2012 Genie Awards Nominations: David Cronenberg, 'Café de Flore' Top Nominees
The Genies are out of the bottle, Canada!
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television unveiled their nominees for the 32nd Annual Genie Awards this morning at simultaneous press conferences in Toronto and Montreal. Celebrating the best in Canadian film, Canada's answer to the Oscars doled out nominations to old favourites, Canadian institutions, and global stars after considering over 122 films and 46 features for the yearly awards.
But, unsurprisingly, it was David Cronenberg and Quebec cinema that dominated the honorees Tuesday -- with director Jean-Marc Vallée's "Café de Flore" leading the way with 13 nominations. Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" wasn't far behind, racking up an impressive 11 nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Achievement in Direction.
Cronenberg's "Dangerous" Contender
The Oscar buzz surrounding David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" may be dying down somewhat, but the Canadian auteur's historical drama about what happened when Jung met Freud certainly felt the love from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
Despite receiving nods in almost all the major categories, it notably failed to generate a Best Actress nomination for Keira Knightley, who plays the troubled young patient who comes between psychoanalyst superstars Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Her high-profile male co-stars fared much better, as both Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen were recognized for their roles as the famous historical figures. At this point, they're heavy favourites to take home their respective awards.
Quebec Cinema Stands Out
Canada's official entry for the foreign-language Oscar received a boost to its award hopes as Philippe Falardeau's "Monsieur Lazhar" earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Direction, and the film's star Fellag joins the Best Actor race. The critical favourite -- about an Algerian immigrant who replaces a beloved elementary school teacher following his untimely death -- ended up with 9 nominations.
But it was Jean-Marc Vallée's "Café de Flore" that took home the most nominations of the day with his fantastical love story split between 1960s Paris and modern-day Montreal. Vallée, who most recently directed "The Young Victoria," continues his domination of the Genies. It's a feeling he's getting used to after "C.R.A.Z.Y.," one of the most successful Quebec films in history, received 13 Genie nominations (and won 11) back in 2005.
Canadian Awards, International Appeal
The Genie nominations definitely weren't lacking in international appeal as global stars from Rachel Weisz to Michelle Williams dominated the acting categories. Weisz earned her Best Actress nomination for "The Whistleblower," and while the fact-based drama may have been unjustly overlooked by American audiences, it certainly wasn't overlooked at the Genies. The former Oscar hopeful generated six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Toronto-born writer/first-time director Larysa Kondracki.
But Weisz has some stiff competition in the Best Actress category. In addition to Vanessa Paradis ("Café de Flore"), she'll be going up against Michelle Williams, who continues her awards domination after winning a Golden Globe for "My Week with Marilyn" last Sunday. Williams was also nominated for "Take This Waltz," which garnered a surprisingly low number of nods for a Sarah Polley film. The Canadian darling Polley previously cleaned up at the Genies in 2008, netting seven awards for "Away From Her," but her follow-up didn't fare nearly as well.
The 32nd Annual Genie Awards ceremony will be held on March 8th, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, and will be broadcast on CBC at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT).