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Omar Sy en 2012

Cesar 2015: our favourites and our predictions

By Marie Decreme

Only one day to go before the Cesar awards, and what suspense! This year, the French Cinema Academy has a lot on its plate to decide between the nominees in the twenty-two categories. If some films seem to be well in the load – Saint Laurent, Love at First Fight, or Timbuktu - thanks to their nominations in several categories – the choices will still be hard to make. While waiting to discover the winners of this 40th ceremony, here are our favourites and our predictions in ten of the main categories.

And the Cesar for best film goes to…

Timbuktu, our prediction and our favourite – which was Oscar-nominated for best foreign language film. Abderrahmane Sissako tells with respect and lucidity the story of a Malian village being terrorised by jihadists who make their own rules. Overlooked at Cannes, this moving and powerful movie hits home and might – should – well win in preference to Saint Laurent, the 10-times-nominated film.

From 'Timbuktu'

Nominees: Love at First Fight, Eastern Boys, La Famille Bélier, Hippocrates, Saint-Laurent, Sils Maria, Timbuktu

Best actress, best actor

Some quite exceptional performers in 2014… Ladies first, here are the nominees for best actress:

Juliette Binoche in Sils Maria
Marion Cotillard in Two days, One night
Catherine Deneuve in In the Courtyard
Emilie Dequenne in Not my Type
Adèle Haenel in Love at First Fight
Sandrine Kiberlain in Elle l'Adore
Karin Viard in La Famille Bélier

Our choice? Marion Cotillard. She was astounding in Two days, one night, impeccable in the role of Sandra, a fragile and vulnerable woman. Her performance was even recognised abroad, since she is in the running for the Oscar for Best Actress. But we think that the French Academy will go for Adèle Haenel, just as remarkable in the character of Madeleine in Love at First Fight – that would be a great chance to recognise Thomas Cailley’s amazing first film.

Adèle Haenel in 'Love at First Fight''

The choice is even harder when it comes to actors. Take a look at the nominations:

Guillaume Canet in Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart
Niels Arestrup in Diplomacy
Pierre Niney in Yves Saint Laurent
Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent
François Damiens in La Famille Bélier
Romain Duris in The New Girlfriend
Vincent Lacoste in Hippocrates

Logically, one of the two Yves Saint Laurent performers, Niney and Ulliel, should get the prize. And if you look at the nominations, the Academy seems to be favouring Bertrand Bonello’s film; Gaspard Ulliel may be the one to be rewarded for Best actor on this basis. For our part, we had a real coup de coeur for Pierre Niney, a matter of taste, of sensibility… and mostly because it is Pierre Niney. But Guillaume Canet might actually end up with the Cesar, benefiting from the battle between the two Saint Laurent actors. He has never been rewarded as an actor by the Academy, and it would be good to see him winning this prize for his great performance in Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart.

Guillaume Canet in 'Next Time I'll Aim for the Heart'

Best supporting actor and actress

A lot of potential here too! Among the named actresses, we particularly like Kristen Stewart in Sils Maria. But Claure Gensac will probably be the one to win for Lulu in the nude; a great chance to recognise her 60-year career in the cinema.

Claude Gensac and Karin Viard in 'Lulu in the nude'

Nominees: Marianne Denicourt in Hippocrates, Claude Gensac in Lulu in the nude, Izia Higelin in Samba, Charlotte Le Bon in Yves Saint Laurent, Kristen Stewart in Sils Maria.

And for the Best supporting actor, we give our vote with a capital “V” to Louis Garrel in Saint Laurent. Attracting, worrying, he is perfect in his role of dandy and decadent lover. But Reda Kateb in Hippocrates might win the prize; he is the real strength of the film (which was nominated seven times), and it is time for the Academy to reward him.

Reda Kateb in 'Hippocrates'

Nominees: Eric Elmosnino in La famille Bélier, Guillaume Gallienne in Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Garrel in Saint Laurent, Reda Kateb in Hippocrates, Jérémie Rénier in Saint Laurent.

Best promising actor and actress

We would definitely give the award to Louane Emera for her incredible performance in La famille Bélier, both as an actress and a singer. In this way, this sweet and moving comedy would not be completely ignored in the Cesar ceremony. But we kind of think that Lou de Laâge, rising star of the French cinema will be the one to get the prize. She brings freshness and innocence to Mélanie Laurent’s film, Breathe, a delight.

Lou de Laâge in 'Breathe'

And our favourite and predicted winner of the best promising actor is Kévin Azaïs: he is, as well, one of the new faces of the French cinema. In Love at First Fight, he captures our attention with his spontaneity and natural presence on the screen. He is simply brilliant.

Kévin Azaïs in 'Love at First Fight'

Best first debut

We would love to see May Allah Bless France rewarded, to recognise young actor Marc Zinga’s performance. But it will probably be Love at First Fight that will get the prize. The film was a real discovery in 2014, a true marvel of freshness and joyfulness, thanks to the amazing acting of Adèle Haenel and Kévin Azaïs.

'Love at First Fight'

Nominees: Elle l’adore by Jeanne Herry, Love at First Fight by Thomas Cailley, Fidelio, Alice's Odyssey by Lucie Borleteau, Party Girl by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger by Samuel Theis, May Allah bless France by Abd Al Malik.

Best foreign film

Our choice? The Grand Budapest Hotel, splendid, meticulous. And it is the first time its director, Wes Anderson, has been nominated for a Cesar. But Mommy is more likely to win; the Academy likes Dolan’s work, he has been nominated four times for the Cesar, but has never won a prize.


Best director

Our favourite: Olivier Assayas for Sils Maria. His film, beautiful from every angle, might just be left out in the 2015 Cesar ceremony, and that would not be right. Our prediction however: Bertrand Bonello for Saint Laurent. Both director and music composer, his impressive staging might clinch him the prize.

Gaspard Ulliel in 'Saint Laurent'

What about you? Your favourites, your predictions? All bets are off! Answers on 20 February, during the 40th Cesar ceremony.


Our favourites and our predictions


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