Louis Garrel’s “The Innocent” and Dominik Moll’s thriller “The Night of the 12th” are leading the race at France’s 48th Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent to the Oscars.
Nominated for 11 Cesar nominations, “The Innocent” is a heist romantic comedy starring Garrel, Roschdy Zem and Noemie Merlant, the actor who previously starred in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and most recently in “Tar.” Produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint at Les Films des Tournelles, the crowdpleaser world premiered out of competition at Cannes for the 75th anniversary of the festival.
“The Night of the 12th,” meanwhile, is running for 10 Cesar awards. The brooding topical procedural, which also opened at Cannes, in the Premiere section, stars Bastien Bouillon and Bouli Lanners as two cops trying to solve a gruesome murder. The movie, produced by Haut et Court (“The Class”), delves into issues of gender and violence.
Other top Cesar contenders include Cedric Klapisch’s dance-filled “En Corps,” Albert Serra’s “Pacifiction,” Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s “Forever Young,” Cedric Jimenez’ “November,” Eric Gravel’s “A Plein Temps,” and Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer,” among others. Among these are some of 2022’s highest grossing French-language movies, notably “November,” “The Innoncent” and “The Night of the 12th.”
Juliette Binoche is vying for best actress for her turn in Emmanuel Carrère’s “Between Two Worlds,” along with Fanny Ardant in Carine Tardieu’s “The Young Lovers,” Laure Calamy in “Full Time,” Virginie Efira in Alice Winocour’s “Revoir Paris” and Adele Exarchopoulos in Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre’s “Rien à Foutre.” Missing from these is Elsa Zilberstein for her performance in “Simone: A Journey of the Century,” a biopic of Simone Veil, an Auschwitz survivor who became health minister of France and championed the 1975 law that legalized abortion in France.
In the actor category, Jean Dujardin, the Oscar-winning actor of “The Artist,” is nominated for his part as a dedicated cop investigating the November 2015 Paris attacks. He will face off Garrel with “The Innocent,” Vincent Macaigne in Emmanuel Mouret’s “Chronique d’une liaison passagere,” Benoit Magimel in “Pacifiction” and Denis Menochet in Francois Ozon’s “Peter von Kant.”
Interestingly, Claire Denis who had a banner 2022, winning the Silver Bear in Berlin with “Both Sides of the Blade” and the Grand Prize at Cannes with “Stars at Noon” (shared with Lukas Dhont’s “Close”), didn’t make it on the list.
The best director category is entirely dominated by male filmmakers (Moll, Garrel, Jimenez, Klapisch and Serra) while the best films in the running include a single title helmed by a female director, Bruni Tedeschi with “Forever Young.”
“Saint Omer,” for which Alice Diop earned the Lion of the Future and the Golden Lion at Venice, is nominated for four awards, including best first film and female newcomer for Guslagie Malanda, along with Charlotte Le Bon with “Falcon Lake,” Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s “The Worst Ones,” Leopold Legrand’s “Le sixieme enfant” and Vincent Leport’s “Bruno Reidal.”
“Close” is part of the best foreign film category, alongside Tarik Saleh’s “Cairo Conspiracy,” Jerry Skolimowski’s “EO,” Ruben Ostlund’s “Triangle of Sadness” and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “As Bestas.”
Nominations were unveiled online on Wednesday morning (Jan. 25). The 48th edition of the César Awards will take place on Feb. 24 and will hand out an honorary award to American director David Fincher. As previously announced, Tahar Rahim will preside over this upcoming ceremony.
More to come.