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35th Cesars: A Prophet Sweeps the Cesars with Nine Wins

No surprises at the 35th Cesars, as A Prophet cleaned up in all major categories it was nominated in: Best Film, Best Director (Audiard), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Stephane Fontaine), Best Editing (Juliette Welfling), Best Art Direction (Michel Barthelemy) and last but not least, one of my top 5 performance of the year, Niels Arestrup won for Best Supporting…

No surprises at the 35th Césars, as A Prophet cleaned up in all major categories it was nominated in: Best Film, Best Director (Audiard), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Stephane Fontaine), Best Editing (Juliette Welfling), Best Art Direction (Michel Barthelemy) and last but not least, one of my top 5 performance of the year, Niels Arestrup won for Best Supporting — he of course won best supporting in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. The revelation of the year Tahar Rahim won a pair of awards for Best Male Newcomer (how come the Oscars don’t have such a category?) and Best Actor capping off a great run since Cannes. 

Tahar Rahim A Prophet

The only prizes it didn’t win in that it was nominated for was for Best Costume which of course went to Coco Before Channel and in the Best Score and Best Sound categories where Radu Mihaileanu’s horribly dull The Concert got the nods. Here are the complete list of noms and winners below, and the U.S is not the only country where Avatar will get beat by the comp – French favorite Clint Eastwood won for Gran Torino – whaddaya expect?

BEST FILM
A L’ORIGINE / IN THE BEGINNING, Edouard Weil and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam; directed by Xavier Giannoli
LE CONCERT / THE CONCERT, Alain Attal; directed by Radu Mihaileanu
LES HERBES FOLLES / WILD GRASS, Jean-Louis Livi; directed by Alain Resnais
LA JOURNÉE DE LA JUPE / SKIRT DAY, Bénédicte Lesage and Ariel Askénazi; directed by Jean-Paul Lilienfeld
RAPT, Patrick Sobelman, Diana Elbaum et Sébastien Delloye; directed by Lucas Belvaux
UN PROPHÈTE / A PROPHET, Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat et Marco Cherqui; directed by Jacques Audiard
WELCOME, Christophe Rossignon; directed by Philippe Liorand

BEST FOREIGN FILM
AVATAR; directed by James Cameron
GRAN TORINO; directed by Clint Eastwood
MILK; directed by Gus Van Sant
J’AI TUÉ MA MÈRE / I KILLED MY MOTHER; directed by Xavier Dolan
PANIQUE AU VILLAGE; directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar
THE WHITE RIBBON; directed by Michael Haneke
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE; directed by Danny Boyle

BEST DOCUMENTARY
L’ENFER D’ HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT; directed by Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea
LA DANSE, LE BALLET DE L’OPÉRA DE PARIS; directed by Frederick Wiseman
HIMALAYA, LE CHEMIN DU CIEL; directed by Marianne Chaud
HOME; directed by Yann-Arthus Bertrand
NE ME LIBÉREZ PAS JE M’EN CHARGE; directed by Fabienne Godet

BEST FIRST FILM
LES BEAUX GOSSES / THE FRENCH KISSERS; directed by Riad Sattouf, Anne-Dominique Toussaint
LE DERNIER POUR LA ROUTE / ONE FOR THE ROAD; directed by Philippe Godeau, Philippe Godeau
ESPION(S); directed by Nicolas Saada, Michaël Gentile
LA PREMIÈRE ÉTOILE; directed by Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar and Pierre Kubel
QU’UN SEUL TIENNE ET LES AUTRES SUIVRONT / SILENT VOICES; directed by Léa Fehner, Jean-Michel Rey and Philippe Liégeois

BEST DIRECTOR
JACQUES AUDIARD, A Prophet
LUCAS BELVAUX, Rapt
XAVIER GIANNOLI, In the Beginning
PHILIPPE LIORET, Welcome
RADU MIHAILEANU, The Concert

BEST ACTOR
YVAN ATTAL, Rapt
FRANÇOIS CLUZET, In the Beginning
FRANÇOIS CLUZET, Le dernier pour la route
VINCENT LINDON, Welcome
TAHAR RAHIM, A Prophet

BEST ACTRESS
ISABELLE ADJANI, Skirt Day
DOMINIQUE BLANC, L’Autre / The Other One
SANDRINE KIBERLAIN, Mademoiselle Chambon
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, Partir / Leaving
AUDREY TAUTOU, Coco Before Chanel

