Belfast Telegraph

French actress Isabelle Huppert named actress of the year

Isabelle Huppert has been named actress of the year at the Critics' Circle Film Awards for her role as an ordinary woman in Things To Come.

She said the award "cast a light on a film that speaks honestly about a woman's life in a realistic way - not fantasy, just how it is".

The 63-year-old French star plays Natalie Chazeaux, a philosophy teacher faced with the death of her mother, getting fired from her job and her husband's affair.

Huppert was also presented with the prize for excellence in cinema at the awards' 37th ceremony at The May Fair Hotel in central London.

She told the Press Association: "The film is very telling for women as well as men and it is doing very well in other countries, which is an indication that more films like this should be being made.

"Things need to be said about women's lives in general and cinema has that power."

Her recognition comes a day after hundreds of thousands of people turned out in cities across the world to protest against comments made by new US president Donald Trump about women.

Moonlight star Naomie Harris, who picked up an award for best supporting actress at the event, said she "started crying" after hearing about the success of the Women's March.

She told the Press Association: "I was so moved by the level of solidarity and community, of men and women marching together and making sure their voices were heard.

"It's such a beautiful thing, it's overwhelming - the numbers are astonishing."

She also said while she faced one of the toughest challenges of her career in the Barry Jenkins film, she would "love" to reprise her role as Miss Moneypenny in a new James Bond film.

During the ceremony, Casey Affleck was named best actor for his role in Manchester By The Sea and box office hit La La Land won best film.

Fire At Sea, delving into the international immigration crisis was named documentary of the year, while Toni Erdmann won the prize for best foreign language film.

Laszlo Nemes was named best director for Son Of Saul, Kenneth Lonergan was named best screenwriter for Manchester By The Sea, and Babak Anvari was named best breakthrough filmmaker for Under The Shadow.

Other winners at the event, hosted by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, include: b est supporting actor: Tom Bennett and Mahershala Ali; British/Irish film: I, Daniel Blake, British/Irish actor: Andrew Garfield, British/Irish actress: Kate Beckinsale (Love & Friendship), Young British/Irish performer: Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls) Technical achievement: Sturla Brandth Grovlen (Victoria - cinematography).

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