Saturday, January 26, 2008

The César / Oscar Crossovers

The Académie des César (aka the French version of our Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences -affectionality known as AMPAS i.e. the Oscars) announced their nominations yesterday for 2007 films. And the winner is... (likely to be) La Vie En Rose which led all the films with a rather impressive 11 nominations. That's more than any of the American pictures got in their parallel "best of year" race. Other Oscar nominees in the French César race include The Diving Bell and Butterfly (7 nominations but still no recognition for Max Von Sydow --my interview -- damn!) and Persepolis (6 nominations)

Best Picture
La Graine et le Mulet -directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
The Diving Bell and Butterfly -directed by Julian Schnabel
La Vie En Rose directed by Olivier Dahan
Persépolis directed by Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud
Un Secret directed by Claude Miller

Best Actress
This is not Marion Cotillard's first run @ the César. It's her fourth nomination. She previously won Best Supporting Actress for her work in A Very Long Engagement (starring Amelie Audrey Tatou) but it seems impossible that she'll lose for her Edith Piaf imitation. There's no Julie Christie juggernaut in the mix to stop her. Her competitors are Isabelle Carré (Anna M), Cécile de France (Un Secret), Marina Foïs (Darling), and Catherine Frot (Odette Toulemonde). The Césars are award in Paris on February 22nd so Marion is going to be travelling a lot that week if she wants to sit in the Kodak too for the Best Actress nail biter... that is if the Oscars roll on without a picket line.

Best Actor
Mathieu Amalric, who couldn't generate any Best Actor Oscar traction for his warm but limited work (hey, he can only blink his eye! it's not a judgment) in The Diving Bell and Butterfly is up for Best Actor across the pond. His competition includes Michel Blanch (Les Témains), Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Dialogue avec mon Jardinier), Vincent Lindon (Ceux qui Restent) and Jean-Pierre Marielle (Faut que ça Danse!)

and just for fun, here are the "breakthrough" nominees (or something equivalent I suppose) -- the French stars of tomorrow?

From left to right: Nicolas Cazalé, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Johan Libéreau,
Jocelyn Quivrin, Laurent Stocker, Louise Blachere, Adele Haenel, Audrey Dana,
Hafsia Herzi and Clotilde Hesme (these images aren't necessarily from the
films they're nominated for --and French readers can let me know
if I made an error in a face with a name)


How about we hear from some of our European readers? Have these 10 actors truly "arrived" this year. Which do you think have international careers ahead of them?

30 comments:

chofer said...

Mathieu Amalric WILL WIN the Oscar sometime in the future, and will be totally deserved. A hell of an actor!! (For americans, he had a substantial part in MUNICH and he's awesome in KINGS AND QUEEN)
And that would be nice, since the last foreign actor to have won is the silly Roberto Benigni (what was the Academy thinking; did they also awarded him for playing his old self at the Kodak theatre?)
The Academy need a wake up call when it comes to foreign actors: No Anamaria Marinca?
Just check her mute scene at the dinner table in 4 MONTHS...Her face, her distress, her akwardness, the horror, the horror!:-

WhiplashWilli said...

I wouldn't be too certain about Cotillard winning the Best Actress César, as the Césars have quite a history of making most unexpected and often absurd choices. And more often than not, they seem to prefer ignoring the frontrunner - just ask Isabelle Huppert how often she was robbed when the Award was rightfully hers (most painfully when she lost for 'La pianiste').

julia said...

It's soo beyond me WHY no one (beyond you, Nat) has recognized Max Von Sydow for his moving (yet ever so subtle) performance. The phone call scene in "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", along with the Baptism scene in "There Will Be Blood", are some of the best single moments in recent cinema.

Alison Flynn said...

I'm so glad to see the acknowledgement given to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, in particular Mathieu Amalric. It's my favorite film this year. I wasn't surprised that it missed BP (although it was nominated in every other key category of film-making) but I believe that it deserved a Best Picture nomination and Amalric certainly should have received more attention. Max von Sydow as well.

