Swimming with César nominations

Comedy and drama head the French awards race

by Richard Mowe

Gilles Lellouche’s ensemble comedy heads César award nominations
Gilles Lellouche’s ensemble comedy heads César award nominations Photo: UniFrance

The feel-good ensemble comedy Sink Or Swim (Le Grand Bain), directed by actor Gilles Lellouche, which opened last year’s French Film Festival UK and was shown out of competition in Cannes, has received ten nominations including Best fFilm in this year’s French Oscars, the Césars, announced in Paris today. Mathieu Amalric and Guillaume Canet headed the cast in the tale of a group of disenchanted men who find fresh self-esteem in a synchronised swimming team - the same source material as the British effort Swimming With Men earlier in 2018.

Face of this year’s Césars: Isabelle Huppert
Face of this year’s Césars: Isabelle Huppert Photo: Academie des Césars

On a different register, Xavier Legrand’s parental drama Custody, about a bitter battle over a son, also had a similar number of nominations, including best film to add to its Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

The two films also shared best director nods, while Gilles Lellouche received a nomination for an acting role in In Safe Hands, Jeanne Herry’s second feature which follows several adults and one bright-eyed baby boy from his birth to the moment he finally lands a home in a no holds barred critique of the French social care system.

Other contenders from the French Film Festival UK’s official selection included Pierre Salvadori’s The Trouble With You, a screwball crime romance, which met with approval by the voting members of the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma with nominations for Best Director for Salvadori, Best Actress for Adele Haenel and Best Actor for Pio Marmai. Emmanuel Finkiel’s Memoir Of War, based around Marguerite Duras's challenging Holocaust semi-autobiography, is also among Best Film and Best Director contenders and has a Best Actress nod for Melanie Thierry. Also popular was Jacques Audiard’s English-language The Sisters Brothers starring John C Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, scoring in both Best Director and Best Film categories.

The 44th edition of the awards will take place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on 22 February in the presence of Robert Redford whom, it has already been announced, will receive a career achievement César.

Those nominations in full:-

Best Film

Best Director

  • Emmanuel Finkiel, Memoir Of War
  • Pierre Salvadori, The Trouble With You
  • Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers
  • Gilles Lellouche, Sink Or Swim
  • Alex Lutz, Guy
  • Xavier Legrand, Custody
  • Jeanne Harry, In Safe Hands

Best Actress

  • Elodie Bouchez, In Safe Hands
  • Cecile de France, Mademoiselle De Joncquieres
  • Lea Drucker, Custody
  • Virginie Efira, An Impossible Love
  • Adele Haenel, The Trouble With You
  • Sandrine Kiberlain, In Safe Hands
  • Melanie Thierry, Memoir Of War

Best Actor

  • Edouard Baer, Mademoiselle De Joncquieres
  • Romain Duris, Our Struggles
  • Vincent Lacoste, Amanda
  • Gilles Lellouche, In Safe Hands
  • Alex Lutz, Guy
  • Pio Marmai, The Trouble With You
  • Denis Menochet, Custody

Best Supporting Actress

  • Isabelle Adjani, The World Is Yours
  • Leila Bekhti, Sink Or Swim
  • Virginie Efira, Sink Or Swim
  • Audrey Tautou, The Trouble With You
  • Karin Viard, Little Tickles

Best Supporting Actor

Best New Actress

  • Ophélie Bau, Mektoub My Love
  • Galatea Bellugi, The Apparition
  • Jehnny Beth, An Impossible Love
  • Lily-Rose Depp, A Faithful Man
  • Kenza Fortas, Sheherazade

Best New Actor

  • Anthony Bajon, The Prayer
  • Thomas Gioria, Custody
  • William Lebghil, The Freshmen
  • Karim Leklou, The World is Yours
  • Dylan Robert, Sheherazade

Best Foreign Film

Best Animated Film

  • Asterix: The Secret Of The Magic Potion
  • Dilili In Paris
  • Pachamama

Best First Film

  • L’Amour Flou
  • Custody
  • Little Tickles
  • Sauvage
  • Shéhérazade

Best Original Screenplay

  • The Trouble With You, Pierre Salvadori, Beoit Graffin, Benjamin Charbit
  • Sink Or Swim, Gilles Lellouche, Ahmed Hamidi, Julien Lambroschini
  • Guy, Alex Lutz, Anais Deban, Thibault Segouin
  • Custody, Xavier Legrand
  • In Safe Hands, Jeanne Herry

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Little Tickles, Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer
  • Memoir Of War, Emmanuel Finkiel
  • The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain
  • Mademoiselle De Joncquieres, Emmanuel Mouret
  • An Impossible Love, Catherine Corsini, Laurette Polmanss

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