France's Louis Delluc Prize Reveals Shortlist

'Blue is the Warmest Color'

Cannes winners "Blue is the Warmest Color" and "The Past" are among the perceived frontrunners for the prestigious critics' prize.

PARIS  -- France’s prestigious Louis Delluc prize – a single critics’ award for the year’s best film selected by a jury headed by Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob – has released its shortlist of the eight films in the running this year.

Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color is seen as the front runner, thanks in part to its historic win at the festival that garnered the top prize not only for director Abdellatif Kechiche but stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Excarchopoulos as well. Neither the film’s buzz nor box office has been hurt by the controversy swirling around the production and ensuing war of words between Kechiche and Seydoux, but it remains to be seen if Kechiche’s latest outburst will color the jury’s feelings towards the director and his film. He won the award in 2007 for his The Secret of the Grain.

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Other Cannes contenders on the shortlist include Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, which took home the best actress prize for Berenice Bejo and Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy P.

Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake, which won the best director prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar, is also on the list.

Bruno Dumont’s Berlin entry Camille Claudel 1915 starring Juliette Binoche, Emmanuelle Bercot’s Elle S’En Va with Catherine Deneuve, Francois Dupeyron’s Mon Ame Par Toi Guerie starring this year’s Prix Romy Schneider winner Celine Sallette and Albert Dupontel’s box office hit comedy 9 Mois Ferme round out the shortlist.

The winner will be announced Dec. 17. The award is the first of the French awards season, and often an indicator of what is gathering steam going into the Cesar Awards nominations announced in January.