Six Magritte: a triumph for Mr. Nobody!

  • 05.02.2011

For Wallimage, no need to be modest about it, it was a real triumph. Except for Jan Decleir, who won Best Supporting Actor for Les Barons, all Magritte went to films co-financed by the Walloon fund. The big winner of the night: Mr. Nobody, Jaco Van Dormael’s exceptional masterpiece, met with rather cool reviews at its release, sabotaged by its distributors in France, hauled in six Magritte.

Winning Best European Film,elected by the public, then Best Belgian Film of the year … by the critics, Mr. Nobody was awarded Best Film of the Year on Saturday 5 February. Jaco is also Best Screenwriter and Best Director, and Mr. Nobody won best photography (Christophe Beaucarne, Best Music (Pierre Van Dormael) and best editing (Matyas Veress). Full score!

Three films win two Magritte: Illégal, A Town Called Panic and Élève Libre.

Anne Coesens, the fantastic actress of Illégal won Best Actress, she was applauded for a (very) long time on stage (the – well merited! – ovation of the night). Christelle Cornil, who played a guard in the film, won Best Supporting Actress which she spoiled a little with a speech interrupting the rhythm of the night and causing a bit of wavering after. Such a shame, especially since Christelle presented one of the first awards with Matthias Schoenaerts (the excellent actor from Rundskop) and their unitarian number had been perfect!

A Town Called Panic was nominated twice .. and won twice. Benoît Biral, Valene Leroy, Julien Pachal, Fred Piet and Franco Piscopp won a Magritte for the best sound while Eric Blessin and Marc Nis won for their décors.

Then there is Élève Libre, strangely absent from the ’best film’ category (in favour of Amer), who won thanks to a Jonathan Zaccaï sizzling with unapologetic cynicism as Best Actor, and Pauline Étienne, Best Upcoming Actress.

Even without Cécile de France who refused to take part in the ceremony she found “too francophone” (even though Dutch was spoken and several Dutchophones were honoured), Soeur Sourire won Best Costumes (Christophe Pidre and Florence Scholtes. La Régate was rewarded for its young actor Joffrey Verbruggen (best upcoming actor), who was very, very good on stage too. And finally, the Magritte for Best Coproduction (minority), a Belgian speciality, went to the Dardenne brothers for Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric.

Then André Delvaux received a posthumous Honorary Magritte (a very emotional moment), while Benoît Poelvoorde won the public’s prize (earning us a rather risqué remark, it must be said that Ben was rather ’happy’). Best Documentary went to Les chemins de la mémoire by Jose Luis Penafuerte and the best short film was won by Samuel Tilman’s Nuit Blanche.

In short, this night so important for Belgian film, turned out to be a true success. It would be very surprising if the experience wouldn’t be repeated. With such a seductive list of winners? Well that will be hard, but who knows what the next year will be made of…