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
JEAN-HUGUES ANGLADE, Persécution
NIELS ARESTRUP, A Prophet
JOEYSTARR, Le bal des actrices
BENOIT POELVOORDE, Coco Before Chanel
MICHEL VUILLERMOZ, Le dernier pour la route

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
AURE ATIKA, Mademoiselle Chambon
ANNE CONSIGNY, Rapt
AUDREY DANA, Welcome
EMMANUELLE DEVOS, In the Beginning
NOÉMIE LVOVSKY, Les beaux gosses

BEST MALE NEWCOMER
FIRAT AYVERDI, Welcome
ADEL BENCHERIF, A Prophet
VINCENT LACOSTE, Les beaux gosses
TAHAR RAHIM, A Prophet
VINCENT ROTTIERS, Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante

BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER
PAULINE ETIENNE, Qu’un seul tienne et les autres suivront
FLORENCE LOIRET-CAILLE, Je l’aimais
SOKO, In the Beginning
CHRISTA THÉRET, LOL (laughing out loud)
MÉLANIE THIERRY, Le dernier pour la route

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
JACQUES AUDIARD, THOMAS BIDEGAIN, ABDEL RAOUF DAFRI, NICOLAS PEUFAILLIT, A Prophet
XAVIER GIANNOLI, In the Beginning
JEAN-PAUL LILIENFELD, Skirt Day
PHILIPPE LIORET, EMMANUEL COURCOL, OLIVIER ADAM, Welcome
RADU MIHAILEANU, ALAIN-MICHEL BLANC, The Concert

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
STÉPHANE BRIZÉ, FLORENCE VIGNON, Mademoiselle Chambon
ANNE FONTAINE, CAMILLE FONTAINE pour Coco Before Chanel
PHILIPPE GODEAU, AGNÈS DE SACY, Le dernier pour la route
LAURENT TIRARD, GRÉGOIRE VIGNERON, Le petit Nicolas
ALEX RÉVAL, LAURENT HERBIET, Wild Grass

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
CHRISTOPHE BEAUCARNE, Coco Before Chanel
LAURENT DAILLAND, Welcome
STÉPHANE FONTAINE, A Prophet
ÉRIC GAUTIER, Wild Grass
GLYNN SPEECKAERT, In the Beginning

BEST EDITING
CÉLIA LAFITEDUPONT, In the Beginning
HERVÉ DE LUZE, Wild Grass
ANDRÉA SEDLACKOVA, Welcome
LUDO TROCH, The Concert
JULIETTE WELFLING, A Prophet

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
ARMAND AMAR, The Concert
ALEX BEAUPAIN, Non ma fille, tu n’iras pas danser
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, A Prophet
CLIFF MARTINEZ, In the Beginning
NICOLA PIOVANI, Welcome

BEST ART DIRECTION
MICHEL BARTHÉLEMY, A Prophet
ALINE BONETTO, Micmacs à tire-larigot
MAAMAR ECH CHEIKH, OSS 117 Rio ne répond plus…
FRANÇOIS-RENAUD LABARTHE, In the Beginning
OLIVIER RADOT, Coco Before Chanel

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
CHATTOUNE & FAB, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
CHARLOTTE DAVID, OSS 117 Rio ne répond plus…
MADELINE FONTAINE, Micmacs à tire-larigot
CATHERINE LETERRIER, Coco Before Chanel
VIRGINIE MONTEL, A Prophet

BEST SOUND
PIERRE EXCOFFIER, BRUNO TARRIÈRE, SÉLIM AZZAZI, The Concert
PIERRE MERTENS, LAURENT QUAGLIO, ERIC TISSERAND, Welcome
FRANÇOIS MUSY, GABRIEL HAFNER, In the Beginning
BRIGITTE TAILLANDIER, FRANCIS WARGNIER, JEAN-PAUL HURIER, A Prophet
JEAN UMANSKY, GÉRARD HARDY, VINCENT ARNARDI, Micmacs à tire-larigot

BEST SHORT
C’EST GRATUIT POUR LES FILLES; directed by Claire Burger and Marie Amachoukeli
¿DÓNDE ESTÁ KIM BASINGER?; directed by Edouard Deluc
LA RAISON DE L’AUTRE; directed by Foued Mansour
SÉANCE FAMILIALE; directed by Cheng-Chui Kuo
LES WILLIAMS; directed by Alban Mench

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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