Oscar 2009: Cesar Awards (French Oscar): Prophet Leads Nominations

PARIS — Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet" led the race for the Cesars Friday as the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its nominations.
The violent and harrowing prison drama nabbed 13 noms, including picture, director, actor and breakthrough performance for Tahar Rahim, original screenplay and cinematography.
Pic, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, has been shortlisted for the foreign-language Oscar.
Following close behind in the Cesars race is Philippe Lioret's immigrant drama "Welcome," which nabbed nine noms, including film, actor for Vincent Lindon and breakthrough perf for Firat Ayverdi. "Welcome" recently received best picture honors at the Lumieres Awards, France's version of the Golden Globes.
Two pics that underperformed in Gaul during their fall releases nonetheless found themselves on several ballots: "In the Beginning," scribe-helmer Xavier Giannoli's working-class epic, was nominated for picture, director and actor for Francois Cluzet; and "One for the Road," producer-director Philippe Godeau's detox dramedy, was nominated for first film, adapted screenplay, breakthrough performance for Melanie Thierry and actor, again, for Francois Cluzet.
Eighty-seven year old auteur Alain Resnais showed himself to be alive and well with "Wild Reeds," his zany mystery/romance, which preemed to strong critical acclaim at Cannes. Pic was nominated for picture, adapted screenplay and cinematography.
Anne Fontaine's fashion biopic "Coco Before Chanel," which has so far earned over $30 million outside of France, nabbed an actress nomination for Audrey Tautou, adapted screenplay, plus technical noms in cinematography, production design and costume design.
Nominations for foreign film include three U.S. pics, James Cameron's "Avatar," Gus Van Sant's "Milk" and Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino," which were released in France last year.
The 35th Cesars Awards will take place on Feb. 27 at Paris' Theatre du Chatelet and will be aired by pubcaster Canal Plus.

"In the Beginning," Xavier Giannoli, director; Edouard Weil, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, producers
"The Concert," Radu Mihaileanu, director; Alain Attal, producer
"Wild Grass," Alain Resnais, director; Jean-Louis Livi, producer
"Skirt Day," Jean-Paul Lilienfeld, director; Benedicte Lesage, Ariel Askenazi, producers
"Rapt," Lucas Belvaux, director; Patrick Sobelman, Diana Elbaum, Sebastien Delloye, producers
"A Prophet," Jacques Audiard, director; Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Sorla, Marco Cherqui, producers
"Welcome," Philippe Lioret, director; Christophe Rossignon, producer

Jacques Audiard, "A Prophet"
Lucas Belvaux, "Rapt"
Xavier Giannoli, "In the Beginning"
Philippe Lioret, "Welcome"
Radu Mihaileanu, "The Concert"

Yvan Attal, "Rapt"
Francois Cluzet, "In the Beginning"
Francois Cluzet, "One for the Road"
Vincent Lindon, "Welcome"
Tahar Rahim, "A Prophet"

Isabelle Adjani, "Skirt Day"
Dominique Blanc, "The Other One"
Sandrine Kiberlain, "Mademoiselle Chambon"
Kristin Scott Thomas, "Leaving"
Audrey Tautou, "Coco Before Chanel"

Firat Ayverdi, "Welcome"
Adel Bencherif, "A Prophet"
Vincent Lacoste, "The French Kissers"
Tahar Rahim, "A Prophet"
Vincent Rottiers, "I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive"

Pauline Etienne, "Silent Voices"
Florence Loiret-Caille, "Someone I Loved"
Soko, "In the Beginning"
Christa Theret, "LOL (Laughing Out Loud)"
Melanie Thierry, "One for the Road"

"The French Kissers," Riad Sattouf
"One for the Road," Philippe Godeau
"Spy(ies)," Nicolas Saada
"La premiere etoile," Lucien Jean-Baptiste
"Silent Voices," Lea Fehner

Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit, "A Prophet"
Xavier Giannoli, "In the Beginning"
Jean-Paul Lilienfeld, "Skirt Day"
Philippe Lioret, Emmanuel Courco, Olivier Adam, "Welcome"
Radu Mihaileanu, Alain-Michel Blanc, "The Concert"

Stephane Brize, Florence Vignon, "Mademoiselle Chambon"
Anne Fontaine, Camille Fontaine, "Coco Before Chanel"
Philippe Godeau, Agnes de Sacy, "One for the Road"
Laurent Tirard, Gregoire Vigneron, "Le petit Nicolas"
Alex Reval, Laurent Herbiet, "Wild Grass"

Christophe Beaucarne, "Coco Before Chanel"
Laurent Dailland, "Welcome"
Stephane Fontaine, "A Prophet"
Eric Gautier, "Wild Grass"
Glynn Speeckaert, "In the Beginning"

"Avatar," James Cameron
"Gran Torino, " Clint Eastwood
"Milk," Gus Van Sant
"I Killed My Mother," Xavier Dolan