The Polish-born director and the French-born screenwriter brought home the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay for Carnage from France's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Still-frame from R. Polański's "Carnage", courtesy of Kino Świat
The Polish-born director and the French-born screenwriter brought home the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay for Carnage from France's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Carnage is a screenplay adaptation of Yasmin Reza's original stage play The God of Carnage (Le dieu de carnage), which has enjoyed successful runs of hilarity on stages across Europe and the U.S. Reza, born in Paris to parents of Jewish descent, has been called a phenomenon, a born satirist, whose swift commercial success at a relatively early age (37) has garnered her some backlash from critics who scorn the simplicity of her humour and cutting stabs at contemporary society and culture.
Roman Polański teamed up with Reza to take the play to the big screen without stripping it of any of its dramatic frenzy as a clash between two couples discussing a tussle between their children gains momentum with a hilarity that's almost painful to watch. It's a cunning caricature of the bourgeoisie, of the passive-aggressive tendencies of society and the truth about the steep economic divides among the tiers of the middle class. Most importantly, the play is laugh-out-loud funny, with an impeccable sense of how to manipulate dialogue to say several things at once - partly truth, partly lies and all over comedy. Reza herself as said of comedy in her writing that
Laughter is always a problem and is very dangerous. The way people laugh changes the way you see a play. A very profound play may seem very light. My plays have always been described as comedy but I think they're tragedy. They are funny tragedy, but they are tragedy. Maybe it's a new genre.
In the Best Adapted Screenplay category, Carnage was up against La délicatesse, Guilty, Omar Killed Me and Pater.
The favourites for this year's César were certainly Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, with six wins including Best Film and Best Director, Pierre Schoeller's The Minister (L'exercice de l'État), with three wins and Polisse (Poliss) directed by Maïwenn, with two wins. A Separation won for Best Foreign Picture - which, incidentally, is up against Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness at the 2012 Oscars.
At the awards ceremony on the 24th of February British actress Kate Winslet, who stars in Carnage together with Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, was also awarded an honourary award for her craft.
Source: French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences