It’s turning out to be quite the week for the My Life As A Zucchini, the low-budget Swiss-French stop motion feature that picked up an Oscar nomination for best animated feature.
Just one day after the Oscar nod, Claude Barras’ Zucchini picked up three nominations at the César Awards, France’s national film award, which is open only to French productions. It ties with Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville for the second-most Cesar nominations by an animated film; the most-lauded animated film at the Cesars was Persepolis with 6 nominations.
Impressively, Zucchini scored not only for animated feature, but picked up two additional nominations in categories typically unreceptive to animated films.
Zucchini’s screenwriter Céline Sciamma (Girlhood, Tomboy) earned a nom in the adapted screenplay category, where there are six total contenders. She adapted the film from a novel by Gilles Paris, and as we’ve pointed out in ealier pieces, Sciamma’s ability to write natural-sounding dialogue for children is one of the film’s highlights. Also, Sophie Hunger received recognition in the original score category. She is one of five nominees in the category.
In the animated feature category, two other films were nominated alongside Zucchini: Michael Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle (also nominated for an Oscar this year) and Sébastien Laudenbach’s The Girl Without Hands.
Zucchini went head-to-head against The Red Turtle at the European Film Awards and came out on top. But Laudenbach’s film, made almost entirely by himself, is a sublime graphic masterpiece worthy of honors, too. Looking at the trio of films together, it’s a remarkable group of nominees.
GKIDS will release The Girl Without Hands in the United States later this year, and it will qualify for the Oscars this year.
The Cesars also nominated four French animated shorts. Their trailers can be viewed below.
If you’re wondering why the Cesars only recognize French works, here’s a good reason: three of the four nominees below were also qualified in the Academy’s short film category this season—and not a single one of them was shortlisted. In the case of Peripheria, it’s almost incomprehensible that a film of such caliber would be ignored while a number of very obviously lesser films were shortlisted.
The winners of the 42nd annual Cesar Awards will be announced on February 24.
- Cafe Froid (Cold Coffee)
dir. Stephanie Lansaque, Francois Leroy
- Celui Qui a Deux Ames (He Who Has Two Souls)
dir. Fabrice Luang-Vija
- Journal Anime (Animated Daily)
dir. Donato Sansone
dir. David Coquard-Dassault