French films and French co-producitons were nominated in many categories at the 87th Academy Awards, but it was veteran film music composer Alexandre Desplat who would return to France with a statuette. It was Desplat’s 7th time at the Oscars and his first ceremony with two scores in the running: The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel — the latter of the two eventually winning him the prize.
Desplat’s compatriots fared less well with Best Actress nominee Marion Cotillard coming up short against veteran actress Julian Moore’s performance in Still Alice. France had 6 productions or international collaborations in the Oscars race this year. Timbuktu — a collaboration between France and Mauritania from director Adberrahmane Sissako — had won 7 César awards (the French Oscars) a few days earlier but failed to beat out Polish film Ida for Best Foreign Language Film.
Song of the Sea, a French-Irish-Luxembourgeois-Belgian-Danish collaboration, lost to Big Hero 6 for Best Animated Feature animated feature; two short films, Franco-Israeli production “Aya” by Yael Abecassis and “Butter Lamp,” a Franco-Chinese film shot on the Tibetan border, lost to “The Phone Call,” a British film about a woman working for a suicide hotline.