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Cesar Academy Nominates French President's Mistress! (Who cares about movies anyway?)

Julien, your french correspondent, here to discuss the César nominations.

OUTRAGE ! Twitter was in uproar this morning when the nominees for the Best Actress César were announced, and the name Adèle Exarchopoulos was nowhere to be seen. While Léa Seydoux made the cut for her arguably supporting role, Adèle’s astounding lead performance in Blue is the Warmest Color was relegated to the Most Promising Actress category.

Before you raise your pitchforks, consider this perfectly logical explanation: since Tahar Rahim won both the Best Actor and Most Promising Actor gongs for A Prophet in 2010, the rules were altered so that a single performance can only be nominated in a single category -the one which collects the most votes. Fair enough César, but when a category which is supposed to promote new talent prevents the year’s most celebrated performance to be nominated in its rightful place, you’re clearly doing something wrong.

All the nominees and a lot of gay drama and political mischief after the jump...

With Blue is the Warmest Color and Stranger by the Lake reaping 8 nominations each -including pic, director and screenplay- it was great year for both challenging work and gay cinema. So it’s kind of a depressing that the nomination leader was actor Guillaume Gallienne’s comedy Me Myself and Mum, the tale of a highly effeminate guy who’s always thought of himself as a girl, only to be confronted with the reassuring fact that he is in fact straight. Hailed in France as a clever comedy tackling the issues of gender and prejudice, Galliene’s autobiographical adaptation of his own stage show is in fact a tale of triumph over homosexuality, in which gays are represented in a pretty terrifying fashion. After a year of vicious debate about gay marriage, its colossal box-office success says something about the way the French like their gays: funny in a Birdcage sort of way, but eventually straight. (For those of you who read French, I’ve written about the film here)

With the exception of actor Albert Dupontel’s loopy comedy 9 mois ferme, the rest of the best picture nominees are of the more traditional sort: Asghar Farhadi’s dreary The Past, Roman Polanski’s inconsequential Venus in Fur and Arnaud Desplechin’s misfire Jimmy P. (which means 4 of the 7 best pic nominees were lazily picked from Cannes’ main competition). And for the first time in years, the best director category exactly mirrors the best picture race.

The retrograde 'you're not really gay' comedy "Me Myself and Mum" is the nomination leader at the Cesars

In the best actress category, Léa Seydoux will be battling legendary divas Catherine Deneuve (as a runaway grandmother in Elle s’en va) and Fanny Ardant (as a recently retired sixty-something falling in love with a younger man in Les Beaux Jours), as well as this year’s Cannes Best Actress Winner Bérénice Bejo (The Past), former Kechiche muse Sara Forestier (Suzanne), drama queen turned comedy star Sandrine Kiberlain (9 mois ferme) and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner, whose disastrous, film-destroying performance in Venus in Fur has been incomprehensibly lauded since Cannes.

In Best Actor news, everyone’s favorite Dane Mads Mikkelsen can now call himself a Cesar nominee (for Cannes entry Michael Koohlhas), and will be facing César mainstays Michel Bouquet, Mathieu Amalric, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel and Gregory Gadebois. But the smart money is on Guillaume Gallienne, who plays both himself and his own mother (hilariously, it has to be said) in Me Myself and Mum.

In the supporting categories, I’m rooting for Geraldine Pailhas, whose whip smart performance as the overwhelmed mother of a teenage prostitute is the main reason to watch François Ozon’s Jeune et Jolie; and Dardenne favorite Olivier Gourmet, who cuts a vigorous, splendidly detailed figure from a working class cliché in Rebecca Zlotowski’s Grand Central.

But the biggest news of the morning -at least according to the French media- was the Best Supporting Actress nomination received by Julie Gayet, right on the heels of the revelation of her relationship with President François Hollande. I haven’t seen Quai d’Orsay, the political comedy for which she was nominated, so I can’t say if the nomination is deserved or if the intense media scrutiny of the past weeks inclined some mischievous voters to nominate her just for the show. In any case, she’s up against Marisa Borini (for A Castle in Italy), who happens to be the mom of former first lady Carla Bruni, which makes her the mother-in-law of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Oh, and the name of the character played by Julie Gayet in Quai d’Orsay is Valérie, same as the ex-first lady who’s just been ousted in her favor. Expect plenty of distasteful jokes on César night.


