc Stand-by Hélène
Emmanuelle Béart Sentimental Destinies Les Destinées sentimentales Pauline
Juliette Binoche The Widow of Saint-Pierre La Veuve de Saint-Pierre Madame La
Isabelle Huppert The King's Daughters Saint-Cyr Madame de Maintenon
Muriel Robin Marie-Line Marie-Line
2002
(27th)
Emmanuelle Devos Read My Lips Sur mes lèvres Carla Behm
Catherine Frot Chaos Hélène
Isabelle Huppert The Piano Teacher La Pianiste Erika Kohut
Charlotte Rampling Under the Sand Sous le sable Marie Drillon
Audrey Tautou Amélie Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain Amélie Poulain
2003
(28th)
Isabelle Carré Beautiful Memories Se Souvenir des belles choses Claire Poussin
Fanny Ardant 8 Women Huit Femmes Pierrette
Ariane Ascaride Marie-Jo and Her Two Lovers Marie-Jo et ses deux amours Marie-Jo
Juliette Binoche Jet Lag Décalage horaire Rose
Isabelle Huppert 8 Women Huit Femmes Augustine
2004
(29th)
Sylvie Testud Fear and Trembling Stupeur et tremblements Amélie Nothomb
Josiane Balasko That Woman Cette femme-là Michèle Varin
Nathalie Baye Feelings Les Sentiments Carole
Isabelle Carré Feelings Les Sentiments Edith
Charlotte Rampling Swimming Pool Sarah Morton
2005
(30th)
Yolande Moreau When the Sea Rises Quand la mer monte... Irène
Maggie Cheung Clean Emily
Emmanuelle Devos Kings and Queen Rois et reine Nora
Audrey Tautou A Very Long Engagement Un long dimanche de fiançailles Mathilde
Karin Viard The Role of Her Life Le Rôle de sa vie Claire Rocher
2006
(31st)
Nathalie Baye The Young Lieutenant Le petit lieutenant Commandant Vaudieu
Isabelle Carré Entre ses mains Claire Gauthier
Anne Consigny Not Here to Be Loved Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé Françoise Rubion
Isabelle Huppert Gabrielle Gabrielle Hervey
Valérie Lemercier Palais royal ! Princesse Armelle
2007
(32nd)
Marina Hands Lady Chatterley Lady Chatterley
Cécile de France Avenue Montaigne Fauteuils d'orchestre Jessica
Cécile de France When I Was a Singer Quand j'étais chanteur Marion
Catherine Frot The Page Turner La Tourneuse de pages Ariane Fouchécourt
Charlotte Gainsbourg I Do Prête-moi ta main Emma
2008
(33rd)
Marion Cotillard La Vie en rose La Môme Edith Piaf
Isabelle Carré Anna M. Anna M.
Cécile de France A Secret Un Secret Tania
Marina Foïs Darling Catherine Nicolle a.k.a. Darling
Catherine Frot Odette Toulemonde Odette Toulemonde
2009
(34th)
Yolande Moreau Séraphine Séraphine Louis
Catherine Frot Le crime est notre affaire Prudence Beresford
Kristin Scott Thomas I've Loved You So Long Il y a longtemps que je t'aime Juliette Fontaine
Tilda Swinton Julia Julia
Sylvie Testud Sagan Françoise Sagan

2010s[edit]

Year Winner and Nominees Film Original Title Role(s)
2010
(35th)
Isabelle Adjani Skirt Day La Journée de la jupe Sonia Bergerac
Dominique Blanc The Other One L'Autre Anne-Marie
Sandrine Kiberlain Mademoiselle Chambon Véronique Chambon
Kristin Scott Thomas Leaving Partir Suzanne
Audrey Tautou Coco Before Chanel Coco avant Chanel Gabrielle Chanel
2011
(36th)
Sara Forestier The Names of Love Le Nom des gens Bahia Benmahmoud
Isabelle Carré Romantics Anonymous Les Emotifs anonymes Angélique
Catherine Deneuve Potiche Suzanne Pujol
Charlotte Gainsbourg The Tree L'Arbre Dawn O'Neil
Kristin Scott Thomas Sarah's Key Elle s'appelait Sarah Julia Jarmond
2012
(37th)
Bérénice Bejo The Artist Peppy Miller
Ariane Ascaride The Snows of Kilimanjaro Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro Marie-Claire
Leïla Bekhti The Source La Source des femmes Leïla
Valérie Donzelli Declaration of War La Guerre est déclarée Juliette
Marina Foïs Polisse Iris
Marie Gillain All Our Desires Toutes nos envies Claire
Karin Viard Polisse Nadine
2013
(38th)
Emmanuelle Riva Amour Anne Laurent
Marion Cotillard Rust and Bone De rouille et d'os Stéphanie
Catherine Frot Haute Cuisine Les saveurs du Palais Hortense Laborie
Noémie Lvovsky Camille Rewinds Camille redouble Camille Vaillant
Corinne Masiero Louise Wimmer Louise Wimmer
Léa Seydoux Farewell, My Queen Les Adieux à la Reine Sidonie Laborde
Hélène Vincent A Few Hours of Spring Quelques heures de printemps Yvette Évrard
2014
(39th)
Sandrine Kiberlain 9 Month Stretch 9 mois ferme Ariane Felder
Fanny Ardant Bright Days Ahead Les Beaux Jours Caroline
Bérénice Bejo The Past Le Passé Marie Brisson
Catherine Deneuve On My Way Elle s'en va Bettie
Sara Forestier Suzanne Suzanne Suzanne
Emmanuelle Seigner Venus in Fur La Vénus à la fourrure Vanda
Léa Seydoux Blue Is the Warmest Colour La Vie d'Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 Emma

Multiple nominations[edit]

Three actresses share the record of most consecutive nominations with 3: Juliette Binoche (1992, 1993, 1994), Isabelle Huppert (2001, 2002, 2003) and Kristin Scott Thomas (2009, 2010, 2011).

External links[edit]