Vote for a Recent César Award Best Film Nominee

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Which recent César Award Best Film nominee should we discuss?

Poll ended at Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:07 am

Au revoir là-haut (2017)
4
44%
L’Arnacœur (2010)
0
No votes
Le premier jour du reste de ta vie (2008)
1
11%
Le prénom (2012)
3
33%
Victoria (2016)
1
11%
 
Total votes: 9

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Vote for a Recent César Award Best Film Nominee

#1 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:07 am

For those not aware, there is an ongoing List Project looking at the films nominated for the top César award. I was asked to curate a César-themed roster of Film Club choices, and my approach was to narrow it down to nominated films from the last ten years that have garnered not a single word of discussion on the forum by anyone but me, if even that. Rather than pick from the more art house-leaning titles, many of which could conceivably be discussed or sought out apart from the César project, I deliberately chose mainstream (or what passes for mainstream) French films that nevertheless offer great entertainment and value for viewers. Regardless of which wins, all five of these movies are worth your time and you should watch them and then weigh-in with your thoughts in the César thread!

Below please find a brief summation of each film so you know what you’re voting for. I have intentionally only selected those titles which are available on English-friendly retail releases or streaming services, and this information is included at the bottom of each brief write-up. Please consider what is feasible for you to watch from this selection when voting, as even though I plan to engage all who post in the thread and start things off with a lengthy dedicated appreciation, it’s no fun if I’m just talking to myself.

Au revoir là-haut (Albert Dupontel 2017)
Writer/director/star Albert Dupontel justly won the Best Director trophy at the most recent Césars for this terrifically dynamic WWI tale of two Great War vets who see war profiteers everywhere in France and decide they want in by scamming a mourning nation with a memorial scheme. Dupontel has an exhaustingly fluid camera style and visual eye and here his delight in the grotesque serves him well as one of the con-artists is an illustrator who has his jaw blown off in battle and spends the rest of the movie in a series of fascinating and often disturbing masks. The film’s abundance of style, cinematographic wit, and Once Upon a Timely qualities lend it a fitting grandeur. I have no earthly idea why a major foreign film distro like Sony Pictures Classics et al hasn't picked this up for the states yet, as it sure seems like a license for printing money for whoever puts it out, but at least the French Blu-ray is English-friendly...
(Region-free Gaumont French Blu-ray w/English subs)

L’Arnacœur (Pascal Chaumeil 2010)
A professional heartbreaker, skilled in the art of splitting up undesirable romances, finds himself saddled with a much less receptive target in what is easily the most mainstream of the five selections I’ve made. This is a romantic comedy, period, with no great aims beyond that. And so what, so long as it’s a good movie, right? I think there’s something sad about how many cineastes turn their nose up at contemporary popular romantic comedies sight-unseen while still being receptive to the romcoms of the studio era, as though this same movie couldn’t have starred Rock Hudson instead of Romain Duris were it made sixty years prior (well, minus the Dirty Dancing jokes).
(R1 MP1 / RB Revolver / Available for rental on Prime Video [$12.99], as Heartbreaker)

Le premier jour du reste de ta vie (Rémi Bezançon 2008)
Twenty years in the life of a family is represented by five important days in this warm comic delight. I know comparing a film to a TV show is rarely a compliment, but the five part structure is genius here, as watching the film resembles binging a short season of a TV show. By the end it’s remarkable how invested I’d become in all of the characters: I’d laughed and cried and wished this was a TV show so I could come back and spend five more days with this bunch. This came out ten years ago and shamefully never received US distribution, but like Ne le dis à personne (or even L’Arnacœur), it’s precisely the kind of well-done mainstream movie that audiences who think they hate subtitled films would enjoy.
(R2 UK DVD, as the First Day of the Rest of Your Life)

Le prénom (Matthieu Delaporte & Alexandre de La Patellière 2012)
A group of bougie middle aged friends and lovers are pulled in an assortment of directions upon learning one of their group has decided to name his son Adolf. Stunned efforts to explain why this is a bad idea spiral into all manner of secrets being revealed in this spirited adaptation of a popular French play, here brought to the screen by its authors. Movies like this, wherein game actors going a million miles an hour spit out great dialog at each other from within a confined space, are one of the great pleasures in life. This is probably the easiest of the five selected films to see for American members without access to back channels due to it streaming for free on Amazon Prime and Kanopy.
(R1 First Run DVD / Streaming free on Amazon Prime and Kanopy, as What’s in a Name?)

