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Césars 2009: And the nominees are...
After the announcement of the nominees for the Oscars 2009, it is the turn of French cinema. The official selection for the Césars 2009 was revealed on 23rd January.
Three films clearly lead the field this year: The Class, Mesrine and A Christmas Tale.
The leading films
The Class, directed by Laurent Cantet, is the fully-wired observational tale of a term in one classroom at a Parisian junior high school. This adaptation of Francois Begaudeau’s book seems to be a real awards winner. After the Palmes d’Or in Cannes last year, and its nomination for the best foreign language film Oscar, The Class is now favourite for best film at the Césars. Cantet’s movie also got four other nominations, including best director and best adaptation. Note that the Class was also nominated for the best foreign film Oscar.
Find out more about The Class
With nine nominations, A Christmas Tale confirms the French taste for intellectual, literary and tortured films. This dark and acidly funny film directed by the talented Arnaud Desplechin, depicts the story of a family haunted by its own dead people. Desplechin, with his astonishing way of portraying each member of this neurotic family really deserves his nomination. However, one could regret the absence of Mathieu Amalric amongst the best actors nominees…
Read also our review of A Christmas Tale
But it is Mesrine, directed by Jean-François Richet, which got this year’s record: ten nominations, including best actor for Vincent Cassel, best director, best film and best music. It is not surprising when one remembers how the critics praised this gangster story. “A brilliant exercise of style”, affirmed Le Monde. Or even, “A powerful political attack on religion” said the arts magazine Les Inrockuptibles.
An hommage to Guillaume Depardieu
Heath Ledger won’t perhaps be the only one to receive a posthumous award this year. Amongst the five nominees for the best actors César, we can see the name of Guillaume Depardieu, who died last October due to a sudden case of pneumonia. Raised in the shadow of an extremely famous father, this talented but tortured actor managed to make his own name on the French scene. He’s here nominated for his role in “Versailles”, directed by Pierre Schoeller, where he played a dropout living in the forest near Versailles, the famous castle of Louis XIV.
Find out more about Guillaume Depardieu
Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis: unavoidable...
We must concede that Danny Boon’s film “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” is not the kind of movie we are used to seeing amongst the nominees for the Césars. But how could the academy avoid having the most successful French movie ever amongst the nominees? In fact, with more than 20 millions entries, the comedy about the North of France broke all records. A Hollywood adaptation is even about to be made, under the title “Welcome to the Sticks”. “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” is therefore nominated for the best original screenplay, alongside with “A Christmas Tale”, and “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime”, by Philippe Claudel.
Find out more about Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
The major nominations:
Vincent Cassel in Mesrine
François-Xavier Demaison in Coluche, l'histoire d'un mec
Guillaume Depardieu in Versailles
Albert Dupontel in Deux jours à tuer
Jacques Gamblin in Le premier jour du reste de ta vie
Catherine Frot in Le crime est notre affaire
Yolande Moreau in Séraphine
Kristin Scott Thomas in Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Tilda Swinton in Julia
Sylvie Testud in Sagan
Best supporting Actor
Benjamin Biolay in Stella
Claude Rich in Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera
Jean-Paul Roussillon in Un conte de Noël
Pierre Vaneck in Deux jours à tuer
Roschdy Zem in La fille de Monaco
Best supporting Actress
Jeanne Balibar in Sagan
Anne Consigny in Un conte de Noël
Edith Scob in L'heure d'été
Karin Viard in Paris
Elsa Zylberstein in Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Rémi Bezançon, Le premier jour du reste de ta vie
Laurent Cantet, Entre les murs
Arnaud Desplechin, Un conte de Noël
Martin Provost, Séraphine
Jean-François Riche, Mesrine
Entre les murs, by Laurent Cantet
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime, by Philippe Claudel
Mesrine, by Jean-François Richet
Paris, by Cédric Klapisch
Le premier jour du reste de ta vie, by Rémi Bezançon
Séraphin, by Martin Provost,
Un conte de Noël, by Arnaud Desplechin
Best Foreign Film
Eldorado, by Bouli Lanners
Gomorra, by Matteo Garrone
Into the wild, by Sean Penn
Le silence de Lorna, by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
There will be blood, by Paul Thomas Anderson
Two lovers, by James Gray
Waltz with Bachir, by Ari Folman