French film industry reaps rich crop of Oscar nominations
by Fabien Lemercier
25/01/2012 - In the running for ten Oscars, to be awarded on February 26, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist [trailer, film focus] has smashed the nominations record for a French film in the history of the famous statuettes. Nominated for the titles of Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jean Dujardin), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Bérénice Bejo), Best Original Screenplay (Hazanavicius), Best Original Score (Ludovic Bource), Best Cinematography (Guillaume Schiffman), Best Editing (Anne-Sophie Bion with the director), Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design, the feature produced by Thomas Langmann (who last Saturday received the Producers Guild of America PGA Prize) for La Petite Reine has already won honours including three Golden Globes (see news) and Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Sold to territories worldwide by Wild Bunch, it has already garnered $12.1m in box-office takings in the US on a print-run expanded last weekend to 662 prints.
French production is also in the spotlight with directorial duo Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s A Cat in Paris [trailer], nominated for the Best Animated Film Oscar. Produced by Folimage, the title is sold by Films Distribution, whose line-up also includes Canadian helmer Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, which has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It should also be noted that German director Wim Wenders’s Pina [trailer], co-produced by French outfit Eurowide, has been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar.
StudioCanal can give itself a pat on the back because the French company generously financed and is the international sales agent for Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s UK production Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy [trailer], which reaped three nominations (Best Actor for Gary Oldman, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score). Moreover, France’s Anne Seibel and Hélène Dubreuil have been nominated in the category of Best Art Direction for Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris [trailer], which received the international tax credit granted by France’s National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC).
Finally, Memento shines alongside Iran’s Asghar Farhadi: the Paris-based company handled international sales for A Separation (in the running for the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film) and is producing the director’s next feature.
(Translated from French)