Sci-fi mystery ‘The Animal Kingdom’ tops nominations for France’s César awards

Oscar hopeful “Anatomy of a Fall” was narrowly bested by a beastly sci-fi thriller in the nominations race for France’s answer to the Academy Awards Wednesday.

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The Animal Kingdom”, about a wave of mutations turning humans into hybrid creatures, picked up 12 Cesar nominations, including for best film.

Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall”, — one of France’s biggest international arthouse hits of recent years—took one less.

The thriller about a wife accused of murdering her husband won two Golden Globes this month and has clocked up five Oscar nominations including for best picture.

It was a decent year for women filmmakers, who made up three of the five Cesar nominees in the best director category.

The prize has only once gone to a woman: Tonie Marshall for 2000’s “Venus Beauty Institute”.

Triet is nominated alongside veteran provocateur Catherine Breillat for “Last Summer” and Jeanne Herry for “All Your Faces”.

The awards ceremony will take place on February 23, with Christopher Nolan, who is leading the Oscars race with “Oppenheimer”, to receive an honorary Cesar.

Also nominated for best film is “Junkyard Dog” about a friendship upended when one person falls in love, and “The Goldman Case”, a courtroom drama about a true-life armed robber who became a media celebrity in the 1970s.