Saturday, February 21, 2015

40th César Awards Winners

After an extremely long awards ceremony I was exhausted. Organizers should do something about the length of the acceptance speeches as some take too long saying not much; but even when social media goes crazy complaining or viewers get tired watching broadcast, know is very polite to let award winners have their 15 minutes of fame. See, this award show is more about the winners than about ratings, TV viewers or even the audience at the theater. Which is the way it should be, isn't?

Timbuktu is the big winner with 7 awards out of 9 nominations, followed by Thomas Cailley debut feature film, Les Combattants with 3 awards out of 9 nominations.  Unfortunately a very unconventional thus great non-commercial cinema film, was the big loser as from 10 nominations got only 1 award for Best Costumes, the magnificent Saint Laurent by Bertrand Bonello.

But the truth is that the BIG winner of last night was the Festival de Cannes as almost ALL the awards went to movies that premiered in 2014 Cannes. Of course social media was in charge of telling everyone the outstanding fact.

Let me be clear I do not mind at all that most 2015 Césars went to a great film, with an extraordinary story plus awesome cinematography and I do even when film collected no major awards in Cannes. Timbuktu might not have collected awards in Cannes but film has been honored with an Oscar nomination and with what collected last night, the many honors from its peers.

Was expecting Adèle Haenel to win as we know that French awards like to recompense young actors, which I believe is good practice especially when they really deserve the award and she does for her spectacular performance in Les Combattants.  But always there is hope that great performances by great established actresses have recognition, so I hoped for Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard or the great absent Catherine Deneuve to be honored. Sigh.

I got upset with Pierre Niney win as the award belonged to Gaspar Ulliel's awesome performance, don't understand at all this selection and just recall what people say about the Oscars "it's a popularity contest" so maybe that is the main reason to choose Niney above Ulliel. Sigh. Had no preferences for supporting actor so Reda Kateb win was okay; but Kristen Stewart win was awesome even when was expected by me and almost all social media (lol). You have NO idea how crazy was social media yesterday, the #César2015 was trending not only in France, Montreal but also for a few minutes as a Worldwide trend and there were so many César awards ceremony new viewers that were so bored because couldn't understand French that "translators" pop-up to help them understand something. Yes, all this happened because the "power" of Kirsten Stewart, so was NO surprise when her category went to the end of the ceremony and not at the beginning which usually happens. No wonder why the young actress is so fed-up with all this fuzz and buzz around her. Still, I am really glad that she became the first American actress to win a César.

Glad French awards are over as we have March to rest for a while as April brings us the Cannes Selection and the fun starts once again. Soon will do my Cannes Wish List and yes, as always, has a very long list of French movies.

À bientôt!

Winners are in *BLUE. To check official announcement go to post bottom just before the videos from the awards ceremony (with NO acceptance speeches!).

In a few minutes the awards ceremony will start and will be updating post as winners become known.

If you wish to watch the ceremony live stream go Canal + here. If you wish to watch the Red Carpet right now go here.

We already know that the BIG winner of the night, at least in the number of collected awards is Timbuktu! Believe that Timbuktu is a great choice for best film and all the other awards it won. We have to recall that film won nothing at 2015 Cannes, so all these honors are well-deserved.

Will comment more tomorrow. Bonne nuit!

Winners are in *BLUE.

Best Film
Les Combattants, Thomas Cailley
Eastern Boys, Robin Campillo
La Famille Bélier, Eric Lartigau
Hippocrate, Thomas Lilti
Saint Laurent, Bertrand Bonello
Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas
*Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako

Best Debut Feature
*Les Combattants, Thomas Cailley
Elle L’Adore, Jeanne Herry
Fidelio, L’Odyssée D’Alice, Lucie Borleteau
Party Girl, Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis
Qu’Allah Bénisse La France, Abd Al Malik

Best Animated Film
Le Chant De La Mer, Tomm Moore
Jack Et La Mécanique Du Coeur, Stéphane Berla
*Minuscule – La Vallée Des Fourmis Perdues, Thomas Szabo and Hélène Giraud

Best Foreign Film
12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Deux Jours, Une Nuit, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski
*Mommy, Xavier Dolan
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Director
Olivier Assayas for Sils Maria
Bertrand Bonello for Saint Laurent
Thomas Cailley for Les Combattants
Robin Campillo for Eastern Boys
Thomas Lilti for Hippocrate
Céline Sciamma for Bande De Filles
*Abderrahmane Sissako for Timbuktu

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche in Sils Maria
Marion Cotillard in Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Catherine Deneuve in Dans La Cour
Emilie Dequenne in Pas Son Genre
*Adèle Haenel in Les Combattants
Sandrine Kiberlain in Elle L’Adore
Karin Viard in La Famille Bélier

Best Supporting Actress
Marianne Denicourt in Hippocrate
Claude Gensac in Lulu Femme Nue
Izïa Higelin in Samba
Charlotte Le Bon in Yves Saint Laurent
*Kristen Stewart in Sils Maria

Best Female Newcomer
Lou de Laâge in Respire
*Louane Emera in La Famille Bélier
Joséphine Japy in Respire
Ariane Labed in Fidelio, L’Odyssée D’Alice
Karidja Touré in Bande De Filles

Best Actor
Niels Arestrup in Diplomatie
Guillaume Canet in La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur
François Damiens in La Famille Bélier
Romain Duris in Une Nouvelle Amie
Vincent Lacoste in Hippocrate
*Pierre Niney in Yves Saint Laurent
Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent

Best Supporting Actor
Eric Elmosnino in La Famille Bélier
Guillaume Gallienne in Yves Saint Laurent
Louis Garrel in Saint Laurent
*Reda Kateb in Hippocrate
Jérémie Renier in Saint Laurent

