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

1:26 PM 1/26/2017

by Rhonda Richford

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."

Best Actress
Sony Pictures Classics

Isabelle Huppert is nominated for her role in Elle. This is her first nomination for an Academy Award. 

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

    Elle (WINNER)



    The Innocents

    Slack Bay

    From the Land of the Moon


  • Best Director

    Xavier Dolan for It’s Only the End of the World (WINNER)

    Houda Benyamina for Divines

    Paul Verhoeven for Elle

    Francois Ozon for Frantz

    Anne Fontaine for The Innocents

    Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay

    Nicole Garcia for From the Land of the Moon

  • Best Actress

    Isabelle Huppert for Elle (WINNER)

    Judith Chemla for A Woman’s Life

    Marion Cotillard for From the Land of the Moon

    Virginie Efira for Victoria

    Marina Fois for Faultless

    Sidse Babett Knudsen for 150 Milligrams

  • Best Actor

    Gaspard Ulliel for It’s Only the End of the World (WINNER)

    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

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Deborah Lukumuena for Divines (WINNER)

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

    Valeria Bruni Tedeschi for Slack Bay

    Anne Consigny for Elle

    Melanie Thierry for The Dancer

  • Best Supporting Actor

    James Thierree for Chocolat (WINNER)

    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

  • Best New Actress

    Oulaya Amamra for Divines (WINNER)

    Paula Beer for Frantz

    Lily-Rose Depp for The Dancer

    Noemie Merlant for Heaven Will Wait

    Raph for Slack Bay

  • Best New Actor

    Niels Schneider for Dark Inclusion (WINNER)

    Jonas Bloquet for Elle

    Damien Bonnard for Staying Vertical

    Corentin Fila for Being 17

    Kacey Mottet Klein for Being 17

  • Best Foreign Film

    I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach (United Kingdom) (WINNER)

    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)

    Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade (Germany)

  • Best Original Screenplay

    Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget for The Aquatic Effect (WINNER)

    Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina and Malik Rumeau for Divines

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

    Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay

    Justine Triet for Victoria

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

    Celine Sciamma for My Life as a Zucchini (WINNER)

    David Birke for Elle

    Severine Bosschem, Emmanuelle Bercot for 150 Milligrams

    Francois Ozon for Frantz

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

    Katell Quillevere, Gille Taurand for Heal the Living

  • Best Documentary Film

    Thanks Boss! by Francois Ruffin (WINNER)

    Derniers Nouvelles du Cosmos by Julie Bertucelli

    Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi

    Swagger by Olivier Babinet

    Journey Through French Cinema by Bertrand Tavernier

  • Best First Film

    Divines by Houda Benyamina (WINNER)

    The Fabulous Patars by Sophie Reine

    The Dancer by Stephanie di Guisto

    Dark Inclusion by Arthur Harari

    Rosalie Blum by Julien Rappeneau

  • Best Original Score

    Ibrahim Maalouf for In the Forests of Siberia (WINNER)

    Gabriel Yared for Chocolat

    Anne Dudley for Elle

    Philippe Romi for Frantz

    Sophie Hunger for My Life as a Zucchini

  • Best Sound

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

    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


  • Best Editing

    Xavier Dolan for It’s Only the End of the World (WINNER)

    Loic Lallemand, Vincent Tricon for Divines

    Job Ter Burg for Elle

    Laure Gardette for Frantz

    Simon Jacquet for From the Land of the Moon

  • Best Cinematography

    Pascal Marti for Frantz (WINNER)

    Stephane Fontaine for Elle

    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 (WINNER)

    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

    My Life as a Zucchini (WINNER)

    The Girl Without Hands

    The Red Turtle

  • Best Animated Short Film

    Celui Qui a Deux Ames (WINNER)

    Cafe Froid

    Journal Anime


  • Best Short Film

    Mamans (WINNER)

    Vers la Tendresse (WINNER)

    After Suzanne

    Au Bruit des Clochettes

    Chasse Royale