Jean DuJardin is probably still in orbit after winning the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday night for his performance in "The Artist." The French nation is there with him. It isn't every day that a French actor beats George Clooney and Brad Pitt in a competition.
But French magazine Le Point (link in French) throws a little cold water on the story by reporting that a scene from DuJardin's latest film, "Les Infideles," a more typical French movie than The Artist - a sex comedy about unfaithful husbands - was altered so that the actor would have a better chance of winning.
Apparently in Les Infideles there was a scene where DuJardin is in a New York hotel room with his mistress. His wife calls him from France to find out how he is doing. While he is lying to her through his teeth, the camera shows him framed against the window, the Twin Towers visible behind him. As the planes crash into them, he assures his wife, "I'm fine everything's ok."
Le Point acknowledges the scene was funny but DuJardin and his co-producers decided to cut it lest word of the scene offend Academy voters.
In 2008, French actress Marion Cotillard won the Oscar for her portrayal of Edith Piaf and almost immediately saw her Hollywood halo tarnished when it was alleged that she was a 9/11 denier - one of the surprising number of intelligent people in Europe who think that the World Trade Center was brought down in some enormous plot not authored by Osama Bin Laden.
Cotillard rowed back very quickly from those comments and they were soon forgotten but, Le Point hints, the lesson was not lost on Dujardin who asked his producers to take the scene out. They happily agreed.
More here with links in English.