French actress Cotillard shines at Oscars

Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:56am EST
 
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By Mike Collett-White

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If there were an Oscar for the standout star of Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, it would have to go to France's best actress winner Marion Cotillard.

The 32-year-old won for her portrayal of legendary chanteuse Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" and she shone throughout the evening with her body-hugging, mermaid-style dress, boundless energy and a farewell song backstage.

Cotillard set the tone from her entrance on the red carpet, where her full-length white and gold Jean Paul Gaultier gown was a refreshing departure from the predominant red.

"I'm totally overwhelmed with joy and sparkles and fireworks and everything that goes like 'boom boom boom'," the bubbly brunette laughed when asked by reporters backstage to describe how she felt after receiving her golden statuette.

In reply to a question about her screen idols, she said: "I'm a very big fan of Peter Sellers. I wanted to marry him when I was a child."

She also gave a short rendition of the famous Piaf number "Padam Padam," prompting loud applause from reporters.

RARE FRENCH WIN

Cotillard was the first French performer since 1960 to win an Oscar in the best actress category. The victory, earned from her first Oscar nomination, will have raised her profile in Hollywood overnight.   Continued...

 
<p>Marion Cotillard, best actress Oscar nominee for "La Vie en Rose," arrives at the 80th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>