I agree with you, chofer, Amalric will win sometime. He's fantastic. Wasn't he also in Casino Royale?

Great for Cotillard and La Vie en Rose.

Anonymous said...

That's super for "La Vie en Rose" and Marion Cotillard. Congratulations to her and the film!

adam k. said...

Well honestly, there are a LOT of ladies people will be voting for sight unseen next year (I won't mention who they all are in case some people have been living under a rock). But I think we think we know at least as much about this year's race as we thought we did about last year's race... if that makes sense.

I think Best Actress tends to always have a lot of early frontrunners since there are so few great roles for women and so few great oscar-bait actresses. So the ones that do end up being acclaimed can usually be spotted a mile away. At least it seems like it.

But anyway my point is I already see a consensus five that I'd be tempted to choose, at least 2 or 3 of which seem like prohibitive favorites. So I think this "easy to see coming" year might not have been such a fluke.

NATHANIEL R said...

true but as my own record attests, I am none too shabby at predicting a year out and this year was the best i've ever done in this particular category (3 of 5) so I think it's harder than it looks. ;)

Anonymous said...

every gay man needs to see LOVE SONGS. it's a ridiculously pleasant thing to watch.

NATHANIEL R said...

which film is that? nomination wise i mean?

Anonymous said...

LOVE SONGS:
-Most Promising Young Actor - Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet
-Most Promising Young Actress - Clotilde Hesme
-Best Sound
-Best Score

Arkaan said...

I think von Sydow was snubbed simply because of the brevity of his role. I keep saying it too, but foreign performers always have difficulty in garnering traction, and the same is double true for supporting performers. So for a foreign performer in a small role? Not gonna happen, even one as legendary as von Sydow.

patrick Whitfield said...

You might want to catch Les Témoins Nathaniel, Johan Libéreau plays a 20-year-old gay man who is dying of aids, alongside Michel Blanc and Emmanuelle Béart. It's a moving film. Libéreau has an affair with Béart's lover. it's set in the early 80's.
Love songs is a romantic musical with Louis Garrel and Ludivine Sagnier. There's a also an affair between two men in it.

Anonymous said...

Love Songs opening march 19 by IFC
The Witnesses (Les Temoins) opening february 1 by strand releasing

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

Johan Libéreau is my new celebrity crush. Hands down.

Also, I'm very surprised to not see A Girl Cut in Two here? Was it eligible?

And I'm in the consensus that says that Isabelle Huppert should get an award each year for existing.

Nick Davis said...

I wasn't as moved by Les Témoins as I wanted to be; it's humane and well-acted (no surprise from Téchiné), but a little unfocused, with strangely insistent colors and rough photography, and it would have been a lot more powerful twenty or even ten years ago than it is now (although the epidemic misunderstanding that HIV has somehow diminished as a threat means that Les Témoins might actually be more relevant now than the filmmaking and screenwriting necessarily deserve).

Kamikaze Camel said...

I was going to ask if Johan Libéreau was the one from The Witnesses. I tend to agree with Nick on the film. I really liked it for a while, but then as if really got into the AIDS storyline I just started to lose interest (must all gay love stories be so pessimistic?)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Also, who else agrees that France should just rename this ridiculous "breakthrough" category to "hottest young person" because that's the impression I'm getting from the images.

alex Cypher said...

I thought Libéreau's character in Les Témoins was exactly the type of gay part I wouldn't want to play. You know, the cute young 20something who is so pure and doesn't have a strong personality nor does he seem to have any ambition whatsoever ? Sadly this is generally what we young actors get to play when it comes to gay parts in France. Always the "victim". On the other hand when female actors play gay/bi parts they can portray strong, agressive characters, women with a personality and an attitude : see Jolie in Gia or any women who would get to play Sagan or Beauvoir or Woolf.

