Madly In Love

Source: Courtesy of Bergamo Film Meeting

Madly In Love

Comedy-drama Madly In Life and Oscar international feature longlist entry Playground lead the nominations in Belgium’s Les Magritte du Cinéma awards focused on French-language Belgian cinema.

The awards are due to take place in Brussels for the first time in two years on February 12 after the 2021 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the cancellation, films from 2020 and 2021 are in the running for this year’s edition.

Raphaël Balboni and Ann Sirot’s Madly In Life topped the nominations making it into 12 categories including best film, director, first film and screenplay. The last film to achieve this number of Magritte nominations was Bouli Lanners’s The Giants in 2011.

Playground came in second with 10 nominations, followed by Joachim Lafosse’s The Restless and Fabrice Du Welz’s Adoration with six nominations each. Working Girls by Frédéric Fonteyne and Anne Paulicevich received three nominations.

Cannes Palme d’Or winner Titane – a French-Belgian co-production – also featured prominently with five nominations. Liege-based company Frakas Productions was a minority partner on the film, which used some Belgian cast and crew. 

Madly In Life revolves around a couple in their 30s who are desperate for children. They unexpectedly find themselves learning parenting skills, however, when the husband’s mother develops semantic dementia leading her to behave in an unpredictable and childish manner.

While the film has not played any A-list film festivals, it has received a warm reception at a raft of smaller European festivals including Namur and Tallinn. It is produced by Hélicotronc with Be For Films handling sales.

Playground world premiered in Cannes’s Un Certain Regard last summer, where it won the Fipresci prize. The Restless also debuted in Un Certain Regard last year while Adoration world premiered in Locarno in 2019.

The Belgian film awards are named after surrealist painter Réné Magritte and run by the Académie André Delvaux, whose members include filmmakers, producers and other cinema professionals from the French-speaking Belgian community.

Magritte nominations in key categories:

Best Film

  • Adoration, Fabrice Du Welz
  • Working Girls, Fréderic Fonteyne and Anne Paulicevich
  • The Restless, Joachim Lafosse
  • Playground, Laura Wandel
  • Madly In Life, Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni

Best First Film

  • Mothers Schmuckers, Harpo and Lenny Guit
  • Jumbo, Zoé Wittock
  • Playground, Laura Wandel
  • Madly In Life, Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni

Best Director

  • Fabrice du Welz, Adoration
  • Joachim Fosse, The Restless
  • Laura Wandel, Playground
  • Raphaël Balboni and Ann Sirot, Madly In Life

Best Flemish Film

  • Dealer, Jeroen Perceval
  • La Civil, Teodora Ana Mihai
  • Rookie, Lieven Van Baelen
  • The Barefoot Emperor, Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

Best Screenplay

  • Working Girls, Anne Paulicevich
  • The Restless, Lou du Pontavice, Pablo Guarise, Juliette Goudot, Joachim Lafosse, Chloé Léonil, Anne-Lise Morin, François Pirot
  • Playground, Laura Wandel
  • Madly In Life, Raphaël Balboni, Ann Sirot

Best French-language international co-production

  • Adam, co-produced by Patrick Quinet, Artémis Production
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin, co-produced by Annabella Nezri, Kwassa Film
  • Onoda, 10,000 Nights In The Jungle, co-produced by Jean-Yves Roubin and Cassandre Warnauts, Frakas Productions
  • Titane, co-produced by Jean-Yves Roubin and Cassandre Warnauts, Frakas Productions

 Best Actress

  • Lubna Azabal, Adam *
  • Virginie Efira, Bye Bye Morons *
  • Lucie Debay, Jo Deseure, Madly In Life

Best Actor

  • Bouli Lanners, Love Song For Tough Guys *
  • Jérémie Renier, Slalom*
  • Arieh Worthalter, Hold Me Tight*
  • Jean le Peltier, Madly In Life

* Denotes films that do not qualify for best film, best first film, best Flemish film or best international co-production.