Paul Verhoeven's critically acclaimed drama, about a rape victim tracking down her attacker, secured the top prize for Best Picture at the ceremony in Paris, France after beating the likes of Divines, Frantz, The Innocents, and From the Land of the Moon.

Huppert was also victorious as Best Actress - the same category she is a favourite for at Sunday's (26Feb17) Oscars - after overcoming competition from Marion Cotillard for From the Land of the Moon, Judith Chemla for A Woman's Life, Virginie Efira for Victoria, Marina Fois for Faultless, and Westworld actress Sidse Babett Knudsen for 150 Milligrams.

Elle had led all nominees heading into the French equivalent of the Academy Awards with 11 nods, but failed to take home any other accolades.

Verhoeven lost Best Director to Xavier Dolan for It's Only The End of the World, which also claimed Best Actor for Gaspard Ulliel and Best Editing.

Best Supporting Actress went to Deborah Lukumuena for Divines, and Chocolat's James Thierree landed Best Supporting Actor.

L'Effet Aquatique won Best Original Screenplay for Solveig Anspach and Jean-Luc Gaget, Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to Celine Sciamma for Ma Vie De Courgette, and Best Foreign Film was presented to Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake.

George Clooney was honoured with the Honorary Cesar Award for his career achievements.