Michael Keaton gets French honour

Paris, Jan 19 (IANS) After winning a string of awards for his role in the Oscar-nominated film “Spotlight”, actor Michael Keaton has received one of France’s highest honours, becoming Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters during a ceremony here.

The ceremony was hosted by Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin.

The honour, which was previously given to Jim Jarmusch, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, highlighted Keaton’s career achievements, reports variety.com.

While accepting the honour, Keaton said: “Yours is a culture that has such respect for beauty and art that if I even in the smallest way made a tiny contribution to beauty or art in this culture, or in any culture of the world for that matter, I’m honoured and grateful and proud. This is one of the biggest days of my life.”

His latest film, Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight”, has been nominated for six Oscars.

Of his role in “Spotlight,” Keaton said: “I’m blessed with this is unbelievable good fortune to do something that can change people’s lives and make a difference. I demonstrated against the war when I was in college, I’ve always been ecology-minded, my generation is one that fought for women’s rights and equal rights for minorities and I’m part of that world. And now I get to do this for a living.”

During her speech, Pellerin praised Keaton’s work with Oscar-winning helmers such as Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, Ron Howard and Alejandro Gonzales, who directed him in “Birdman”.

“I wanted to honour you because you are indefinable and that’s the trademark of immense artists,” Pellerin said.

The Order of Arts and Letters was created in 1957 to recognise eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world.

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