Hey, more movie award shows! They may not be the Oscars, but the Genie and Jutra Awards have the merit of putting the spotlight on Canadian and Québécois cinema respectively.
George Stroumboulopoulos and Andrea Martin will host the 32nd annual Genie Awards, which will be broadcast tonight, March 8, at 8 p.m. on CBC, live from the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
Then Yves Pelletier and Sylvie Moreau will be at the reins of the 14th edition of the Jutra Awards, which will air on Sunday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. on Radio-Canada, live from Théâtre Saint-Denis.
Here’s who I feel will win, should win and should have been nominated at the Genies and les Jutra in the most high-profile categories:
Best Picture/Best Director
Will win (Genie and Jutra): Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar. Like Incendies last year, this micro_scope production is in a league of its own as both a critical and commercial hit, and it would be very surprising if, after making the Oscar shortlist in the Best Foreign Language Film category, it was passed over by award bodies in its own country and province.
Should win (Genie and Jutra): Monsieur Lazhar, because it also happens to be a wonderful movie that deserves every honour that comes its way, and Falardeau has proved to be truly one of the best filmmakers we have.
Should have been nominated (Genie and Jutra): Deborah Chow’s The High Cost of Living, a powerful, moving drama set in and around Montreal’s Chinatown. It’s now available on DVD if you need to catch up and see this great film. Patrick Demers’ Jaloux, Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie’s Laurentie and Stéphane Lafleur’s En terrains connus would also have been worthy contenders.
Will win (Genie): Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower, or Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz. I don’t think Genie voters will be able to resist the temptation to award one of these Hollywood stars! Will they show up at the ceremony, though?
Will win (Jutra): Catherine De Léan, Nuit #1. The best part of a film which I otherwise actively disliked.
Should win (Genie and Jutra): French singer (and Johnny Depp’s girlfriend) Vanessa Paradis for her affecting performance in Jean Marc-Vallée’s Café de Flore.
Should have been nominated (Genie and Jutra): Isabelle Blais, The High Cost of Living. Undeniably one of the most gifted actors in Quebec cinema, this two-time Jutra winner outdoes herself in Chow’s film, delivering an absolutely heartbreaking performance.
Will win (Genie): Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method. Though if he does, it’ll be as much for his (vastly superior) turn in Shame than for his solid but not all that exceptional performance in David Cronenberg’s good but not great film.
Will win/Should win (Jutra): Gilbert Sicotte, Le Vendeur. Nothing less than a note-perfect performance.
Should win (Genie): Fellag, Monsieur Lazhar. He’s immensely engaging as the titular character in Falardeau’s film.
Should have been nominated (Genie and Jutra): Emmanuel Schwartz, Laurentie. I get the fact that the film as a whole may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but how can you not acknowledge that Schwartz is a goddamn revelation in it?
Best Supporting Actress
Will win/Should win (Genie and Jutra): Sophie Nélisse, Monsieur Lazhar. What a great little actress! The exceptionally natural and touching performances by her and the other child actors are, perhaps, the best thing about the film.
Should have been nominated (Genie and Jutra): Angèle Coutu, Marécages. As the protagonist’s lesbian grandmother, she’s as endearing as it gets.
Best Supporting Actor
Will win/Should win (Genie): Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method. As Sigmund Freud, Cronenberg’s current fave actor is all kinds of awesome.
Will win/Should win (Jutra): Émilien Néron, Monsieur Lazhar. What I said about Sophie Nélisse above applies to this little guy as well.
Should have been nominated (Genie and Jutra): Paul Doucet, Funkytown. As the flamboyant Jonathan Aaronson (a thinly veiled version of Douglas “Coco” Leopold), Doucet stole scenes left and right in this disco-era ensemble drama from writer Steve Galluccio and director Daniel Roby.