Matthias Schoenaerts was awarded the César for Best Male Newcomer for his portrayal of Ali in Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone. The Cesars, France’s prestigious equivalents of the Oscars, were presented on 22 February in Paris. And on Sunday 24 February it’ll become clear whether Tom Van Avermaet’s short Death of a Shadow, also featuring Schoenaerts as lead, manages to grab an Oscar as well.

Matthias SchoenaertsSince Michaël R Roskam’s Bullhead was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2012, Schoenaerts’ international career has taken flight. Rust and Bone sees Schoenaerts starring alongside Marion Cotillard as 25-year-old Ali, who’s suddenly in charge of his five-year old son. When they move in with his sister, Ali meets Stéphanie at a local nightclub. They don’t seem to have anything in common, but when Stéphanie loses both legs in an accident, a special, sensual bond arises between them.

Represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Schoenaerts’ star is steadily rising in Hollywood. The actor finished shooting Guillaume Canet’s crime thriller Blood Ties in New York, which is set for a 2013 release. Word also got out that the actor will star alongside Kate Winslet in Alan Rickman’s upcoming costume drama, A Little Chaos. The actor’s confirmed for Saul Dibb’s Suite française too, starring Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas. Schoenaerts will also return to familiar ground, taking the main role in Michaël R Roskam’s second feature film, The Faithful, and a part in Robin Pront’s directorial debut, Les Ardennes, both to be produced by Bullhead-producer Savage Film.

Audiard’s Rust and Bone, which screened in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year, was co-produced by Annemie Degryse for the Ghent-based production office Lunanime (Offline) and was made possible with the support of the VAF/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege. The film also grabbed the César for Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Music.

Published on Saturday 23 February 2013

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