'Waltz with Bashir' wins a César

Folman's animated film wins French award for Best Foreign Film almost a week after Oscar upset.

Waltz with Bashir good 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Waltz with Bashir good 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israeli animated film Waltz with Bashir won France's César Award for Best Foreign Film on Friday night, almost a week after missing out on the Academy Award it was nominated for in the same category. The documentary, directed by Ari Folman, follows a soldier struggling to recall suppressed memories from his involvement in Israel's 1982 war with Lebanon. The win made Waltz with Bashir the first Israeli movie to win a César, though Eytan Fox's Walk on Water was nominated in 2006. Also nominated for the César this year were Sean Penn's Into the Wild, and Italian gangster film Gomorra. Two of Clint Eastwood's movies, Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River, won the César for Best Foreign Film in 2006 and 2004 respectively, and Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine took the prize in 2003. At last Sunday's Academy Awards, Folman had been heavily favored to win a statuette for best foreign film - an award that would have been Israel's first, after eight nominations, including one in 2008 for Joseph Cedar's Beaufort. Instead, Japan's Departures, a film about a classical musician who takes a job preparing bodies for burial, won the Oscar for best foreign language film. It was the first Japanese film to win an Oscar in that category in more than half a century. The other Oscar nominees were Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Class from France; the crime caper from Austria Revanche; and Germany's The Baader Meinhof Complex, which follows West German terrorist group the Red Army Faction. Folman's film won a number of key Hollywood accolades in the run-up to the Oscars, including a Golden Globe, widely seen as a harbinger of success at the Academy Awards. Allison Hoffman and AP contributed to this report.