Best Male Newcomer
*Kevin Azaïs in Les Combattants
Ahmed Dramé in Les Héritiers
Kirill Emelyanov in Eastern Boys
Pierre Rochefort in Un Beau Dimanche
Marc Zinga in Qu’Allah Bénisse La France

Best Original Screenplay
Les Combattants
La Famille Bélier
Sils Maria

Best Adapted Screenplay
La Chambre Bleue
Lulu Femme Nue
Pas Son Genre
La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur

Best Score
Bande De Filles
Bird People
Les Combattants
Yves Saint-Laurent

Best Editing
Les Combattants
Party Girl

Best Cinematography
La Belle Et La Bête
Sils Maria
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Set Design
*La Belle Et La Bête
La French
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Costumes
La Belle Et La Bête
La French
Une Nouvelle Amie
Yves Saint Laurent

Best Sound
Bande De Filles
Bird People
Les Combattants
Saint Laurent

Best Documentary
Caricaturistes – Fantassins De La Démocratie (Cartoonists: Footsoldiers of Democracy?), Stéphanie Valloatto
Les Chèvres De Ma Mère, Sophie Audier
La Cour De Babel (School of Babel), Julie Bertucelli
National Gallery, Frederick Wiseman
*Le Sel de la Terre (Salt Of The Earth), Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Best Short Film
Aïssa, Clément Tréhin-Lalanne
*La Femme De Rio, Emma Luchini
Inupiluk, Sébastien Betbeder
Les Jours D’Avant (The Days Before), Karim Moussaoui
Où Je Mets Ma Pudeur (My Sense of Modesty), Sébastien Bailly
La virée à Paname, Carine May and Hakim Zouhani

Best Animated Short
Bang Bang!, Julien Bisaro
La Bûche De Noël, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar
La Petite Casserole D’Anatole (Anatole's Little Saucepan), Eric Montchaud
*Les Petits Cailloux, Chloé Mazlo

This morning in Fouquet's restaurant on Champs Elysees the Academy President Alain Terzian held a press conference to announce the nominations for the fortieth edition of the awards that honor French cinema. Also the award poster was unveiled and to my very pleasant surprise this year honor goes to Fanny Ardant. Beautiful.

I keep on saying that 2014 was not a very good year for French cinema but the Academy managed to honor 7 films, 7 directors, 7 actresses, 7 actors in the main categories (7 is the maximum) and when I see which movies are listed then I realize that yes, most are great movies. But it should not be a surprise as most films with nominations had their premiere in Cannes 2014!

It is impossible for me not to mention that social media went crazy -and still is going on- with Kristen Stewart nomination. I'm so glad that she's being honored as believe that she highly deserves the honor for her great performance in Sils Maria. Maybe now across the ocean, in Hollywood, the industry and especially the media start to recognize that she's a great actress that goes well above whatever they think about her in the immensely popular Twilight saga. Sigh. Besides it will be a great pleasure to see again Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart together like they did in Cannes; well, first I hope Stewart attends the awards ceremony.

Perhaps the nomination that pops-out more for me is Adèle Haenel nominated in the Best Actress category along Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Marion Cotillard! That's outstanding and quite fast indeed as just last year she won the César for Best Supporting Actress. Then even when her movie did not got a nomination for Best Film, Céline Sciamma got a nomination in the Best Director category. Let's remember that these two women started their careers together in fantastic Naissance des Pieuvres (Water Lilies) and now again this real-life couple share together the spotlight. Great!  Another interesting couple that will be attending the award ceremony is Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet as both are nominated in the top actors categories.

Some remarkable stats are Catherine Deneuve 12th nomination (won in 1981 and 1992), Juliette Binoche 8th nomination(won in 1994) and Marion Cotillard 2nd nomination (won in 2007) in the Best Actress category. Surely for the first time there are two actors nominated for playing the same real-life person, which is highly unusual, but you have Gapard Ulliel and Pierre Niney both nominated for playing Yves Saint Laurent. Also interesting is to find that none of the actors in the Best Actor category has ever won a César in that category (Canet has won as Director, Arestrup has won 3 times as Supporting Actor and Ulliel once as Most Promising Actor).

While writing this post suddenly I arrive to the foreign film category, read the 7 nominees and laugh loud. How can you decide among those films? Indeed, without the English spoken movies, that's how the Oscar foreign-language category should have looked.

Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent leads the pack with 10 nominations but the biggest surprise is Thomas Cailley's Les Combattants that came second with 9 nominations as is the first time that a debut feature film gets so many nominations. Timbuktu follows with 9, plus Hippocrate and Yves Saint Laurent with 7 each, Sils Maria and La Famille Bélier with 6 are the films with most nominations.

To read the nominations at the official site go here, available for download as pdf file. The awards ceremony will be on February 20 with Danny Boon as president, Edouard Baer hosting, Sean Penn receiving an Honorary César, Luc Besson showing his 40th anniversary medal and a homage to Alain Resnais. Me, I will NOT miss this edition as is one of the most lesbian-interest award ceremonies that we could have this year with so many open lesbian filmmakers/actresses being honored.

Have seen most films but there are a few that still haven't been able to watch and are must be seen for me.  Most interesting is the fact that have seen Catherine Deneuve in some 2014 films but not the one where she got the nomination (think I skipped, oops!) but now I'm curious, so have to see it. There are two films that I was expecting more nominations than just some in the tech categories, La Belle Et La Bête and Bird People as I like them better than Yves Saint Laurent, for example, and hoped for Lea Seydoux nomination or even Josh Charles who definitively had a better performance than Pierre Niney.

Award winners from Official Site

Some videos from the awards ceremony and behind

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