Berenice Bejo, Lea Seydoux, Roman Polanski Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees

Berenice Bejo
Fabrizio Maltese

The French-Argentinian actress won this year’s best actress Palme d’Or for her role in Asghar Farhadi’s The Past (his follow-up to the Oscar-winning A Separation). Bejo was photographed at JW Marriott’s Bulgari Terrace.

UPDATED: Cannes winner "Blue Is the Warmest Color" gets eight nominations, Catherine Deneuve one, while Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" are part of the best foreign film race.

PARIS -- The final countdown to the Cesars, France's biggest film awards, kicked off Friday morning with a breakfast press conference at the famously glitzy Le Fouquet's restaurant on the Champs-Elysees as the French Academy of Cinema Technical Arts and Sciences unveiled the nominees for the 39th annual honors.

Among the high-profile nominees for the French equivalent of the Oscars were Lea Seydoux, for her role in Cannes Film Festival winner Blue Is the Warmest Color; Berenice Bejo, for her role in The Past, which earned her the best actress honor at Cannes; Roman Polanski; and Mads Mikkelsen.

The best film nominees include Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is the Warmest Color, Polanski's Venus in Fur and Asghar Farhadi's The Past. The three filmmakers are also nominated in the best director category.

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Best foreign film nominees include Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty.

Coming off its Cannes win, lesbian love story/drama Blue was overlooked by the Oscars, but scored eight Cesar nominations, as did Alain Guiraudie's drama Stranger by the Lake.

But Guillaume Gallienne's comedy Les Garcons et Guillaume, a Table! (Me, Myself and Mum) bested both with 10 nominations. The family comedy from the first-time filmmaker gave a much-needed homegrown boost to the French box office late in 2013, which was mostly dominated by Hollywood blockbusters.

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The name that caused the most buzz in the room on Friday was that of French actress Julie Gayet. The reason was not so much her nomination for her role in political satire Quai d'Orsay, but because of her relationship with president Francois Hollande, which caused him to publicly separate from (former) first lady Valerie Trierweiler this past weekend, before balloting closed for the nominations.

Academy president Alain Terzian announced the first category of Cesar nominees, that of the best female newcomer, at around 10:15 a.m. Paris time. Nominees in the category are Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color), Lou de Laage, Pauline Etienne, Goshifteh Farahni and Marine Vacth (Young & Beautiful).

Nominees for the best male newcomer honor are Pierre Deladonchamps (Stranger by the Lake), Paul Hamy (Suzanne), Paul Bartel (Les Petits Princes), Nemo Schiffman (Elle S'En Va) and Vincent Macaigne (La Fille du 14th Juillet).

The awards will be handed out Feb. 28 in Paris, just two days before the Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Cesar-winning actor Francois Cluzet (The Intouchables) will host the ceremony at the Chatelet Theater, with fellow Cesar-winner Cecile de France (Hereafter) serving as mistress of ceremonies.

An honorary Cesar is traditionally handed out to a foreign actor for their body of work. Kevin Costner received last year's prize, with past honorees including Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. This year's honoree will be announced next week.

The Cesar ceremony will be broadcast live and for free on Vivendi-owned pay TV channel Canal Plus.

Here is the complete list of Cesar nominees:

Best Film

9 Month Stretch

Me, Myself and Mum

Stranger by the Lake

Jimmy P.

The Past

Venus in Fur

Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Director

Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch

Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum

Alain Guiraudie for Stranger by the Lake

Arnaud Desplechin for Jimmy P.

Asghar Farhadi for The Past

Roman Polanski for Venus in Fur

Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Foreign Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown, director Felix van Groeningen

Blancanieves, director Pablo Berger

Blue Jasmine, director Woody Allen

Dead Man Talking, director Patrick Ridremont

Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino

La Grande Bellezza, director Paolo Sorrentino

Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron


Best Actress

Fanny Ardant for Les Beaux Jours

Berenice Bejo for The Past

Catherine Deneuve for Elle S'En Va

Sara Forestier for Suzanne

Sandrine Kiberlain for 9 Month Stretch

Emmanuelle Seigner for Venus in Fur

Lea Seydoux for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Actor

Mathieu Amalric for Venus in Fur

Michel Bouquet for Renoir

Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch

Gergory Gadebois for Mon Ame Par Toi Guerie

Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum

Fabrice Luchini for Alceste a Bicyclette

Mads Mikkelsen for Michael Kohlhaas


Best Supporting Actress

Marisa Borini for A Castle in Italy

Francoise Fabian for Me, Myself and Mum

Julie Gayet for Quai d'Orsay

Adele Haenel for Suzanne

Geraldine Pailhas for Young & Beautiful


Best Supporting Actor

Neils Arestrup for Quai d'Orsay

Patrick Chesnais for Les Beaux Jours

Patrick d'Assumcao for Stranger by the Lake

Olivier Gourmet for Grand Central

Francois Damiens for Suzanne


Most Promising Actress (Newcomer)

