Balzac centre stage at Césars

Aline and Annette also lead France’s top awards nominations

by Richard Mowe

Making his mark in Lost Illusions - Benjamin Voisin is nominated as best male newcomer in Xavier Giannoli’s lavish costume adaptation, a César favourite
Making his mark in Lost Illusions - Benjamin Voisin is nominated as best male newcomer in Xavier Giannoli’s lavish costume adaptation, a César favourite Photo: UniFrance
With France’s answer to the Oscars only a few weeks away from an in-person ceremony to be presided over by director Danièle Thompson and presenter, actor and director Antoine de Caunes the first round of César nominations have been announced with top titles Lost Illusions (Xavier Giannoli’s Balzac adaptation), Leos Carax’s rock-opera Annette and Valerie Lemercier Celine Dion biopic Aline leading the fray.

Lost Illusions, which premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, nabbed nominations in 15 of the 24 possible categories, including best film and best director. Annette, which scooped a best director award for Leos Carax at the Cannes Film Festival for his first film in English, was not far behind with 11 nominations closely followed by Aline with 10.

Strangely Julie Ducournau’s Palme d’Or winner Titane (France’s Oscar contender) only managed four nominations, including best director, while another female director Audrey Diwan who won the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for Happening notched up the same tally.

Lucie Zhang and Makita Samba nominated for Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District
Lucie Zhang and Makita Samba nominated for Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District Photo: UniFrance
A surprise omission from all categories was Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman, which was highly regarded in Festivals and on the international critics’ circuit. Sciamma did, however, pick up a shared nomination (with Léa Mysius and Jacques Audiard) for her work on Audiard’s Paris, 13th District, which scored five nominations including best acting newcomers for Lucie Zhang and Makita Mama.

Other popular titles among the 4363 voting members of France’s Academy of Cinema and Arts and Sciences include Cédric Jimenez’s police thriller The Stronghold, Catherine Corsini’s The Divide and Yann Gozlan’s Black Box.

Giannoli’s costume drama seems to be on a roll, recently also leading the nominations in the Lumière awards where it won a best screenplay trophy for the director.

The 47th César ceremony takes place on 25 February at the legendary Olympic music hall in Paris.

The key nominations are:

Best Film

  • Aline, Valérie Lemercier
  • Annette, Leos Carax
  • The Stronghold/Bac Nord, Cédric Jimenez
  • Happening/L'Événement, Audrey Diwan
  • The Divide/La Fracture, Catherine Corsini
  • Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues, Xavier Giannoli
  • Onoda, 10,000 Nights In The Jungle/Onoda, 10.000 nuits dans la jungle, Arthur Harari

Best Director

  • Valérie Lemercier, Aline
  • Leos Carax, Annette
  • Cedric Jimenez, The Stronghold/Bac Nord
  • Xavier Giannoli, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
  • Arthur Harari, 10,000 Nights In The Jungle/Onoda, 10.000 nuits dans la jungle
  • Julia Ducournau, Titane

Best Screenplay

  • Valérie Lemercier, Brigitte Buc, Aline
  • Leos Carax, Ron Mael, Russell Mael, Annette
  • Yann Gozlan, Simon Moutaïrou, Nicolas Bouvet-Levrard, Black Box/Boîte Noir
  • Catherine Corsini, Laurette Polmanss, Agnès Feuvre, The Divide/La Fracture
  • Arthur Harari, Vincent Poymiro, Onoda, 10,000 Nights In The Jungle/Onoda, 10.000 nuits dans la jungle

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Yaël Langmann, Yvan Attal, The Accusation/Les Choses humaines
  • Audrey Diwan, Marcia Romano, Happening/LÉvénement
  • Xavier Giannoli, Jacques Fieschi, Lost Ilusions Illusions perdues
  • Céline Sciamma, Léa Mysius, Jacques Audiard, Paris, 13th District/Les Olympiades
  • Mathieu Amalric, Hold Me Tight/Serre moi fort

Best Actress

  • Leïla Bekhti, The Restless/Les Intranquilles
  • Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, The Divide/La Fracture
  • Laura Calamy, Her Way/Une femme du monde
  • Virginie Efira, Benedetta
  • Vicky, Krieps, Hold Me Tight/Serre moi fort
  • Valérie Lemercier, Aline
  • Léa Seydoux, France

Best Actor

  • Damien Bonnard, The Restless/Les Intranquilles
  • Adam Driver, Annette
  • Gilles Lellouche, The Stronghold/Bac Nord
  • Vincent Macaigne, Night Doctor/Médecin de nuit
  • Benoit Magimel, Peaceful/De son vivant
  • Pio Marmaï, The Divide /La Fracture
  • Pierre Niney, Black Box/Boîte Noir

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jeanne Balibar, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
  • Cécile de France, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
  • Aissatou Diallo Sagna, The Divide/La Fracture
  • Adèle Exarchopoulos, Mandibles
  • Danielle Fichaud, Aline

Best Supporting Actor

  • François Civil, The Stronghold/Bac Nord
  • Xavier Dolan, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
  • Vincent Lacoste, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues
  • Karim Leklou, The Stronghold/Bac Nord
  • Sylvain Marcel, Aline

Best Female Newcomer

Best Male Newcomer

  • Sandor Funtek, Suprêmes
  • Sami Aoutalbali, A Story Of Love And Desire/Une histoire d’amour et de désir
  • Thimotée Robart, Magnetic Beats/Les Magnétiques
  • Makita Samba, Paris, 13th District/Les Olympiades
  • Benjamin Voisin, Lost Illusions/Illusions perdues

Best Animated Feature

  • Even Mice Belong In Heaven/Même les souris vont au paradis, Denisa Grimmova, Jan Bubenicek
  • The Summit Of The Gods/Le Sommet des dieux, Patrick Imbert
  • The Crossing/La Traversée, Florence Miailhe

Best Documentary Feature

  • Animal, Cyril Dion
  • Bigger Than Us, Flore Vasseur
  • Those Who Care/Debout les femmes, Gilles Perret, François Ruffin
  • Gallant Indies/Indes galantes, Philippe Béziat
  • The Velvet Queen/La Panthère des neiges, Marie Amiguet, Vincent Munier

Best First Film

  • Gagarine, Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
  • Magnetic Beats/Les Magnétiques, Vincent Maél Cardona
  • The Swarm/La Nuée, Just Philpott
  • The Velvet Queen/La Panthère des neiges, Marie Amiguet, Vincent Munier
  • Slalom, Charlène Favier

Best Foreign Film

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