The filmmaker was praised by colleagues and collaborators at a ceremony in Lyon as he received the prestigious Prix Lumiere accolade in recognition of his Hollywood career.
Keitel was moved to tears as he spoke about his relationship with Tarantino, telling the audience, "Damn, I'm not going to make it through this... I always felt we were meant for each other and nothing could keep us apart. Maybe if he had been a woman we could have gotten married, had kids! Working with Quentin is like reading a great novel or hearing a great symphony or piece of music - it changes you. You don't know how, but it has."
Handing the Prix Lumiere to Tarantino, Thurman gushed, "For all your wildness, your work always has aspirations for justice, freedom from oppression, courage, and most of all love and passion... You have been an explosion of dynamite in the art of cinema itself."
Tarantino thanked the stars for making his scripts come to life, declaring, "I don't have words for how I feel - probably one of the first times that has happened to me. I have always thought of myself as a lone wolf, but always because I never really had a family, but these people are my family. Their affection and respect is all I ever want."
Previous recipients of the Prix Lumiere include Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Gerard Depardieu and Ken Loach.
Backstage, Tarantino was later handed France's highest cultural honour as he was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by culture minister Aurelie Filippetti, according to The Hollywood Reporter.