Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Coen brothers receive French award

Joel and Ethan Coen were honoured in France

Ethan and Joel Coen have been honoured with a prestigious prize in France, after being bestowed with the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

The Oscar-winning filmmakers said that the award was a "fortunate joke" as they were presented with the country's cultural tribute by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Sometimes life plays jokes on you. Some of them are very unfortunate. Some of them are very fortunate. This is one of the most fortunate jokes I think that life has played on us. We're very, very grateful for it," Joel said during the ceremony.

The brothers join past recipients U2 frontman Bono, Bruce Willis and Wong Kar-Wai in receiving the award, which is given by the French government to people who "significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance".

Despite being American, the Coens have premiered eight of their films at the Cannes Film Festival, and Barton Fink won the Palme d'Or in 1991. They were also part of the Paris tribute anthology Paris, je t'aime.

The siblings attended the red carpet premiere of their new film Inside Llewyn Davis, with stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman, at the BFI London Film Festival earlier in the week.

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