If by some stroke of bad luck or homegrown Hollywood love for The Descendants or Hugo, The Artist is derailed at the Oscars on February 26th, it could still take home double handfuls of trophies at the Césars. While I'm sure all countries hate their own awards being called "_____'s Oscars", it's easy shorthand. Oscar was first, after all, thus laying the groundwork for all of this "Best Movie This, Best Movie That" until the end of time.
The Artist is up for 10 awards at the Césars... same number as the Oscars! The Cesars allow more than 5 nominees a category so it seems a bit like everyone is nominated. Other favorites from the French industry are two female-helmed films: Valerie Donzelli's gutsy vivid memory piece War is Declared (opening today in the States. Highly recommended!) and another actress turned director Mäiwenn's Polisse. (I always feel the need to remind people that Mäiwenn was the blue opera diva in The Fifth Element.)
Film Experience favorite Carmen Maura is also up for a statue for her work in Women on the Sixth Floor.
Finally, in this quick take, we always get a kick out of the "foreign film" categories across the oceans when things are suddenly flipped and Hollywood itself is the foreign entity. Incredibly, The King's Speech is still with us (ARGH!) and it's up against other previous / current Oscar nominees like Black Swan, Incendies, and A Separation as well as films that were far too auteurist or contemporary for Oscar like Melancholia and Drive. Rounding out their foreign category is The Dardenne Brothers The Kid With the Bicycle. Great lineup, eh?
Full list of nominations after the jump and sexy pictures of a few "newcomer" nominations, since we love the French and we love eye candy. Who would you love to run into if you had a ticket to the Césars?