France's Cesar Awards Nominations Unveiled

1:26 AM 1/23/2019

by Rhonda Richford

Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers,' starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly, earned nine nods, while Oscar nominees 'Capernaum,' 'Cold War' and 'Shoplifters' were also recognized here.

'The Sisters Brothers'
'The Sisters Brothers'
Courtesy of TIFF

France’s Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences on Wednesday morning unveiled the nominees for this year’s Cesar Awards — the country’s equivalent to the Oscars — during a breakfast press conference at the famed Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard's Western starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly, had a strong showing, getting nine nominations, including for best film and best director. The film had been seen as an early favorite after having won the Silver Lion in Venice last year.

But it was bested by Oscar nominee Xavier Legrand's first feature, Custody, which got 10 noms. The divorce drama won the Silver Lion in Venice in 2017 and tied for the French critics' Louis Delluc Prize in December. Gilles Lellouche's Sink or Swim, a comedy that bowed out of competition in Cannes, also received 10 mentions.

Nominated for best film are Memoir of WarThe Trouble With You, Sisters BrothersSink or SwimGuyCustody and In Safe Hands.

Among the other big-name nominees are Audrey Tautou in the best supporting actress category; Lily-Rose Depp, who received a nomination in the best new actress category for her role in Louis Garrel's A Faithful Man; and two-time Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat for best original music for Sisters Brothers.

As previously announced, Robert Redford will receive this year's honorary Cesar Award, and British actress Kristin Scott Thomas will preside over the ceremony as honorary president. 

The 4,303 members of the Academy voted from a list of 226 eligible films for the awards. 

This year's Cesars cap off a 2018 that The Hollywood Reporter's Paris-based critics Jordan Mintzer and Boyd van Hoeij characterized as an off year for French cinema.

The Cesars will be awarded Feb. 22 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.