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France's Cesar Awards Nominations Unveiled, Academy Boss Addresses Roman Polanski Controversy

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Alain Terzian says the director is “a great figure of global cinema,” “a great artist of the world” and “the only thing we need to look at is his work as an artist.”

After an uproar over the appointment of Roman Polanski as president of this year’s Cesar Awards, the director on Tuesday declined the position, and feminist groups called off a planned protest, leaving the French Academy free to announce its nominees in Paris on Wednesday morning.

The Academy faced heavy criticism after appointing the director, who is still wanted in the U.S. for fleeing from sentencing after pleading guilty to a statutory rape charge in 1977.

“This decision is a victory, a first victory for those who want violence against women to be taken seriously, to create a real awareness of the magnitude and gravity of the phenomenon that leads to concrete actions to protect victims, the conviction of the perpetrators and above all, a real change in education and therefore the behavior of men in our society,” organizers wrote after Polanski withdrew.

Per tradition, the Cesar nominations announcement was made Wednesday in a breakfast presentation at the famed Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysees by academy president Alain Terzian, who started off by congratulating Isabelle Huppert on her Oscar nomination.

Huppert was nominated in the best actress category for the Cesars, where she will compete with the likes of Marion Cotillard, and Elle topped the list of films in competition with 11 nominations, including for best film and best director for Paul Verhoeven. 

Francois Ozon’s Frantz scored 10 nominations, while Slack Bay followed with nine, and From the Land of the Moon received eight.

Cannes Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake was nominated in the best foreign film category alongside Oscar contender Manchester by the Sea.

Following the nominations announcement, Terzian also briefly addressed the Polanski controversy, calling the director “a great figure of global cinema” who has been honored by the Golden Globes, Oscars, Cannes’ Palme d’Or and the Venice and Berlin film festivals. “He is a great artist of the world.”

He concluded: “Polanski decided not to take the position, I don’t get involved in these types of scandals…. The only thing we need to look at is his work as an artist.”

The awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24.

See the full list of nominations below.

Best Film

Divines

Elle

Frantz

The Innocents

Slack Bay

From the Land of the Moon

Victoria

Best Director

Houda Benyamina for Divines

Paul Verhoeven for Elle

Francois Ozon for Frantz

Anne Fontaine for The Innocents

Xavier Dolan for It’s Only the End of the World

Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay

Nicole Garcia for From the Land of the Moon

Best Actress

Judith Chemla for A Woman’s Life

Marion Cotillard for From the Land of the Moon

Virginie Efira for Victoria

Marina Fois for Faultless

Isabelle Huppert for Elle

Sidse Babett Knudsen for 150 Milligrams

Best Actor

Francois Cluzet for Irreplaceable

Pierre Deladonchamps for The Son of John

Nicolas Duvauchelle for A Decent Man

Fabrice Luchini for Slack Bay

Omar Sy for Chocolat

Gaspard Ulliel for It’s Only the End of the World

Best Supporting Actress

Nathalie Baye for It’s Only the End of the World

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi for Slack Bay

Anne Consigny for Elle

Deborah Lukumuena for Divines

Melanie Thierry for The Dancer

Best Supporting Actor

Gabriel Arcand for The Son of John

Vincent Cassel for It’s Only the End of the World

Vincent Lacoste for Victoria

Laurent Lafitte for Elle

Melvil Poupad for Victoria

James Thierree for Chocolat

Best New Actress

Oulaya Amamra for Divines

Paula Beer for Frantz

Lily-Rose Depp for The Dancer

Noemie Merlant for Heaven Will Wait

Raph for Slack Bay

Best New Actor

Jonas Bloquet for Elle

Damien Bonnard for Staying Vertical

Corentin Fila for Being 17

Kacey Mottet Klein for Being 17

Niels Schneider for Dark Inclusion

Best Foreign Film

Aquarius by Kleber Mendonca Filho (Portugal)

Graduation by Cristian Mungiu (Romania)

The Unknown Girl by The Dardenne Brothers (Belgium)

Manchester by the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan (United States)

I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach (United Kingdom)

Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade (Germany)

Best Original Screenplay

Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina and Malik Rumeau for Divines

Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget for The Aquatic Effect

Sabrina Karine, Alice Vial, Pascal Bonitzer and Anne Fontaine for The Innocents

Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay

Justine Triet for Victoria

Best Adapted Screenplay

David Birke for Elle

Severine Bosschem, Emmanuelle Bercot for 150 Milligrams

Francois Ozon for Frantz

Celine Sciamma for My Life as a Zucchini

Nicole Garcia, Jacquest Fieschi for From the Land of the Moon

Katell Quillevere, Gille Taurand for Heal the Living

Best Documentary Film

Derniers Nouvelles du Cosmos by Julie Bertucelli

Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi

Thanks Boss! by Francois Ruffin

Swagger by Olivier Babinet

Journey Through French Cinema by Bertrand Tavernier

Best First Film

The Fabulous Patars by Sophie Reine

The Dancer by Stephanie di Guisto

Dark Inclusion by Arthur Harari

Divines by Houda Benyamina

Rosalie Blum by Julien Rappeneau

Best Original Score

Gabriel Yared for Chocolat

Ibrahim Maalouf for In the Forests of Siberia

Anne Dudley for Elle

Philippe Romi for Frantz

Sophie Hunger for My Life as a Zucchini

Best Sound

Brigitte Taillandier, Vincent Guillon, Stephane Thiebaut for Chocolat

Jean-Paul Mugel, Alexis Place, Cyril Holtz, Damie Lazzerini for Elle

Martin Boissau, Benoit Gargonne, Jean-Paul Hurier for Frantz

Jean-Pirre Duret, Sylvain Malbrant, Jean-Pierre Laforce for From the Land of the Moon

Marc Engles, Fred Demolder, Sylvain Rety, Jean-Paul Hurier for The Odyssey

Best Editing

Loic Lallemand, Vincent Tricon for Divines

Job Ter Burg for Elle

Laure Gardette for Frantz

Xavier Dolon for It’s Only the End of the World

Simon Jacquet for From the Land of the Moon

Best Cinematography

Stephane Fontaine for Elle

Pascal Marti for Frantz

Caroline Champetier for The Innocents

Guillaume Deffontaines for Slack Bay

Christophe Beaucarne for From the Land of the Moon

Best Costumes

Anais Romand for The Dancer

Pascaline Chavanne for Frantz

Catherine Leterrier for From the Land of the Moon

Alexander Charles for Slack Bay

Madeline Fontain for A Woman’s Life

Best Animated Film

The Girl Without Hands

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Best Animated Short Film

Cafe Froid

Celui Qui a Deux Ames

Journal Anime

Peripheria

Best Short Film

After Suzanne

Au Bruit des Clochettes

Chasse Royale

Mamans

Vers la Tendresse

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