PARIS – The French film industry has rewarded a masterful drama based on the real-life tragedy of seven French monks abducted and beheaded during Algeria's civil war in 1996, giving the movie France's coveted Cesar award for best movie.
"Of Gods and Men" ("Des Hommes et des Dieux") by Xavier Beauvois won the second-place prize at last May's Cannes Film Festival.
The film was a heavy favorite with 11 nominations. Besides Best Picture, it also took home Best Supporting Actor (Michael Lonsdale) and Best Cinematography (Caroline Champetier).
Polanski's film was the night's most decorated film, taking home four awards including Best Director, Best Adaptation, Best Music, and Best Editing.
The award for Best Actor went to Eric Elmosnino for his lead role as French singer Serge Gainsbourg in "Gainsbourg (Heroic Life)." Best Actress went to Sara Forestier for her role in "The Names of Love," about a left-wing activist who converts political opponents to her cause by sleeping with them.