‘Of Gods and Men,’ ‘Ghost Writer’ lead César nominations

Posted by · 2:34 pm · January 21st, 2011

The film may be smarting from its widely (if not, ahem, entirely) unexpected omission from the Oscar foreign-language shortlist earlier this week, but Xavier Beauvois’s sombre religious drama “Of Gods and Men” found more love in its home country, where it scooped a leading 11 nominations for the César Awards.

The so-called “French Oscars” also unsurprisingly took a shine to Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer,” which has dominated the European awards circuit and is angling for a surprise Oscar nod or two on Tuesday. Expect these two films to battle it out for the gold; I’d bet on the weighty prestige veneer of Beauvois’s film winning out, but sentimental loyalty to Polanski shouldn’t be underestimated — he is, after all, a previous winner for both “Tess” and  “The Pianist.”

Beyond those two frontrunners, I’m pleased to see a strong showing for Mathieu Amalric’s scrappy burlesque comedy “On Tour,” though their other choices suggest the Césars can be as frustratingly MOR as their US counterpart.

That trifles like “Heartbreaker” and “Mammuth” can pip “Carlos” (which at least secured a directing nod for Olivier Assayas) to a Best Film berth is bewildering. And quite what Claire Denis did to so offend César voters is a mystery: “White Material” is just the latest of her films to be shut out of the nominations entirely.

Meanwhile, “The Social Network” continues its indefatigable awards streak with a Best Foreign Film nomination, while France’s hard-on for Clint Eastwood is getting almost comical by this point.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Best Film
“The Ghost Writer”
“The Names of Love”
“Of Gods and Men”
“On Tour”

Best Director

Olivier Assayas, “Carlos”
Bertrand Blier, “The Clink of Ice”
Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer”
Mathieu Amalric, “On Tour”
Xavier Beauvois, “Of Gods and Men”

Best Actor
Gérard Depardieu, “Mammuth”
Romain Duris, “Heartbreaker”
Eric Elmosnino, “Gainsbourg”
Jacques Gamblin, “The Names of Love”
Lambert Wilson, “Of Gods and Men”

Best Actress
Isabelle Carré, “Les émotifs anonymes”
Catherine Deneuve, “Potiche”
Sara Forestier, “The Names of Love”
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “The Tree”
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Sarah’s Key”

Best Supporting Actor
Niels Arestrup, “The Big Picture”
François Damiens, “Heartbreaker”
Gilles Lellouche, “Little White Lies”
Michael Lonsdale, “Of Gods and Men”
Olivier Rabourdin, “Of Gods and Men”

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Alvaro, “The Clink of Ice”
Valérie Bonneton, “Little White Lies”
Laetitia Casta, “Gainsbourg”
Julie Ferrier, “Heartbreaker”
Karin Viard, “Potiche”

Most Promising Actor
Arthur Dupont, “Bus Palladium”
Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, “The Princess of Montpensier”
Pio Marmaï, “Living on Love Alone”
Raphaël Personnaz, “The Princess of Montpensier”
Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos”

Most Promising Actress
Leïla Bekhti, “Tout ce qui brille”
Anaïs Demoustier, “Living on Love Alone”
Audrey Lamy, “Tout ce qui brille”
Léa Seydoux, “Dear Prudence”
Yahima Torres, “Black Venus”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Clink of Ice”
“The Names of Love”
“Of Gods and Men”
“On Tour”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Big Picture”
“The Ghost Writer”
“The Princess of Montpensier”
“The Tree”

Best Foreign Film
“Bright Star”
“The Secret in Their Eyes”
“The Social Network”

Best First Film
“Lights Out”
“Tout ce qui brille”
“Turk’s Head”

Best Animated Film
“Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds”
“The Illusionist”
“The Man in the Blue Gordini”
“Une Vie de Chat”

Best Documentary
“Benda Bilili!”
“Cleveland vs. Wall Street”
“Into Our Own Hands”
“L’amour fou”

