On the TV program: Belmondo refused the César for one of the best roles of his career

It is possible to discover one of the best roles of Jean-Paul Belmondo's career on television.

On the TV program: Belmondo refused the César for one of the best roles of his career

It is possible to discover one of the best roles of Jean-Paul Belmondo's career on television. It even earned him a Caesar... which he never came to collect.

Few French actors are as appreciated as Jean-Paul Belmondo. The actor, who died on September 6, 2021, distinguished himself as one of the great figures of French cinema, both in popular films and in works of auteur cinema. Fear in the City, The Ace of Aces, The Magnificent, The Professional, A Monkey in Winter, The Man from Rio or even Pierrot the Fool... Everyone has their preference and "their" Belmondo. But it was not these films that allowed Jean-Paul Belmondo to win the ultimate prize in French cinema, the César for best actor. It was his moving performance in Itinerary of a Spoiled Child, broadcast this Monday evening on Arte, which allowed him to reach the heights.

Released in 1988, Itinerary of a Spoiled Child is a film by Claude Lelouch. In this commercial and critical success, Belmondo plays Sam Lion, a flamboyant and troubled personality who tires of his life as a business owner and decides to disappear. All his relatives are convinced that he is dead. But he is found by one of his former employees in Africa. In the casting, Bebel faces Richard Anconina and Lio. We also find his son, Paul Belmondo, who plays the younger version of his character.

With Itinerary of a Spoiled Child, Belmondo returned to commercial success after the failure of the film The Solitaire the previous year. The film generates 3.25 million admissions across France. By playing this compositional role light years away from his usual heavy-handed roles, Jean-Paul Belmondo won, the year following his release, his first (and only) César, in the Best Actor category.

A true consecration, Jean-Paul Belmondo however refuses to come and collect the prize. Because, as soon as his nomination was announced, the actor made it known that he was not interested in such a reward. There may be several reasons for this: First, “Bebel” always believed that it was the audience, not the Academy, that decided the quality of a film. Then, the actor would not have forgiven the sculptor César, who inspired the famous statuette, for having criticized the work of his father, the sculptor and medalist Paul Belmondo. The quarrel was, however, buried in 2017, when he received a tribute from the Academy for his entire career.

Itinerary of a Spoiled Child is broadcast on Arte, TNT channel 7, this Monday, February 19, 2024. You have to wait until 8:55 p.m. to discover Jean-Paul Belmondo's acting performance in this film.

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