Best Film
9 Month Stretch
Me, Myself and Mum
Stranger at the Lake
Jimmy P.
The Past
Venus in Fur
Blue is the Warmest Color 

Best Director
Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch
Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum
Alain Guiraudie for Stranger at the Lake
Arnaud Desplechin for Jimmy P.
Asghar Farhadi for The Past
Roman Polanski for Venus in Fur
Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue is the Warmest Color

Blancanieves, Spain's Oscar submission from 2012 still pops up in award age now and then

Best Foreign Film
Alabama Monroe, director Felix Van Groeningen
Blancanieves, director Pablo Berger
Blue Jasmine, director Woody Allen
Dead Man Talking, director Patrick Ridremont
Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino
La Grande Bellezza, director Paolo Sorrentino
Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron

Deneuve is a César mainstay: 12 nominations and 2 wins in their 39 year history

Best Actress
Fanny Ardant for Les Beaux Jours
Berenice Bejo for The Past
Catherine Deneuve for Elle S'En Va
Sara Forestier for Suzanne
Sandrine Kiberlain for 9 Month Stretch
Emmanuelle Seigner for Venus in Fur
Lea Seydoux for Blue is the Warmest Color 

Best Actor
Mathieu Amalric for Venus in Fur
Michel Bouquet for Renoir
Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch
Gergory Gadebois for Mon Ame Par Toi Guerie
Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum
Fabrice Luchini for Alceste a Bicyclette
Mads Mikkelsen for Michael Kohlhaas

Best Supporting Actress
Marisa Borini for A Castle in Italy
Francoise Fabian for Me, Myself and Mum
Julie Gayet for Quai d'Orsay
Adele Haenel for Suzanne
Geraldine Pailhas for Young & Beautiful

Best Supporting Actor
Neils Arestrup for Quai d'Orsay
Patrick Chesnais for Les Beaux Jours
Patrick d'Assumcao for Stranger at the Lake
Olivier Gourmet for Grand Central
Francois Damiens for Suzanne

Most Promising Actress (Newcomer)
Lou de Laage for Jappeloup
Pauline Etienne for La Religieuse
Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue is the Warmest Color
Goshifteh Farahni for Syngue Sabour - Pierre de Patience
Marine Vacth for Young & Beautiful 

Pierre is nominated for "Most Promising"

Most Promising Actor (Newcomer)
Paul Bartel for Les Petits Princes
Pierre Deladonchamps for Stranger at the Lake
Paul Hamy for Suzanne
Vincent Macaigne for La Fille du 14 Juillet
Nemo Schiffman for Elle S'En Va

Best Original Screenplay
Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch
Philippe Le Guay for Alceste a Bicyclette
Alain Guiraudie for Stranger at the Lake
Asghar Farhadi  for The Past
Katelle Quillevere and Mariette Desert for Suzanne 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum
Arnaud Desplechin for Jimmy P.
Antonin Baudry, Christophe Blain and Bertrand Tavernier for Quai d'Orsay
David Ives and Roman Polanski for Venus in Fur
Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalya Lacroix for Blue is the Warmest Color

Best Original Music
Jorge Arriagada for Alceste a Bicyclette
Loik Dury and Christophe "Disco" Minck for Chinese Puzzle
Etienne Charry for L'Ecume des Jours
Martin Wheeler for Michael Kohlhaas
Alexandre Desplat for Venus in Fur

Best Sound
Marc-Antoine Beldent, Loic Prian and Olivier Do Huu for Me, Myself and Mum
Philippe Grivel and Nathalie Vidal for Stranger at the Lake
Jean-Pierre Duret, Jean Mallet and Melissa Petitjean for Michael Kohlhaas
Lucien Balibar, Nadine Muse, Cyril Holtz for Venus in Fur
Jerome Chenevoy, Fabien Pochet and Jean-Paul Hurier for Blue is the Warmest Color

France's Oscar submission "Renoir" won craft nominations but little attention in the major categories

Best Cinematography
Thomas Hardmeier for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
Claire Mathon for Stranger at the Lake
Jeanne Lapoirie for Michael Kohlhaas
Mark Ping Bing Lee for Renoir
Sofian el Fani for Blue is the Warmest Color

Best Editing
Christophe Pinel for9 Month Stretch
Valerie Deseine for Me, Myself and Mum
Jean-Christophe Hym for Stranger at the Lake
Juliette Welfling for The Past
Camille Toubkis, Albertine Lastera and Jean-Marie Langelle for Blue is the Warmest Color

