Welcome to the 2019 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success. If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below. If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “Proxima”

DISTRIBUTOR: Seeking US Distribution
DIRECTOR: Alice Winocour
PRODUCERS: Isabelle Madelaine, Emilie Tisné
WRITER(S): Jean-Stéphane Bron, Alice Winocour
CAST: Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Hüller, Nancy Tate
SYNOPSIS: An astronaut prepares for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. (IMDB)

SCHEDULED RELEASE: To be announced, 2019

POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

French filmmaker Alice Winocour returns to the director’s chair four years after her last film, “Disorder,” was screened as part of the Un Certain Regard program at Cannes. The same year, she co-wrote “Mustang,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. “Proxima” is Winocour’s third feature film, and could be the first with broad appeal. Films about journeys and exploration and space often draw a lot of interest, and Winocour’s attention to character and story will surely make this something audiences and pundits alike will want to see.

At the Deauville Film Festival in 2018, Winocour described the film as taking place immediately before her lead character, Sarah, leaves for the International Space Station. It dives into the strict and difficult training astronauts endure, and the particular challenge of being a mother who prepares for such a journey. The Hollywood Reporter quoted her statement:

“The idea is also to have an astronaut that can be a superheroine and at the same time a mother, because I think in movies mothers are always very weak characters. It’s time that women should assume that you can be an astronaut and a mother too.”

Eva Green stars as Sarah. Her filmography isn’t exactly long, but it is full of interesting, eclectic, and sometimes odd roles. Even in some of her campier performances, Green has a way of commanding the screen and making the audience take notice. Paired with Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon, this promises to be a masterful duo.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES:

You may be tired of the argument, but that it will continue to be an issue until the Academy stops making it one. The biggest obstacle to “Proxima” even getting noticed for awards is its female director. And not only is she a woman, but it’s also only her third feature film. It’s also only her first English language film. Considering the way Claire Denis’ “High Life” went almost completely unnoticed by audiences, it’s easy to imagine “Proxima” suffering a similar fate. Unlike “High Life,” though, “Proxima” has a more accessible premise that could appeal naturally to a wider audience.

POTENTIAL AWARD CATEGORIES IN PLAY:

  • Motion Picture (Isabelle Madelaine, Emilie Tisné)
  • Director (Alice Winocour)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Eva Green)
  • Actor in a Leading Role (Matt Dillon)
  • Original Screenplay (Jean-Stéphane Bron, Alice Winocour)
  • Production Design (Florian Sanson)
  • Cinematography (Georges Lechaptois)
  • Costume Design (Pascaline Chavanne)
  • Film Editing (Julien Lacheray)
  • Makeup and Hairstyling (To be announced)
  • Sound Mixing (To be announced)
  • Sound Editing (To be announced)
  • Visual Effects (To be announced)
  • Original Score (To be announced)

POTENTIAL KEY NOTICES FROM OTHER GROUPS

  • Best Motion Picture, Drama (Golden Globes): HFPA may have a similar track record to AMPAS when it comes to films directed by women, but will they be able to resist this one?
  • Best Lead Actress (BAFTA): In 2007, Eva Green was recognized by BAFTA with the Rising Star Award. Perhaps they are ready to recognize her with a competitive trophy.

Are you excited or skeptical about Alice Winocour’s “Proxima?” Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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