Oscar History

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Entries in Francophile (114)


"BPM" takes the César

by Nathaniel R

Nahuel Perez Biscayart (pictured in BPM and AU REVOIR LA HAUT) can't get out sick beds!

So much awardage being crammed in before the Oscars. In addition to the Spirits, the French César Awards were just held where, as expected, BPM took six trophies including Best Film and Best Male Newcomer for its terrific leading man, the Argentine born actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart. BPM apparently had tough competition, though, from Albert Dupontel's Au revoir Là-Haut (the English title will maybe be See You Up There) which also stars Biscayart! He's having quite a year...

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"BPM" Leads César Nominations

by Nathaniel R

The stars of BPM (Arnaud Valois, Adele Haenel, and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) were all nominated for Césars

The César Awards, now in their 43rd year, and essentially France's Oscars have announced their nominations. It wasn't a great year for France in terms of their US arthouse performances. The most successful French release this past year in the States was François Ozon's Frantz (César eligible in 2016) which finished its theatrical run just shy of a million dollars. But of the French films that did make some sort of transatlantic mark this year (whether through festival hype or theatrical release) you'll see BPM (Beats Per Minute), the horror film Raw, and Agnes Varda's Oscar nominated Faces Places among their nominees...

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120 Reasons to be excited about '120 Beats Per Minute'

by Murtada

Of all the movies that unspooled at this year’s ongoing Cannes Film Festival, the one that got this writer most excited is 120 Battements Par Minute (120 Beats Per Minute). The movie has gotten almost unanimous praise and is expected by many to nab a major prize at the festival. Update: And it won the Queer Palme award as expected. 

Campillo (center) and his cast at Cannes

Let’s count the reasons to be excited about it after the jump. I lied, not 120 reasons, but here are 9... 

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Tribeca 2017: Guillaume & Marion in "Rock'n Roll"

Here's Jason Adams reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

As the fifth movie I saw in a single day at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend (a new personal record!) I couldn’t have chosen wiser – Guilluame Canet’s movie star satire Rock'n Roll is as broad and goofy and absurd as they come, and while it might overstay its welcome (I’d say no comedy should run over two hours but Toni Erdmann did recently prove that golden rule incorrect) it’s also a lively good-natured farce that had the audience half rolling in the aisles. 

Canet co-wrote and directed Rock'n Roll, and he stars as Guillaume Canet, famous French actor and director, partnered with and father to the child of Marion Cotillard, world-famous Oscar winning actress – the two actors (and a troupe of famous French faces that they enlist to star alongside them and fill out their world) all send up their own images, taking them to absurd (and man does it go there) extremes...

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Interview: Guillaume Gallienne and Danièle Thompson on 'Cézanne and I'

By Jose Solís.

In Cézanne and I, director Danièle Thompson chronicles the ultimate bromance: the lifelong friendship between Emile Zola (Guillaume Canet) and Paul Cézanne (Guillaume Gallienne) who went from being schoolmates to becoming two of the most influential artists in history. In the film we see Zola’s literary work flourish, as Cézanne struggles to make a name for himself when his contemporaries fail to see the quality of his work and mock his technique. But rather than being a condescending story about “poor genius men”, the film addresses the terrifying idea that not everyone’s talents are meant to be recognized. I sat down with Gallienne and Thompson to discuss the themes in the film and the challenges of capturing the creative process onscreen.

JOSE: Why did you want to make a film about Zola and Cézanne?

DANIÈLE THOMPSON: I was very intrigued by the fact I knew nothing about their relationship, very quickly I thought that for these two men to have met as little boys in school, and to remain friends as each of them became monumental figures of the 19th century was very intriguing. I was also intrigued by how their friendship ended, it had the roots for a dramatic story.

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Review: "The Death of Louis XIV"

by Bill Curran

Laying in regal and rotting repose, the glorious tendrils of a white M-shaped wig framing his ashen face, King Louis XIV of France, in the year 1717, spends his final days dying atop luxurious satins and attended to by hand-wringing bureaucrats and a largely silent wife in Albert Serra’s (you guessed it) The Death of Louis XIV.

As far as “death trip” movies go, Louis XIV is a quintessential ordeal. Like moths around the flame, the films in this still-thriving trend announce the demise (or prolonged distress) of their subjects up front, with imminence and duration the focus, often with a titular clue to the narrative framework: The Passion of the Christ, Last Days, 12 Years a Slave, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, 127 Hours, Day Night Day Night, Hunger, Two Days, One Night, and Son of Saul, to name but a few...

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New Directors / New Films: "Happiness Academy"

Have you ever seen a film which mixes documentary with fiction? Hybrid films, films with documentary and fiction parts or at least performed / acted elements have been around for some time. I'm not enough of a documentary expert to know if this is an increasing trend but in the past few years I've seen a few. From my (extremely limited) experience the combo can spark frissons of excitement and thoughtful layers as in Sarah Polley's autobiographical mystery Stories We Tell. The hybrid approach can also be both fascinating and exhausting simultaneously as with Clio Barnard's The Arbor (2010) in which actors lipsynched to recorded interviews from the actual documentary subjects.

At this year's New Directors / New Films festival, which wraps today in NYC, the hybrid technique (genre?) gets another discussable entry via Happiness Academy...

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Links: Sharp Objects, French Directors, Emmy Ladies

THR amazing casting news: the great Patricia Clarkson will play Amy Adams estranged mother in HBO's Sharp Objects. Both roles are so juicy. Filming starts soon but we're talking next summer's Emmy nomination's not 2017's. Speaking of...
Decider Joe Reid's already thinking of the Lead Actress in a Miniseries Emmy race: 10 women, only 6 slots
/Film original Ghost in the Shell actors will dub the new film for Japanese relates


Salon looks back at memorable Russian villains in movies and on TV
All Things Considered wonders if you can make a King Kong movie without perpetuating racial undertones
Variety winners for the Miami Film Festival: Family Life and Maria (and Everybody Else)
Awards Daily 77 films about women on the way. That sounds like a lot, so, yay!
The Sun a couple of more pictures from the set of Mary Poppins Returns. A polka dot bowtie on Mary!
Decider Girls found the line that HBO wouldnt cross for sex scenes 
/Film Edgar Wright's Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort premiered at SXSW so here's the trailer 
W Mag classic Linda Evangelista photo. Love.

French Waves, Not New
The New Yorker has an article / theory on why France hasn't produced a great director in three decades. Interesting ideas but I disagree with the thesis. France may never be the critical hotspot in international cinema -- there's always some exciting country of the moment in international cinema and it changes every handful of years -- but they're consistently strong.

Thirty years ago was 1987. Directors who made their first feature films after 1987 include Claire Denis (1988), Arnaud Desplechin (1991), Jacques Audiard (1994). Does The New Yorker really exclude all of them from a list of great French directors? I admit France isn't turning out the greats as consistently as they once did and Brody is right that the new exciting directors dont seem to stay as exciting for as long as they should now (what happened to Christophe Honore, for example?) but let's be reasonable! I personally have high hopes for Celine Sciamma (Girlhood), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang) and Alice Winocour (Disorder) so maybe the future is female? 

Did you see SNL's perfume ad of Ivanka Trump starring Scarlett Johansson? The Titanic joke is rich.