Best Costume
Florence Fontaine for L'Ecume des Jours
Madeline Fontaine for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
Olivier Beriot for Me, Myself and Mum
Anina Diener for Michael Kohlhaas
Pascaline Chavanne for Renoir

Best Production Design (Décor)
Stephane Rozenbaum for L'Ecume des Jours
Aline Bonetto for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
Sylive Olive for Me, Myself and Mum
Yan Arlaud for Michael Kohlhaas
Benoit Barouh for Renoir

Best Documentary
Comment J'ai Deteste les Maths, director Olivier Peyon
Le Dernier des Injustes, director Claude Lanzmann
Il Etait une Foret, director Luc Jacquet
La Maison de la Raido, director Nicolas Philibert
Sur le Chemin de l'Ecole, director Pascal Plisson

Best First Film
La Bataille de Solferino, director Justine Triet
La Cage Doree, director Ruben Alves
En Solitaire, director Christophe Offenstein
La Fille du 14 Julliet, director Antonin Peretjatko
Me, Myself and Mum, director Guillaume Gallienne 

Best Short Film
Avant Que de Tout Perdre, director Xavier Legrand
Bambi, director Sebastien Lifshitz
La Fugue, director Jean-Bernard Marlin
Les Lezards, director Vincent Mariette
Marseille la Nuit, director Marie Monge 

Best Animated Feature Film
Ayay de Yopougon, directors Marguerite AbouteandClement Oubrerie
Loulou l'Incroyable Secret, director Eric Omond
My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, directors Marc Boreal and Thibaut Chatel

[Note: Ernest & Celestine, currently Oscar nominated as Best Animated Feature won this prize last year at the Césars]

Best Animated Short Film
Lettres de Femmes, director Augusto Zanovello
Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnos, director Amelie Harraul

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Reader Comments (17)

so thrilled for all the BLUE love (although, yes, Adele should be in the Best Actress lineup not that 'promising' shit) and STRANGER (which opens in LA this weekend woot!)

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Silver lining if Adele and Lea both win

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I saw Venus in Fur and thought Seigner was pretty fantastic!

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Insane that Jimmy P. prevailed. I remember many English-speaking critics called it the worst of the Cannes film festival and found the dialogue ludicrous.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Seydoux is definitely a co-lead.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

This was very fun to read.

I honestly think that 7 nominees in the all the main categories is just insane.

Who is Léa's biggest competitor?

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I was visiting France last week and saw "Les garçons et Guillaume à table." It is a very strong film about a personal story. I am gay and I never felt that it was looking down on homosexuality. It is really about masculinity vs feminity. I was touched, amused, entertained. Totally get the prizes at Cannes...

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDomgogo

"(which means 4 of the 7 best pic nominees were lazily picked from Cannes’ main competition)"

Actually no. That just means the French film industry is not averse to cutting-edge cinema, which is something to be celebrated, not complained about. And whatever "The Past"s failings, it's certainly not 'dreary'. Also even though Jimmy P was indeed a misfire (and, as a Desplechine acolyte, it pains me to confess that), it's mega-cool that something so abrasive would be embraced by a national film industry awards body. No matter the names attached to it, could you imagine it getting a Best Picture nomination in any other country?

Also just in general, this is one of the snarkiest award nomination reports I've read. Though I'll grant you, I haven't had the chance to see most of the films discussed so who knows, the rest of the snark might be well earned.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Is Guillaume Gallienne France's answer to Roberto Benigni?

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Zut alors! Adele not in the best actress category, now that is stupid. She's a certain for newcomer but really, come on she should be recognised as best actress.

Can't see Seydoux winning best actress, if anything I see it as a supportive role.

This award season is bizarre, as these 2 gave the best performances in their respective roles this year but are picking up few awards, well at least they've got the Palme D'Or.

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersuzy

What about Juliette Binoche in Dumont's "Camille Claudel"? It was propably the best female role in french movie 2013 just behind Adele...

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterm

I actually understand why Seigner's perf in VENUS has been lauded. I'm glad that STRANGER BY THE LAKE gave a nomination to both Pierre de Ladonchamps (as Best Male Newcomer) both Patrick d'Assumçao (as Best Supporting Actor) but I'm sorry they overlooked Christophe Paou, the gorgeous co-lead

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Yeah, Binoche was the best actress of 2013, bar none

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Why 7 nominees in the lead acting categories and 5 in the supporting categories. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn D.