Best Cinematography
“The Ghost Writer”
“Of Gods and Men”
“On Tour”
“The Princess of Montpensier”

Best Art Direction
“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec”
“The Ghost Writer”
“Of Gods and Men”
“The Princess of Montpensier”

Best Costume Design
“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec”
“Of Gods and Men”
“On Tour”
“The Princess of Montpensier”

Best Editing
“The Ghost Writer”
“Of Gods and Men”
“On Tour”

Best Original Score
“Bus Palladium”
“The Ghost Writer”
“The Princess of Montpensier”
“The Tree”

Best Sound
“On Tour”
“The Ghost Writer”
“Of Gods and Men”

Best Short Film
“Monsieur l’abbé”
“Petit tailleur”
“Saint Louis Blues”
“Une pute et un poussin”

[Photo: Summit Entertainment]

→ 12 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 1-21-2011 at 4:17 pm

    pilfering monk said...

    The Pianist swept the board because it is an incredible film…not because of any loyalty to Polanski. I don’t know why you have such a bad opinion of that film Guy.

    Looking forward to seeing Carlos, andWhite Material at some point.

  • 2 1-21-2011 at 4:23 pm

    Ken said...

    Loving the Of Gods and Men nominations, a truly great movie in my mind, and a Cesar win (likely, but not certain — Ghost Writer is a strong contender) would vindicate the inexplicable snub by AMPAS.

    Heartbreaker is a “great” movie solely in the sense that it achieves what it sets out to do: a fun, funny, charming rom-com. It was a huge hit in France, and I actually thought the acting was a major plus, all things considered. So yeah…its a ‘trifle’, but a very enjoyable one at that.

    I didn’t care for White Material so disagree there, but I do agree about Carlos/Edgar. Definitely a shocking omission in each category.

  • 3 1-21-2011 at 4:53 pm

    Michael W. said...

    What the hell are they smoking? Not much love for Carlos!

    But great to see The Ghost Writer well represented again. I had hoped it would feature in the awards race in the US, but apparantly it’s just in Europe. Polanski won the Lumiere Awards for director and screenplay a few days ago so maybe he can get one or two prizes here too.

  • 4 1-21-2011 at 5:01 pm

    Glenn said...

    So happy to see “The Tree” get a few nominations including one for Charlotte Gainsbourg and the adaptation by Julie Bertuccelli. It’s one of my very top films of 2010.

    I, unfortunately, have not seen many of the others. “Heartbreaker” is about it, and I liked it, but hardly Best Film worthy.

    Also, where’s “Certified Copy”?

  • 5 1-21-2011 at 5:17 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m not sure if “Certified Copy” is sufficiently French to qualify, given that Italy and Iran have equal claim to it.

    “The Ghost Writer” is also something of a co-production, of course, but I think the presence of Alain Sarde as a producer helps. Not sure where the line is drawn.

  • 6 1-21-2011 at 9:43 pm

    red_wine said...

    Carlos missing Best Picture (and many other categories) is ridiculous. I think
    Edgar Ramirez was not nominated for Best Actor because he was not French (Is that the case guy?).

    Little White Lies was a massive hit. So I’m a bit surprised it missed in the top categories specially since Canet’s last film did so well.

    Heartbreaker is just so slight. I am pretty shocked it got a Best Picture nomination.

    But the very big snub for me is Mathieu Amalric glorious performance in On Tour, one of the best I have seen all year. The film overall is also one of my favorites and I would love if it won Best Picture but we know that’s not gonna happen.

    I actually think that The Ghost Writer will be preferred to Of Gods And Men specially it might be a ‘tainted’ in their mind since it even failed to make the long list. Regarding the Best Director, I think Polanski has it in the bag with only the great Olivier Assayas being a spoiler.

    It is still shocking that France did not honor one of their own greatest films “Summer Hours”.

  • 7 1-22-2011 at 2:06 am

    le duff pascal said...

    “Certified Copy” was French enough to qualify and the Cesar academy pretty much lets producers do almost as they please.