Victoria (Justine Triet 2016)
Virginie Efira plays a shitshow lawyer dealing with a variety of nuisances, including an ex-husband who has taken to posting “meta-fictional” blog entries about her supposed relations with judges, a court case involving a friend in which the main witness is a dog, and her new live-in au pair, a former drug dealer and client. Efira excels in the title role in the kind of part Charlize Theron seems to gravitate towards, and it’s a fascinating look at how complex a mainstream French film allows its protagonist to be. Word of the wise to those planning to use back channels if this one wins: the circulating subs are machine-generated garbage, so if you don’t know French well enough to self-correct while watching, you’ll need to buck up and pay Amazon its four bux to rent this and get a proper translation.
(Available to rent in HD on Amazon Prime [$3.99], as In Bed With Victoria)

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tenia
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Vote for Recent César Award Best Film Nominees

#2 Post by tenia » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:02 am

Is there a "none of the above" possibility ? :D
I'm exagerating, only Le prénom et le premier jour are quite minor movies despite their successes at the French BO. I alos know I've seen L'arnacoeur but I pretty much totally forgot about it.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Vote for Recent César Award Best Film Nominees

#3 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:15 am

Many thanks to domino for putting this together, especially the capsules, without which I'd be rather lost. Au revoir là-haut piques my interest the most, so I'm getting behind that one. Now whether I'll actually be able to get a copy...

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Vote for Recent César Award Best Film Nominees

#4 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:38 am

Mr Sausage wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:15 am
Many thanks to domino for putting this together, especially the capsules, without which I'd be rather lost. Au revoir là-haut piques my interest the most, so I'm getting behind that one. Now whether I'll actually be able to get a copy...
There are English subs on the gaumont blu if there is sufficient pique value.

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Aunt Peg
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Vote for Recent César Award Best Film Nominees

#5 Post by Aunt Peg » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:06 pm

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:38 am
Mr Sausage wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:15 am
Many thanks to domino for putting this together, especially the capsules, without which I'd be rather lost. Au revoir là-haut piques my interest the most, so I'm getting behind that one. Now whether I'll actually be able to get a copy...
There are English subs on the gaumont blu if there is sufficient pique value.
I saw it on the big screen earlier this as part of a local French Film Festival and loved it. Was so happy to be able to buy a Blu Ray with English subtitles. There is an additional disc (DVD I think) loaded with extras, sadly no subtitles provided. The extras are nevertheless great viewing. This would have to be my favourite French film of the last few years bar Elle, which only feels semi-French with a Dutch director and based on an American screenplay I believe.

I normally don't care for GCI but it is so seamless in Au revoir là-haut.
Last edited by Aunt Peg on Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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tenia
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Re: Vote for a Recent César Award Best Film Nominee

#6 Post by tenia » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:19 am

The Gaumont release of Au Revoir là haut comes with a dedicated bonus DVD. There is a regular one which has about 30 minutes of extras, and another FNAC exclusive version which instead packs these 30 min + 30 additionnal ones. They indeed aren't subtitled.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Vote for a Recent César Award Best Film Nominee

#7 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:54 am

While it's a shame we won't be discussing Romain Duris singing in an all black southern choir, Albert Dupontel's Au revoir là-haut (AKA See You Up There) is the winner-- and I think, so long as our members are able to get a hold of it (I would of course never point out that it's very easy to find a copy with subtitles circulating on the internet), it's a film that many (more) here will enjoy. Mr Sausage will make a thread for discussion soon!

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