Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Albert Dupontel’s “Au revoir là-haut,” Mathieu Amalric’s “Barbara,” and Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s “C’est la Vie” lead the nominations for the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars.
“BPM,” a sprawling and intense drama following French AIDS activists in 1980s Paris, will vie for a record 13 Cesar Awards, including best film, director, male newcomers (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois), script (Campillo and Philippe Mangeot), supporting actor (Antoine Reinartz), supporting actress (Adele Haenel), costumes (Isabelle Pannetier), design (Emmanuelle Duplay), score (Arnaud Rebotini), cinematography (Jeanne Lapoirie), and editing (Campillo).
Since winning Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, “BPM” has garnered several accolades overseas, notably the New York, Los Angeles and Washington critics’ awards for best foreign-language film. It also picked up prizes at the Chicago and San Sebastian film festivals. However, it was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
Playtime sold the film worldwide.
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Dupontel’s “Au revoir la-haut,” a 1918-set comedy based on Pierre Lemaitre’s Goncourt Prize-winning novel, also earned 13 Cesar nominations, including best film, director, actor (Dupontel), supporting actor (Niels Arestrup, Laurent Lafitte), supporting actress (Mélanie Thierry), costume (Mimi Lempicka), design (Pierre Queffelean) and cinematography (Vincent Mathias).
“C’est la Vie,” a contemporary dramedy directed by the duo behind “The Intouchables,” earned 10 nominations. “Barbara” which world premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, earned nine nominations. Gaumont is behind “C’est la Vie,” “Barbara” and “Au revoir la-haut.”
Two feature debuts, Hubert Charuel’s “Petit Paysan” (“Bloody Milk”) and Grand Corps Malade and Mehdi Idir’s “Patients” (“Step by Step”), also received a flurry of Cesar nominations. Based on the autobiography of French slam poet Fabien Marsaud, aka Grand Corps Malade, “Patients” follows the journey of an athletic college student who becomes quadriplegic following an accident. “Bloody Milk,” represented in international markets by Pyramide, is an unconventional thriller about a lonely young dairy farmer who is desperately determined to protect his herd.
In the foreign-language category, nominations went to Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” Tarik Saleh’s “The Nile Hilton Incident,” Marc Dugain’s “L’échange des princesses,” Andrei Zviaguintsev’s “Loveless,” Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” Stephan Streker’s “Noces” and Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or winning “The Square.”