Already vying for six European Film Awards, Roman Polanski’s ‘An Officer and a Spy” (“J’accuse”) is nominated for five Lumieres Awards, the French prizes given by Paris-based members of the foreign press.
The period film, which won the Silver Prize at the Venice Film Festival, is nominated for best film, director, actor (for Oscar-winning Jean Dujardin), script and cinematography.
While Polanski has been at the heart of a widespread backlash following the rape accusation made by the former actress Valentine Monnier last month, “An Officer and a Spy” has been highly successful at the French box office since opening on Nov. 13 and is now nearing 1 million tickets sold.
The movie tells the true story of counter-espionage officer Georges Picquart, who defied orders and embarked on a compromising mission to clear the name of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a promising French-Jewish officer who was unfairly accused of spying for Germany in the late 1890s.
“An Officer and Spy” is already ranking as one of Polanski’s most successful films in France despite protests and calls to boycott the movie from women’s rights advocacy organisations and several screenings canceled.
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The other films nominated for best film at the Lumieres Awards are Francois Ozon’s “By The Grace of God,” Ladj Ly’s “Les Miserables,” Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” and Arnaud Desplechin’s “Oh Mercy.”
“Les Miserables,” the searing police violence drama which won the jury prize at Cannes is leading the pack with seven nominations, followed by Francois Ozon’s Catholic church sexual abuse drama “By The Grace of God” and Polanski’s “An Officer and a Spy” with five nominations each.
Besides best film, “Les Miserables” is also vying for best first film, director, script and cinematography, and two best male newcomer awards (for Alexis Manenti and Issa Perica). The film is representing France in the international feature film race at the Oscars.
On top of being nominated for best film, “By The Grace of God,” which won Berlin’s Silver Bear award, will compete in the best actor (for Swann Arlaud), script, cinematography and music categories.
Mati Diop’s Cannes Grand Prize winner “Atlantics,” meanwhile, is nominated for best first film and female newcomer (for Mama Sané) and music, while “Oh Mercy” is nominated for four awards, including best film, director, actor (for Roschdy Zem) and cinematography. Other films nominated in several categories for the Lumieres Awards include Nicolas Bedos’s “La Belle Epoque,” Jeremy Clapin’s Directors Fortnight-winning animated feature “I Lost My Body,” and Nicolas Pariser’s “Alice et le maire.”
The best international co-production category comprises of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s “Bacurau,” Elia Suleiman’s “It Must Be Heaven,” Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s “The Young Ahmed,” Laurent Micheli’s “Lola vers la mer” and Mounia Meddour’s “Papicha.”
The ceremony of the 25th edition of the Lumieres Awards will take place on Jan. 27 in Paris.