Six Magrittes: the triumph of Mr. Magritte Nobody!

  • 05.02.2011

For Wallimage, let’s not be modest, it’s a triumph. Apart from Jan Decleir who won in the Best Supporting Actor category for The Barons, all the Magritte awards went to films co-financed by the Walloon fund. The triumph of the evening: Mr.Nobody, Jaco van Dormael‘s extraordinary masterpiece, welcomed by fresh critics at its release, sabotaged in France by its distributors, won six Magritte awards.
Voted best European film by the public and best Belgian film of the year… by the critics, Mr Nobody was crowned best film of the year on Saturday 5 February. Jaco is best writer and best director. Mr. Nobody also won trophies for best photography(Christophe Beaucarne), best music(Pierre Van Dormael) and best editing(Matyas Veress). Full house!

Three films win two Magritte: Illégal, Panique au Village and Élève Libre.

Anne Coesens, the fabulous interpreter ofIllégal was elected best actress of the year and was applauded for a long time on stage (the deserved ovation of the evening). Christelle Cornil, who played a janitor in the film, won the Magritte for Best Supporting Actress… which she spoiled a bit with a speech that unfortunately broke the rhythm of the evening and caused a bit of a flutter afterwards. It’s a pity because Christelle had come to give an entrance prize with Matthias Schoenaerts (the fantastic actor of Rundskop) and their little unitary number had been perfect!

Panic in the Village was nominated twice… and won twice. Benoît Biral, Valene Leroy, Julien Paschal, Fred Piet and Franco Piscopp received a Magritte for the best sound whileEric Blesin and Marc Nis were crowned for the best set.

As for Élève Libre, strangely absent from the best film category (in favor ofAmer), it won thanks to Jonathan Zaccaï, who is staggeringly cynical, and Pauline Étienne, who won best actor and best female hopeful.

Even without Cécile De France who refused to take part in the ceremony judged by her “too French-speaking” (Flemish was still spoken and several Dutch speakers were honored), Sœur Sourire won the Magritte for best costume(Christophe Pidre and Florence Scholtes). The Regatta was rewarded for its young actor Joffrey Verbruggen (best male hope), also very good on stage. Finally, the Magritte for the best co-production (minority), a Belgian particularity, went to the Dardenne brothers for Ken Loach‘s Looking for Eric.

If André Delvaux received a posthumous Magritte d’Honneur (a moving moment), Benoît Poelvoorde was rewarded by the public (which earned us a rather daring remark, it must be said that Ben was ‘joyful’). The best documentary is Les chemins de la mémoire by Jose Luis Penafuerte and the best short Nuit blanche by Samuel Tilman.

In short, this very important evening for the Belgian cinema was a real and beautiful success. It would be very surprising if the experience was not repeated. With such an attractive track record? It will be difficult, but you never know…