David Fincher to Receive French Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The “Fight Club” director will be honored at the 2023 César Awards in February

David Fincher at The Paley Center For Media's 2019 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews in Beverly Hills
David Livingston/Getty Images

David Fincher will be presented with the French Film Academy’s highest award, the César d’honneur for lifetime achievement, at February’s César Awards, the French equivalent to the Oscars.

The French Academy praised the director of “Se7en,” “Fight Club,” “Gone Girl” and “The Social Network” as “one of those rare directors whose entire filmography has become iconic over the years.”

“An outstanding technician, a true visionary, his cinema is hypnotic, cerebral, a source of inspiration for countless artists,” the Academy said in the press release announcing the honor.

“He shocked us with “Se7en,” kept us on the edge with “The Game,” and struck us again with “Fight Club.” With “Zodiac,” “The Social Network,” “Gone Girl,” which is his biggest film success so far, or with “Mank”, he breaks the usual codes and garners raving international reviews,” the statement continued.

Fincher got his start in the industry as an 18-year-old working for Korty Films in Mill Valley, California, and did a stint at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic before leaving to direct TV commercials and music videos. His video work features Madonna, Sting, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Aerosmith, among many others. He won two Best Music Video Grammys, for The Stones “Love is Strong” in 1995 and 2014’s “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake.

He has a host of award-winning films, including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Girl with Dragon Tattoo.” Earlier this year, Fincher spoke out about Chinese censorship of “Fight Club,” after the original ending to the film was restored in Chinese streaming service Tencent Video, which had previously replaced the final moments with a title card describing an entirely different ending.

Closely associated with Netflix, Fincher’s also received praise, and multiple Emmys, for ground-breaking series including “House of Cards,” “Mindhunter,” and “Love, Death & Robots.” Last year, he executive produced “Voir”, a series of visual essays that celebrate cinema, for the streaming service.

Several of his movies were also done for Netflix, including 2020’s “Mank” and the upcoming “The Killer,” starring Tilda Swinton and Michael Fassbender.

The nominees for the 48th César Awards will be announced on Jan. 25. Fincher will be honored at the 48th César ceremony in Paris on Feb. 24. The show will be broadcast live on French pay-TV network Canal+.

Australian actress Cate Blanchett received the César d’honneur earlier this year. French actor Jean-Pierre Bacri was the 2021 honoree. Robert Redford was the last American to receive the honor, in 2019.