Lou de Laage for Jappeloup

Pauline Etienne for La Religieuse

Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue Is the Warmest Color

Goshifteh Farahni for Syngue Sabour - Pierre de Patience

Marine Vacth for Young & Beautiful


Most Promising Actor (Newcomer)

Paul Bartel for Les Petits Princes

Pierre Deladonchamps for Stranger by the Lake

Paul Hamy for Suzanne

Vincent Macaigne for La Fille du 14 Juillet

Nemo Schiffman for Elle S'En Va


Best Original Screenplay

Albert Dupontel for 9 Month Stretch

Philippe Le Guay for Alceste a Bicyclette

Alain Guiraudie for Stranger by the Lake

Asghar Farhadi for The Past

Katelle Quillevere and Mariette Desert for Suzanne


Best Adapted Screenplay

Guillaume Gallienne for Me, Myself and Mum

Arnaud Desplechin for Jimmy P.

Antonin Baudry, Christophe Blain and Bertrand Tavernier for Quai d'Orsay

David Ives and Roman Polanski for Venus in Fur

Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalya Lacroix for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Original Music

Jorge Arriagada for Alceste a Bicyclette

Loik Dury and Christophe "Disco" Minck for Chinese Puzzle

Etienne Charry for L'Ecume des Jours

Martin Wheeler for Michael Kohlhaas

Alexandre Desplat for Venus in Fur


Best Sound

Marc-Antoine Beldent, Loic Prian and Olivier Do Huu for Me, Myself and Mum

Philippe Grivel and Nathalie Vidal for Stranger by the Lake

Jean-Pierre Duret, Jean Mallet and Melissa Petitjean for Michael Kohlhaas

Lucien Balibar, Nadine Muse and Cyril Holtz for Venus in Fur

Jerome Chenevoy, Fabien Pochet and Jean-Paul Hurier for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Cinematography

Thomas Hardmeier for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

Claire Mathon for Stranger by the Lake

Jeanne Lapoirie for Michael Kohlhaas

Mark Ping Bing Lee for Renoir

Sofian el Fani for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Editing

Christophe Pinel for9 Month Stretch

Valerie Deseine for Me, Myself and Mum

Jean-Christophe Hym for Stranger by the Lake

Juliette Welfling for The Past

Camille Toubkis, Albertine Lastera and Jean-Marie Langelle for Blue Is the Warmest Color


Best Costume

Florence Fontaine for L'Ecume des Jours

Madeline Fontaine for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

Olivier Beriot for Me, Myself and Mum

Anina Diener for Michael Kohlhaas

Pascaline Chavanne for Renoir


Best Production Design (Décor)

Stephane Rozenbaum for L'Ecume des Jours

Aline Bonetto for The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

Sylive Olive for Me, Myself and Mum

Yan Arlaud for Michael Kohlhaas

Benoit Barouh for Renoir


Best Documentary

Comment J'ai Deteste les Maths, director Olivier Peyon

Le Dernier des Injustes, director Claude Lanzmann

Il Etait une Foret, director Luc Jacquet

La Maison de la Raido, director Nicolas Philibert

Sur le Chemin de l'Ecole, director Pascal Plisson


Best First Film

La Bataille de Solferino, director Justine Triet

La Cage Doree, director Ruben Alves

En Solitaire, director Christophe Offenstein

La Fille du 14 Julliet, director Antonin Peretjatko

Me, Myself and Mum, director Guillaume Gallienne


Best Short Film

Avant Que de Tout Perdre, director Xavier Legrand

Bambi, director Sebastien Lifshitz

La Fugue, director Jean-Bernard Marlin

Les Lezards, director Vincent Mariette

Marseille la Nuit, director Marie Monge


Best Animated Feature Film

Ayay de Yopougon, directors Marguerite Aboute and Clement Oubrerie

Loulou l'Incroyable Secret, director Eric Omond

My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, directors Marc Boreal and Thibaut Chatel


Best Animated Short Film

Lettres de Femmes, director Augusto Zanovello

Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnos, director Amelie Harrault