Anonymous said...

wait until you see LOVE SONGS.
gay people are not victims in it.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Witnesses/Temoins is actually still among my favourite films I saw this year. Without sacrificing character development or resorting to heroes and villains, it plays like a thriller, and it captures the shock and panic of the AIDS outbreak more vividly and viscerally than any other film I've seen. I didn't think much of the photography, but to me, the writing, editing and direction were exemplary. But then again, I alsways seem to be more passionate about André Téchiné's films than the rest of the world (I found 2004's Changing Times morbidly underrated). There's something about the way he mixes emotionally messy characters, a thriller pace and a generosity of spirit that seems to work for me every time (and the same could be said for Almodovar, actually).

Anonymous said...

i love this site
even young french actors leave comments here
isn't that great ?

Hedwig said...

I just saw "Naissance Des Pieuvres"/"Water Lilies", which got a nomination for best debut, and it's amazing, definitely one to check out. Three wonderful 15 yo non-actresses are at its center, and one of them got a nomination too, for supporting actress.

Anonymous said...

I'm just sorry that Max Von Sydow and les filles from THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY hasn't received any nominations.
Maybe Seigner (she was also in LA VIE EN ROSE and she wasn't worse than Testud, nominated as best supporting actress), Cruze and the others split their votes, but the great Max?
Anyway I predict Schnabel, Amalric and Marion for the winning...
Good the nomination to WE OWN THE NIGHT as best foreign film!

Mirko

flo said...

about the espoirs: laurent stocker is everything but a newcomer, he's part of the comédie française! and clothilde hesme's breakthrough was in 2004 with les amants réguliers (philippe garrel). about the others... why not. but just like every year, there are a great deal of forgotten! how could they forget les chansons d'amour and la fille coupée en deux! frankly, la vie en rose oesn't deserve that many rewards!
but anyway, we'll see

Boyd said...

Actually, Un secret (my review) also has 11 nominations just like La Vie en Rose (and its narrative is just as fragmented and jumpy). But Rose it will be hard to beat, because their box-office numbers are different.

Nick Davis said...

@Mirko: I hadn't noticed that about We Own the Night. That's fantastic!

Boyd said...

And go and see Les témoins (The Witnesses). It was number 3 in my year-end top ten! Love Songs is also good fun (if you love Jacques Demy's musicals you'll have a ball), but I do hope they don't use the English subtitles they had in Cannes for the US release - they were horrible and contributed to a lot of non-French speakers failing to "get" the "petty poetry" of the film.

amir_uk said...

Also, I finally saw The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly and, yes, it's amazing and fully deserving of all its Oscar nominations (and I was ready to dismiss the cinematography as a bandwagon thing that everyone is jumping on. But no.) And Max von Sydow. Oh my god. He flat-out made me cry during his last scene and no-one actor has single-handedly done that to me for a while. But now it means I have 6 men in supporting - Affleck, Bardem, Ershadi, Holbrook, von Sydow and Wilkinson - and I REALLY don't know who to drop. I LOVE them all. Maybe Affleck or Wilkinson... No I can't! Aagh!

Also, is Les Chansons d'amour really going under the name Love Songs for its US release? I know it's a literal translation but it doesn't sound right - it went by its French title here. Highly recommended though - Christophe Honoré (Ma mère; Dans Paris) directs and it's what you'd expect from him. I love how he just keeps doing his own thing regardless - and he does it well. He's like the French Gus Van Sant.

They're showing The Witnesses (Les Témoins) at the BFI this week. Sounds interesting - the stills from the film look great too. And 3 Cesar-nominated men from that film!

NATHANIEL R said...

well that is easy amir because Casey Affleck is NOT a supporting actor. so you have your five. You just hadn't realized it.

amir_uk said...

But, alas, I'd definitely have no room for Casey Affleck in Best Actor, what with Clooney, Day-Lewis, Leung, McAvoy and Gosling firmly locked. Oh he may have to sit it out this year as much as I loved his work. Such is the snag of a rich cinematic year - and I wouldn't have it any other way.