Be­fore the Os­car there was César

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

A low-bud­get im­mi­grant drama col­lected four prizes, in­clud­ing best pic­ture, at last week­end’s César awards in Paris, the French film in­dus­try’s equiv­a­lent of the Os­cars. La Graine et le Mulet (The Se­cret of the Grain) deals with a Maghrebi emi­gre who at­tempts to open a restau­rant in his adopted coun­try, France.

Ab­del­latif Kechiche, the film’s Tu­nisian-born, French-raised ac­tor-writer- di­rec­tor, re­ceived Césars for best pic­ture, di­rec­tor and screen­play. La Graine et le Mulet also took the prize for break­through per­for­mance by an ac­tress, which went to Haf­sia Herzi.

There was no sur­prise at all when the César for best ac­tor went to Mathieu Amal­ric for The Div­ing Bell and the But­ter­fly, while Mar­ion Cotil­lard (an Os­car win­ner two days later) was voted best ac­tress for La Vie en Rose, which also took Césars for art di­rec­tion, cos­tume de­sign, cin­e­matog­ra­phy and sound.

Mar­jane Sa­trapi and Vin­cent Par­ra­noud took the Césars for best adapted screen­play and best film for the an­i­mated Perse­po­lis. Julie Depar­dieu was named best sup­port­ing ac­tress for Un Se­cret. Sami Bou­jilla was voted best sup­port­ing ac­tor for The Wit­nesses. The best for­eign film went to The Lives of Oth­ers.

Rhys Mey­ers goes to the devil

Be­fore Jonathan Rhys Mey­ers reprises his role as Henry VIII for the third se­ries of The Tu­dors, he is join­ing Ju­lianne Moore in Shel­ter, which starts shoot­ing in Pitts­burgh late next month. In this su­per­nat­u­ral thriller, Rhys Mey­ers plays a de­monic preacher who threat­ens the daugh­ter of a scep­ti­cal psy­chi­a­trist (Moore).

Greenaway’s up to his old tricks

Idio­syn­cratic di­rec­tor Peter Greenaway, who is al­most as ob­sessed with num­bers as he is with get­ting his ac­tors naked on screen, is plan­ning a science-fiction film based on his own book, The His­to­ri­ans Book 39: The Rise and Fall of Ges­tures Drama. “It is re­ally a his­tory of cin­ema rewrit­ten as fiction,” Greenaway ex­plains. “It is the first of 100 slim vol­umes that will to­gether act as a com­pen­dium of his­tory. Each will ex­am­ine a range of top­ics, from toys and clouds to con­cep­tion and death.”

Greenaway’s re­cent Night­watch­ing, star­ring Martin Free­man (from The Of­fice) as Rem­brandt, has yet to be re­leased. He has four other movies in the pipe­line. The first, which shoots in São Paulo this sum­mer, is a drama­ti­sa­tion of the Old Tes­ta­ment that “will merge re­li­gion and porn”.

Len­non death re­vis­ited

Hot on the heels of The Killing of John Len­non­comes Chap­ter 27, star­ring Jared Leto as mur­derer Mark David Chap­man and due for US re­lease next month. No slouch when it comes to im­mers­ing him­self in a role, Leto gained so much weight to play Chap­man that he came down with gout.

We’ll drink to that

A bar near my LA ho­tel had a spe­cial cock­tail menu for Os­car week­end. Of­fer­ings in­cluded There Will Be Bloody Marys and Juno Non-Vir­gin Daiquiri. They ob­vi­ously didn’t think of Atone Mint Julep.

md­wyer@ir­ish-times

Hail César: Mar­ion Cotil­lard col­lects hers

Martin Free­man as Rem­brandt in Peter Greenaway’s Night­watch­ing

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