    For instance, Mysteries of Lisbonne by Raul Ruiz could only qualify for movie in a foreign language but if the producers had asked for it, it could have been given a derogatory ( not sure of the word ) status to qualify as a French movie since the director is regarded as French ( and probably is ) and the producer is too. “Certified Copy” is shut out because they did not vote for it enough.

    It’s a pretty good year ( except for the Foreign movies category, which is quite sad ) when awful things like LES PETITS MOUCHOIRS and LA RAFLE are nearly ot totally shut out. The director of that last one pretty much said : ” If you do not like my movie, you must be a nazi, aren’t you ? ”

    Of course, you can regret movies like ” Carlos ” not to qualify for best movie, cinematography or sound, but in spite of missing in a 7 top movies list, it got one in the 5top directors list. Not good enough but at least Assayas receives his first nod since 1986 ( for a screenplay ). Claire Denis won first feature in 1989, so she should not have to wait for too long now…

    And if Edgar Ramirez was not nominated for lead, I believe it’s because his name was on the prelist of 16 names for breakthrough performance. He could have been nominated in both categories, but they chose to honor someone else in the best actor lineup. And I believe that Amalric was not far behind there.

    Another good thing about the list is the art direction and costume categories, where a few contemporary movies appear. Nice touch.

    Totally surprised by the nominations for the superb THE TREE and it’s funny to see Charlotte Gainsbourg nominated as best actress the year the biopic on her father’s life is also nominated. Especially since the director offered her the part, which she eventually turned down.

    Who will win ? I can’t say I know. That’s the good thing about the César, there are years when you just don’t know for sure. Obviously, best movie should be between OF GODS AND MEN and THE GHOST WRITER, and the director’s win between them, but I don’t rule out Assayas as a surprise win ( and I believe he will win the editing award ). Michael Lonsdale is a 100 % safe best as supporting actor. At last !

    Not to forget the Lifetime Achievement Award to Quentin Tarantino ! Yep, as usual, everyone over the age of 60 is pretty much dead to the Academy. Dustin Hoffman and Harrison Ford did receive that award recently, but before that we have seen the likes of Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Jude Law and Hugh Grant get it.

    Maybe someday they will realize that Pierre Etaix, Jean-Claude Carrière, Jacques Rivette, are still alive…

  • 8 1-22-2011 at 4:29 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Red Wine: If you look down the list, you’ll see Ramirez is nominated for Most Promising Actor, so he was (as the comment above explains) eligible.

    Le Duff Pascal: Thanks for all this insight. Perhaps not too surprising about Certified Copy, then — I hear from Parisian friends that it didn’t go down as well in France as it did with English-speaking critics?

  • 9 1-24-2011 at 8:51 am

    le duff pascal said...

    Basically, CERTIFIED COPY was quickly forgotten, as SUMMER HOURS was a couple of years ago, except for a nod to Edith Scob ( at last ). Critics did not hate it, they were just not that interested.

  • 10 2-10-2011 at 7:27 am

    Pedrito said...

    Just saw “White material” and can’t understand why the film is not cited even once in the nominations. This is one of Claire Denis’ best features, and deserved better treatment. Looks like the movie was too radical for the taste of many…

  • 11 2-13-2011 at 12:47 am

    Ross said...

    There is a thing with the French Academy and it’s that they have a few directors, a few really interesting filmmakers (Ozon, Assayas and Claire Denis spring to mind right away), who are to the French Academy what Christopher Nolan is to the American Academy – they don’t care what they’ll do. They always get snubbed or nearly always, since Ozon got a directing nod for 8 Femmes and Assayas is nominated this year, but given they nearly annual delivering of good films that are talked about internationally, it’s a bit laughable. Anyway, to me at least these three are much more interesting than Nolan, but it was for the comparison’s sake.

  • 12 2-13-2011 at 12:57 am

    red_wine said...

    I know its only for comparison’s sake but I find it extremely inappropriate to compare Denis and Assayas to Nolan. I daresay the comparison is not flattering to them at all.