Today's a big day in Paris. Or, at least you would think that it would be an important day considering that 14 films shot in the city were nominated for César Awards, France's equivalent of the Academy Awards. Yet, whenever I mention that the awards ceremony is tonight, everyone appears to be abnormally nonchalant. There aren't any tips on how to throw the ultimate César party, nor are there predictions about which movie will win the Meilleur Film category. It's odd, especially considering that the French film industry is subsidized by the government and that there's a quota on the importation of American films.
Since I'm in the biz, I decided that it's high time to predict the winner of the best film category. Here are the nominees:
Le Prénom (What's in a Name)
Holy Motors (Holy Motors)
De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone)
Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell, My Queen)
Dans la maison (In the House)
Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds)
With an impressive 13 nominations, the top contender is Camille Rewinds, a heartwarming tale about a middle-aged woman who travels back in time to her adolescence. It's followed by Amour, a disconcertingly honest movie about an elderly French couple at the end of their lives, with 10 nominations. Amour has also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film. Farewell my Queen, the historical drama about the last days of Marie Antoinette, and Rust and Bone, a film in which Marion Cotillard plays a trainer whose legs are bitten off above the knees by a killer whale, both garnered 9 nominations. With 8 nominations, Holy Motors is surreal movie about a man who is ferried about Paris in the back of a white limousine. Over the course of one day, he goes to nine different appointments transforming himself into nine different characters along the way.
The envelope please. I predict that the winner of the 2013 Meilleur Film will be a Amour.
Full disclosure: I've only seen two (What's in a Name and Holy Motors) of the seven films so there's a good chance that I'm wrong. My guess is based on the fact that Amour is the only nominated film that I don't have the emotional strength to watch. Yet, that's precisely why I think that it will win. The disarmingly realistic portrayal of a loving husband standing helpless in the face of his wife's decline is sure to appeal to the 3,434 members of the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma.
Ben Affleck's Argo is the only American film to compete in the best foreign film category against A Royal Affair (Denmark), Bullhead (Belgium), Laurence Anyways (Canada), Oslo (Norway), Our Children (Belgium) and The Angel's Share (Scotland).
Kevin Costner will receive the Lifetime Achievement Honor at the César Awards at the Théâtre du Châtelet tonight.
After the ceremony, Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière will host the 38th César gala dinner.