Petr Václav’s The Way Out (Cesta ven) was the big winner at the 2015 Czech Lion Awards, honoring the best Czech films of 2015. Cesta ven won seven awards including Best Picture, Director (Václav), Actress (Klaudia Dudová), Screenplay (Václav), Cinematography (Štěpán Kučera), Editing (Florent Mangeot), and Sound (Daniel Němec, Ivan Horák).
It’s a most-deserving win.
“A heartrending look at the life of Roma in the contemporary Czech Republic,” I wrote last May, “Cesta ven is like a punch to the gut: gritty, honest, and vividly realized, this is not a social polemic but a captivating look at a minority whose lives are hamstrung not just by local prejudice, but by ignorance within their own community.”
It’s a notable win for two reasons: Cesta ven touches on a taboo subject, the integration of Roma into Czech society, and it was made outside of the local industry that has awarded it. Director Václav lives and works in France, where funding for the film came from.
Other awards showcased a lack of diversity among nominees. Miroslav Krobot’s droll comedy Díra u Hanušovic (Nowhere in Moravia), which I reviewed last summer, picked up a trio of acting awards: Best Actor (Ivan Trojan), Best Supporting Actor (Jaroslav Plesl), and Best Supporting Actress (Lenka Krobotová).
Jan Svěrák’s fairy tale Tři bratři took home awards for costumes and makeup, while Jan P. Muchow’s score for Krásno won Best Music. Olga, Miroslav Janek’s look at the life of the former first lady, won Best Documentary, ahead of (in my opinion) more-deserving nominee Magický hlas rebelky (The Magic Voice of a Rebel).
Unfortunately, Cesta ven’s success at the 2015 award ceremony was overshadowed by a minor controversy. An imposter purporting to be Hollywood star Jim Carrey fooled organizers (including director Svěrák) and was allowed to take the stage at one point:
TV viewers watching the ceremony live instantly noticed the ruse, and while organizers initially stood by their claim that it really was Carrey, they eventually admitted that they had been fooled by an imposter.
Look! I’m more interesting than the Oscars while plunked on my couch eating chips. MY SPIRIT WILL NOT BE IGNORED! ;^P
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) February 23, 2015
The Czech Lion awards were announced on Sunday, February 22; coincidentally, the same date as this year’s Oscar telecast, where Birdman took home the Best Picture.
A full list of nominees is below, with winners in bold.
Ivan Trojan (Díra u Hanušovic)
Boleslav Polívka (Andělé všedního dne)
Fair Play – Roman Luknár (Fair Play)
Milan Lasica (Jak jsme hráli čáru)
Ondřej Nosálek (MY 2)
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Jan P. Muchow (Krásno)
Michal Novinski (Andělé všedního dne)
David Solař, Miro Žbirka (Fair Play)
Roman Holý (Pohádkář)
Jaroslav Uhlíř, Michal Novinski (Tři bratři)
Zdeněk Klika (Tři bratři)
Lukáš Král (Díra u Hanušovic)
Anett Weber, Katarína Horská (Fair Play)
Lucie Lišková (Krásno)
Jiřina Pahlerová (Něžné vlny)