PARIS—The bitter sweet comedy “Camille Rewinds” and the much feted “Love” are the favourites Friday at France’s annual film awards, the Cesars, that will also honour Hollywood actor and director Kevin Costner with a lifetime achievement award.
With 13 nominations, Noemie Lvovsky’s “Camille Rewinds” (“Camille Redouble”) about a woman who goes back to her 1980s schooldays is slightly ahead of Michael Haneke’s “Love” (“Amour”), the story of a man and his dying wife, which has 10 nominations but could still come out on top.
Since winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year, Austrian director Haneke’s French language film has gone from strength to strength with a Golden Globe in January for best foreign language film and five nominations in Sunday’s Oscars.
Starring French acting legend Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, who at 85 is the oldest actress to pick up a best actress Oscar nomination, it beat 21 other movies to claim the top prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Haneke, 70, has established himself in recent years as one of the most important film directors in Europe, with films like “The Piano Teacher”, “Cache” and “Funny Games.”
If Lvovsky wins best director for her surprise time travel hit in which she also stars, she would be only the second woman to win after Tonie Marshall for “Venus Beauty Institute” in 2000.
In the best foreign film category, nominees include “Argo” which Ben Affleck directed and starred in.
Other nominees are: “The Angels Share”, Ken Loach; “Bullhead”, Michael R. Roskam; “Laurence Anyways”, Xavier Dolan; “Oslo, August 31st”, Joachim Trier; “Our Children”, Joachim Lafosse; and “Royal Affair”, Nikolaj Arcel.
Another strong contender at the awards is Benoit Jacquot’s “Farewell, My Queen” (“Les Adieux a la Reine”), a fictional account of the last charmed days of Marie Antoinette, with 10 nominations.
Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone also has nine nominations including best actress for Marion Cotillard.
Others supplying the competition in the best film category include: the thriller “In the House” (“Dans la Maison”) in which Francois Ozon explores the perils of a teacher getting too close to one of his students; the comedy “What’s in a Name?” (“Prenom”) by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere about a group of 40-something friends’ dinner party disaster; and Leos Carax’s fantasy drama “Holy Motors” about a man living parallel lives.
A two-time Oscar winner for the 1990 hit “Dances with Wolves”, Costner, 58, will meanwhile receive an honorary Cesar.
In addition to “Dances with Wolves” for which he won best picture and best director Oscars, Costner has starred in a string of box office successes including “Field of Dreams”, “The Untouchables” and “The Bodyguard” with the late Whitney Houston.
Announcing the award earlier this month, the academy said it was “proud and happy” to recognise Costner for his lifetime’s work as an actor, director and producer and his “fabulous contribution to cinematic history”.