Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

'Lebanon is proud of you': Saad Hariri supports Nadine Labaki ahead of the Oscars

The country's prime minister sent his best wishes to the 'Capernaum' director shortly before the 2019 Academy Awards

Nadine Labaki will discover if 'Capernaum' has won an Oscar on Sunday night. Reuters
Nadine Labaki will discover if 'Capernaum' has won an Oscar on Sunday night. Reuters

She's already made history as the first female Arab filmmaker to win a major prize at Cannes, and the first female Lebanese filmmaker to be nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, among her numerous other accolades.

And while Nadine Labaki won't find out if she's won an Academy Award for another few hours, she has already won the hearts of those in her home nation.

The Lebanese director, whose film Capernaum has been bestowed with numerous trophies this awards season, was the subject of Prime Minister Saad Hariri's latest social media post.

Ahead of the 2019 Academy Awards on February 24, the Lebanese politician sent his congratulations to Labaki on her success, and wished her luck at the Los Angeles ceremony.

"I wish all the best to Nadine Labaki and the crew of the film, Capernaum, in its nomination for Oscars," Hariri posted on Twitter on Saturday evening.

"Our hearts are with you and all of Lebanon is proud of you, Nadine Labaki."

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad HarirI attends a meeting at the government palace in Beirut. Reuters
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has sent several messages of support to Nadine Labaki. Reuters

It's not the first supportive message the prime minister has shared in honour of the director, who scooped the prestigious Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

"Congratulations to the director Nadine Labaki and all the crew of the film Capernaum,” Hariri tweeted at the time. “All of Lebanon is proud of your success, Nadine."

Capernaum is Labaki's third film and tells the story of children in the slums of Beirut, using a cast of non-actors.

The main storyline follows a 12-year-old boy who decides to sue his abusive parents, who he's already fled from, for the "crime" of giving him life.

Labaki, who was also behind 2007's Caramel, is the only female director nominated in the feature-film categories at this year's Oscars, which will kick off at the Dolby Theatre at 5pm Pacific Standard Time (5am UAE time on Monday).

Ahead of the ceremony, Capernaum has won praise from some of Hollywood's most revered names, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

"Look who came for lunch, director extraordinaire Nadine Labaki and her producer husband Khaled," the talk show host and philanthropist captioned a shot of the three on her Instagram page this month, as she invited the filmmakers to her home.

The producer and author also had high praise for Labaki's Oscar-nominated film, adding: "I love their movie Capernaum so much. If you get the chance, see it".

The film also found a fan in Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close, who praised Labaki's work on the Bafta red carpet.

"It moved me to my absolute core," said Close of Capernaum, citing it as the best film she had seen this year. Actor Jonathan Pryce agreed, calling the drama "extraordinary".

Updated: February 24, 2019 12:18 PM

SHARE

SHARE