The Palme d’Or, which did not have the favor of the CNC to represent France at the Oscar for best international film, still has every chance in the other categories of the Oscars.
Something to console ourselves for the CNC’s snub who did not choose it to represent France at the Oscar for best international film. Anatomy of a Fall by Justine Triet has just joined the Palmes d’Or club having exceeded one million admissions in cinemas. A feat achieved in just one month. The feature film is far from having finished filling cinemas.
“The million” was exceeded Friday evening, distributor Jean Labadie at the head of the Pacte confirmed to AFP. “Bravo Justine Triet, Thank you to the spectators”, wrote producer Marie-Ange Luciani on Instagram. Such a box office for a Cannes award-winning film has become rare in recent times. The most recent success dates back to 2019 with Parasite by Bong-Joon ho which brought together 1.7 million curious people.
Anatomy of a fall far exceeds the last French Palme d’Or, Titanium (306,293 entries in 2021) and ahead Dheepan by Jacques Audiard in 2015 (663,000 admissions). The legal thriller is on par with The Life of Adele by Abdellatif Kechiche (1.036 million admissions in 2013), and could hope to catch up Between the walls by Laurent Cantet (1.6 million in 2008), other French Palme d’Ors from the 2000s.
Controversy after the choice of the CNC
To everyone’s surprise, Anatomy of a fall, which meticulously dissects the balance of power and domination within a couple of artists, was not selected to be France’s candidate for the Oscar for best international film. Even though all the connoisseurs across the Atlantic of the awards season had put it at the top of their favorites. Presented at several North American festivals, from Telluride to Toronto, Anatomy of a fall generated considerable enthusiasm.
However, the commission of professionals which decides which film France submits to the American Cinema Academy preferred it on Thursday The Pion of Dodin Bouffant by Tran Anh Hung, with Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche. This costume film about culinary traditions à la française is due out on November 8 in France.
A decision that supporters of Justine Triet’s film have difficulty swallowing: “How stupid they are.” wrote Marie-Ange Luciani on Instagram after this decision, when Jean Labadie judged this decision “inexcusable” on X (formerly Twitter). Many Internet users believe that Justine Triet is paying for her very critical comments towards the French government. During her acceptance speech at the Cannes Film Festival, she accused the executive of breaking the model of cultural exception.
The president of the Union of Cinema Producers (UPC) Marc Missonnier said he was “a little stunned” by this political interpretation. “These are indisputable professionals” who chose, he recalled, stressing that the public authorities, via the CNC within which they meet, did not have the right to vote. “French cinema has long been looking for the right formula for choosing the film it sends to the Oscars. Let us instead formulate proposals for the future rather than falling into political anathema”he added on X.
Despite this decision by the CNC, Anatomy of a Fall can hope to shine at the Oscars next March. Justine Triet’s drama was acquired by the distributor Neon, which, in its time, enabled the triumph of Parasite, Oscar winner four times. The South Korean satire made Hollywood history by winning the trophy for best film.
Eligible for multiple Oscar categories
Neon hopes to be able to raise for Anatomy of a fall nominations in the general categories: best screenplay, best actress (Sandra Hüller), best direction and best film. The fact that almost half of the lines in the film are in English should help.
France has not won the Oscar for best international film since Indochina in 1993. To have a chance of winning the statuette next March, it is now necessary that The Pion of Dodin Bouffant manages to find a place on the list of 15 films preselected at the beginning of January by the Oscar committee in charge of the best international film prize. Only five of these feature films will be nominated on January 23. Each year, nearly a hundred foreign films are sent to the American Cinema Academy. Celebrating French gastronomy and heritage The Pion of Dodin Bouffant can also count on the presence of Juliette Binoche in the credits to lead the campaign across the Atlantic. Oscar winner in 1997 for The English Patient, the French actress is very popular in Hollywood where she continues to play with roles in the blockbuster Godzilla or the HBO series The Staircase.