Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 October 2019

Nadine Labaki lunches with 'her queen', Oprah Winfrey

The Lebanese director was a guest of honour at the media mogul's home in the US

Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey / Instagram
Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey / Instagram

Her film Capernaum has won critical acclaim and award nominations aplenty, and Nadine Labaki's heart-wrenching drama has also accrued some rather famous fans.

Among those is perhaps America's most widely known media personality, Oprah Winfrey, who this week extended an invitation to Labaki to dine at her home.

Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, were emotional when they found out about their Oscar nomination. Getty
Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, attend the Baftas nominees party on February 9, 2019. Getty Images

The Lebanese director and her husband, producer and musician Khaled Mouzanar, joined the talk show host and philanthropist at her residence for an intimate lunch, as revealed by Oprah herself.

"Look who came for lunch, director extraordinaire Nadine Labaki and her producer husband Khaled," Winfrey, 65, captioned a shot of the three on her Instagram page. 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 moving refugee drama, which claimed the prestigious Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, is up for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Academy Awards, which will be held on February 24.

Labaki shared Winfrey's image of their tete-a-tete, adding that she would love to host the media executive for lunch in Lebanon in the future.

"My queen Oprah. This moment spent in your home talking about life and the ways to change the world will always be one of those moments Khaled and I will remember forever," Labaki, 44, wrote on Instagram. "Your humility and warmth are such a beautiful example to follow. You have this aura very few people have in life."

The director, who was also behind 2007 hit Caramel, thanked Oprah for "allowing this beautiful moment to happen", as well as for her support for Capernaum.

"I hope the next time we meet we'll be having breakfast in Lebanon, our home, and we'll be having the beautiful cedar mountains as a background," Labaki finished.

Winfrey has previously spoken out about her love for Capernaum. The media mogul tweeted her praise for the film last month, telling her followers the drama "makes you think of all the children for whom this story is a daily reality".

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.

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

"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".

"Well we didn’t win but we won this!" said Labaki as she posted a clip of the red-carpet interview on her Instagram page. "And it makes it all worthwhile! Thank you @glennclose, thank you Jonathan Pryce! You make my heart sing!"

Updated: February 13, 2019 09:42 AM

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