Awarded by journalists from the foreign press, these distinctions often set the trend for films that will be noticed by the Césars.
If the Caesars are the French equivalent of the Oscars, the French cinema can also count on its own version of the Golden Globes, the trophies awarded by foreign journalists based in Hollywood who give a small idea of the essential films of the award season. Bringing together 123 critical journalists working for the foreign press, the Prix de l’Académie des Lumières was created in 1995 at the initiative of Daniel Toscan du Plantier and the English journalist Edward Behr. The ceremony, which will be broadcast live on Canal + on January 19, is a good indicator of the feature films that could shine at the Césars. And for the jurors of the Lumières awards, the favorites are called Two, The things we say, The things we do, Slalom, Goodbye idiots and Summer 85. These films topped the nominations.
First film by Italian filmmaker Filippo Meneghetti, Of them depicts in the form of a thriller the secret romance between two neighbors in their seventies and takes the lead with six quotes, for best film, best direction and best female interpretation for these two stars, Barbara Sukowa and Martine Knight. The duo will not have an easy time facing Laure Calamy, sparkling mistress betrayed in Antoinette in the Cévennes, the lover of Things that said, things that did Camelia Jordana and Virginie Efira (Goodbye idiots) and Emmanuelle Devos (The perfumes). This recognition of Of them has something to rejoice at the CNC which has chosen the feature film to represent France at the Oscars.
The delicate marivaudage The things we say, the things we do comes second with five nominations, including best film, best director and screenplay for Emmanuel Mouret.
Tied, Albert Dupontel’s satire Goodbye idiots, the drama about sexual abuse in sport Slalom and the chronicle of a summer love at first sight Summer 85 get four quotes each.
The best film trophy will be played between Two, The things we say the things we do, Goodbye idiots, The girl with the bracelet and Summer 85. The best actor trophy will have to decide between Sami Bouajila (A son), Jonathan Cohen (Huge), Albert Dupontel (Goodbye idiots), Nicolas Maury (Rag boy) and Jérémie Rénier (Slalom).
In terms of the best hopes, the Lumières awards highlight: Noée Abita (Slalom), Najla Ben Abdallah (A son), Nisrin Erradi (Adam) Mélissa Guers (The girl with the bracelet), Fathia Youssouf (Cute). And among boys: Guang Huo (At night), Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin (Summer 85), Djibril Vancoppenolle (Little country), Alexandre Wetter (Miss), Jean-Pascal Zadi (Simply black).
The best direction section will again be very masculine this year. Despite the presence of Caroline Vignal (Antoinette in the Cévennes) and Maïmouna Doucouré (Cute), only Maïwenn with DNA (who, a small disappointment for her no doubt, won her only nomination) sneaks alongside Emmanuel Mouret, Albert Dupontel, Filippo Meneghetti and François Ozon.
The inclusion in the list of nominations of Slalom by Charlène Favier and The man who sold his skin by Kaouther Ben Hania is highly symbolic. These films have seen their theatrical release postponed to 2021 due to the extension of the cinema closings. The Academy of Lights wanted to show solidarity. In this atypical year, 77 films, whose theatrical release scheduled for 2020, were eligible for the votes of the Lumières Prize jurors.