Controversial drama Blue Is The Warmest Color looks set to dominate France's upcoming Cesar awards after securing eight nominations. The movie, about a lesbian couple, is up for a raft of top prizes including Best Film, Best Director for Abdellatif Kechiche, and Best Actress for Lea Seydoux.
The movie will vie for Best Film with Me, Myself and Mum, 9 Month Stretch, Stranger by the Lake, Jimmy P., The Past, and Venus in Fur.
Seydoux is facing competition for Best Actress from screen icon Catherine Deneuve for her turn in She Goes, Fanny Ardant (Les Beaux Jours), Berenice Bejo (The Past), Sara Forestier (Suzanne), Sandrine Kiberlain (9 Month Stretch), and Emmanuelle Seigner (Venus in Fur).
The Best Actor fight will be between Bond baddie Mads Mikkelsen, who receives a nod for his role in Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas, Mathieu Amalric (Venus in Fur), Michel Bouquet (Renoir), Albert Dupontel (9 Month Stretch), Gregory Gadebois (Mon Ame Par Toi Guerie), Guillaume Gallienne (Me Myself & Mum), and Fabrice Luchini (Alceste a Bicyclette).
Meanwhile, in the Foreign Film category, Oscar-nominated Gravity and Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine are shortlisted, alongside Alabama Monroe, Blancanieves, Dead Man Talking, Django Unchained, and La Grande Bellezza.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris hosted by Francois Cluzet on 28 February (14).
Camille Rewinds (Camille Redouble) will compete for the coveted Best Film prize, and Noemie Lvovsky is nominated for both Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.
The drama also scored nods in categories for Best Costume, Best Music and Best Editing among others, and two of its stars, Michel Vuillermoz and Samir Guesmi, will go head-to-head for the Best Supporting Actor trophy.
Internationally-acclaimed film Amour, which is up for Best Picture prize at the Academy Awards next month (Feb13), is also nominated in the Cesar Best Film category, along with Rust and Bone, Holy Motors, The First Name, In the House and Farewell, My Queen.
Rust and Bone star Marion Cotillard will face Lvovsky for the Best Actress trophy, alongside fellow nominees Catherine Frot (Les Saveurs du Palais), Corinne Masiero (Louise Wimmer), Lea Seydoux (Farewell, My Queen), Helene Vincent (A Few Hours of Spring) and Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), who is also nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
The Best Actor category includes Riva's Amour co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant, who will compete against Jean-Pierre Bacri (Cherchez Hortense), Patrick Bruel (The First Name), Denis Lavant (Holy Motors), Vincent Lindon (A Few Hours of Spring), Fabrice Luchini (In the House) and Jeremie Renier (Cloclo).
Ben Affleck's Argo also picked up a nod in the Best Foreign Film list.
The Cesar Awards, France's answer to the Oscars, will take place at Le Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on 22 February (13).