John D - right? just another example of more awards for the privileged few and less for the working masses. I guess it's not just an american problem. it's so strange that the workers don't rise up. haha. here in america i guess there's not enough critical thinking amongst actors to realize they're voting against themselves by allowing the leading actors to get all the prizes for supporting work. Having met many members of the Academy now i can assure you it's a myth that they're all the top tier professionals . Many of them are below the line people who never won a leading role in their life and most people would not know the names of (though they might recognize their faces in a "i've seen you somewhere before" kind of way.

February 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Just saw Stranger by The Lake. Woooooo boy, what a great year for queer cinema. That one in particular is one of the gayest art films since Querelle.

So of the films I did see, The Past, BITWC, and Stranger by the Lake. Good group and I know The Past wasn't A Separation, but it was a wonderful piece of melodrama and I wish the younger performers Pauline Burlet and Ylves Aguis were nominated.

As for Gayet. I wonder how America would have reacted to the publicized Marilyn/JFK stuff. Given how somehow a US Senator denounced Rossellini and Bergman's affairs on the Senate floor, there's no telling how much crap would hit the fan.

Yeah, I'm really confused by Seydoux's placement. It's never from her perspective in the film. Ever.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

can you believe that this is Léa Seydoux's 4th César nomination and 2nd straight for Best Actress at 28?

Reading comments in the French media,a lot of people feel that Lea is more than deserving of the César.

She was nominated for Breakthrough already at both Cannes and the César already in the past and winning the 2013 Cabourg Film Festival for Best Actress for Farewell My Queen and Sister,the 2013 Cannes Film Festival,the 2014 Prix Lumieres as Best Actress for Blue Is The Warmest Color and Grand Central,the 2014 Prix Romy Schneider nomination for Best Actress,the 2014 BAFTA nomination and with Kechiche getting sued by the Blue Is The Warmest Color first film crew and technicians,directors,actors getting to vote at the César I wouldn't be surprised if Seydoux won.Sentimental favorite is Catherine Deneuve of course

While they all love Adele;people are afraid that she is a fluke and she has received just 1 movie offer while offers are lining for Léa.Besides Marion Cotillard just this week a French article stated that Seydoux is getting sent all the scripts in all of France.Seydoux is sure $ not Exarchopoulos

I wish both of them luck but Seydoux has been great for 8 years now and other than La Rafle Exarchopoulos is no sure bet

I'd vote for Seydoux as well.Blue was bland until Emma came in the picture.The crying and the snot was boring

here's the rule that doomed Adele

César 2014 : pourquoi Adèle Exarchopoulos n’est pas nommée en Meilleure actrice ?


Pourquoi Adèle est-elle donc rangée dans la case "Meilleur espoir" alors qu'on l'attendait en Meilleure actrice ? "Les 4381 votants ont dû choisir 5 actrices pour l'espoir, et 7 pour la Meilleure actrice", nous précise-t-on à l'Académie des Arts et techniques du Cinéma. "En toute liberté de choix." Certes, mais, en 2010, Tahar Rahim était nommé à la fois en Espoir et Acteur pour Un prophète de Jacques Audiard, et a remporté les deux trophées -une première dans l'histoire des César. "Depuis la double victoire de Tahar Rahim, le règlement a changé pour éviter ce cas de figure".

De facto, le règlement de l'Académie précise désormais (Chapitre II, Article 7) que "si, à l’issue du premier tour, un acteur ou une actrice obtient, pour un même film, suffisamment de voix pour être nommé(e), dans plusieurs catégories «interprétation», à savoir: Meilleur(e) Acteur(rice), Meilleur(e) Acteur(rice) dans un Second Rôle, ou Meilleur Espoir (Masculin ou Féminin), il ou elle sera nommé(e) uniquement dans la catégorie pour laquelle il ou elle aura obtenu le pourcentage de vote le plus important (nombre de suffrages obtenus divisé par le nombre de suffrages décomptés pour la catégorie)." Difficile de faire plus clair.

On ne saura pas les résultats précis du vote ayant conduit à la nomination d'Adèle Exarchopoulos en Meilleur espoir, afin de savoir si le match était serré ou pas entre l'Espoir et l'Actrice : toujours est-il que selon les votants (et selon les maths), Adèle ne méritait pas d'être nommée Meilleure actrice mais Meilleur espoir. Rendez-vous le 28 février au soir pour le verdict et savoir si Adèle repartira avec son César... Même si ce n'est pas le bon.


February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGASTINKS

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