‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ falls to ‘Me, Myself and Mum’ at César Awards

Since its blazing triumph at Cannes, things haven't gone all that well for “Blue is the Warmest Color” on the awards beat. Oscar eligibility controversy aside, it was cockblocked  by “The Great Beauty” at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and European Film Awards, and now it's also lost on its own home turf, as actor-director Guillaume Gallienne's autobiographical comedy “Me, Myself and Her” took top honors at the César Awards.
A domestic hit that had led the nominations, Gallienne's film also took wins for Best Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Debut Feature. Roman Polanski was a surprise winner of the Best Director award for his kinky stage-based comedy “Venus in Fur.” (The César voters' affection for Polanski cannot be underestimated: this was his fourth win in four years, following recent triumphs for “The Ghost Writer” and “Carnage,” and his eighth overall.)
It was a good night for comedy all round: beating Lea Seydoux, Berenice Bejo and Catherine Deneuve, Sandrine Kiberlain was an unexpected Best Actress winner as a pregnant judge seeking the father of her unborn child in lightweight farce “Nine Month Stretch,” which also took Best Original Screenplay.
“Blue is the Warmest Color,” meanwhile, took one solitary award: Best Female Newcomer for breakout star Adele Exarchopoulos. (Still, it's one more award than Asghar Farhadi's “The Past” could manage.) The award for Best Short Film, incidentally, went to Xavier Legrand for “Just Before Losing Everything,” which could well take the Oscar too. And Oscar contender, Belgian drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” won Best Foreign Film, beating out a field that included “Gravity,” “Blue Jasmine” and “The Great Beauty.”
For those with an eye on the 2014 awards race, the chief takeaway from all this is this “Me, Myself and Mum” (which was a bigger winner in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes last year, and is still awaiting US distribution) is now a considerable contender to be France's next submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. As is “Blue,” but for now, the French have made it clear where home loyalties lie.
Full list of winners below; everything else at The Circuit.
Best Picture: “Me, Myself and Mum”
Best Director: Roman Polanski, “Venus In Fur”
Best Actress: Sandrine Kiberlain, “Nine Month Stretch”
Best Actor: Guillaume Gallienne, “Me, Myself and Mum”
Best Supporting Actress: Adèle Haenel, “Suzanne”
Best Supporting Actor: Niels Arestrup, “Quai d”Orsay”
Best Female Newcomer: Adèle Exarchopoulos, “Blue Is The Warmest Color”
Best Male Newcomer: Pierre Deladonchamps, “Stranger By The Lake”
Best Original Screenplay: Albert Dupontel, “Nine Month Stretch”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Guilaume Gallienne, “Me, Myself and Mum”
Best Foreign Film: “The Broken Circle Breakdown”
Best Documentary: “On the Way to School,” Pascal Plisson
Best Animated Feature: “Loulou L”Incroyable Secret,” Eric Omond
Best Debut Feature: “Me, Myself and Mum,” Guillaume Gallienne
Best Cinematography: Thomas Hardmeier, “The Young and Prodigious Mr. Spivet”
Best Art Direction: Stéphane Rozenbaum, “Mood Indigo”
Best Costume Design: Pascaline Chavanne, “Renoir”
Best Original Score: Martin Wheeler, “Michael Kohlhaas”
Best Editing: Valérie Deseine, “Me, Myself and Mum”
Best Sound: Jean-Pierre Duret, Jean Mallet and Mélissa Petitjean, “Michael Kohlhaas”
Best Short Film: “Just Before Losing Everything,” Xavier Legrand
Best Animated Short: “Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnos,” Amélie Harrault