US filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen on Wednesday received France's highest cultural honour at a ceremony in Paris.
The brothers, much garlanded for their large body of work including the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and "Barton Fink" which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, were each made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.
"Sometimes life plays jokes on you. Some of them are very unfortunate. Some of them are very fortunate. This is one of the most fortunate jokes I think that life has played on us. We're very, very grateful for it," said Joel Coen during the ceremony.
Joel, 58, and Ethan 56, who received the honour from French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, are regarded as two of the most innovative directors.
Since exploding onto the scene in 1984 with their noir thriller "Blood Simple", they have reeled off films each notable for their distinctive quirky humour or macabre themes.
The Coens' most recent film "Inside Llewyn Davis" took the Grand Prix (runner-up prize) at this year's Cannes film festival.
Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, the film tells the story of a struggling singer-songwriter against the backdrop of the 1960s New York folk scene.
Other recent recipients from the world of film and music include movie star Bruce Willis and U2 frontman Bono.