Friday, February 22, 2013

Film Club: Césars 2013

We're now knee-deep into awards season and only days away from the Oscars, but before we get to the Academy Awards we have to pay a visit to France's Césars, so expect a lot of films in French!

Best Film

Versailles is nice when it's not being invaded by revolutionaries.
Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à la reine)

The French drama tells the tale of a young servant, Sidonie, who refuses to abandon Queen Marie Antoinette as the French Revolution reaches the Palace of Versailles.

Amour

The French-language film Amour has already won a BAFTA and is looking to add a few more awards to its trophy cabinet at both the Césars and the Oscars this weekend.

Camille Rewinds (Camille redouble)

The drama follows the story of Camille, a woman in the midst of a divorce who wakes from a drunken night to find herself a teenager in high school in the '80s once again. She attempts to change the course of her life and avoid her future husband, but things are never that easy.

In The House (Dans la maison)

Nominated for a GoyaIn The House eventually lost out to Untouchable. It is based on the Spanish play The Boy in the Last Row by Juan Mayorga. Perhaps it will fare better tonight!

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os)

A film that has been getting lots of nominations, including both the BAFTAs and the Goyas. We really needn't say more. The protagonist moves to France with his son and falls in love with a killer whale trainer.

Holy Motors

A drama about a man who transcends multiple realities and lives is garnering a lot of positive praise and may very well be rewarded with a César this evening. There's not much more we can say about it except that you should probably watch it!

What's in a name (Le Prénom)

A comedy about the naming of a child. Yes, you're not mistaken... in France, comedies can get the nod for awards, even when they're about the naming of a child. The word prénom is French for "first name". What's more, the child in question isn't even born yet!

Best Foreign Film

We've covered the French and French-language films, so what are the opinions in France when it comes to films from around the world?

One of the rarest sentiments to ever be expressed on a sign.
Argo - United States

Ben Affleck's political thriller about the "Canadian Caper" has gained widespread approval and has been nominated for seven Oscars. It has already won the BAFTA for Best Film and a couple of Golden Globes. Could it add a couple of Césars to the trophy case as well?

Bullhead (Rundskop) - Belgium

This Dutch-language film is centred on the story of a young cattle farmer from Limburg. He's encouraged by a vet to make an unusual deal with a West-Flemish beef (and possibly horse-meat) trader. Everything goes awry following the murder of a policeman.

The film was nominated at last year's Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film but eventually lost to A Separation.

Laurence Anyways - Canada

The Franco-Canadian film Laurence Anyways covers the story of Fred (who happens to be a woman) and Laurence (who happens to be a man who wants to be a woman). As the film is Québécois, it will be no surprise that this is film is in French.

Oslo, August 31st (Oslo, 31. august) - Norway

This Norwegian drama covers a day in the life of Anders, a recovering drug addict, as he encounters people from his past. Ironically, the events of the film take place on August 30th. The film was also on the shortlist of Norway's submissions for the Oscars.

The Angels' Share - United Kingdom

The story of a Glaswegian man on community service who attempts to turn his life around following a visit to a whisky distillery has received favourable reviews and earned director Ken Loach the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

He may be king but his missus
is shagging another bloke.
A Royal Affair (En kongelig affære) - Denmark

The historical drama has already been nominated for a Golden Globe, where it lost to Amour, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award.

The film covers the story of Christian VII of Denmark and the romance between his Queen and the royal physician Struensee. The 1935 film The Dictator, not to be confused with the Sacha Baron Cohen film of the same name, covered the same events as A Royal Affair.

Our Children (À perdre la raison) - Belgium

The Belgian drama has already won Émilie Dequenne the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Though it didn't make the shortlist for the Academy Awards, it has been nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Césars. It covers the true story of a woman who killed her five children.

As we approach the end of awards season, we can look forward to the Academy Awards on Sunday night before we have to wait another year to find out what is considered good according to the upper echelons of cinematic society.