Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Peter Greenaway's 'Eisenstein In Guanajuato' to Premiere at Outfest Los Angeles Peter Greenaway's 'Eisenstein In Guanajuato' to Premiere at Outfest Los Angeles Arab Cinema Comes to San Francisco and L.A. This Fall Arab Cinema Comes to San Francisco and L.A. This Fall In David Shapiro's Doc 'Missing People' a Double Investigation Links an Artist and a Tragedy In David Shapiro's Doc 'Missing People' a Double Investigation Links an Artist and a Tragedy 'Carol' Producer, Elizabeth Karlsen, to Kick-off Strategic Partners with Opening Keynote Conversation 'Carol' Producer, Elizabeth Karlsen, to Kick-off Strategic Partners with Opening Keynote Conversation Palm Springs International ShortFest: Filmmaker Amos Geva Wins Student Award for 'Holocaust' Tours Docu Short. Palm Springs International ShortFest: Filmmaker Amos Geva Wins Student Award for 'Holocaust' Tours Docu Short. Visconti's Classic 'Rocco and His Brothers' is Coming Back to Theaters Visconti's Classic 'Rocco and His Brothers' is Coming Back to Theaters 'Jason and Shirley': The Cruelty and Irresponsibility of 'Satire' 'Jason and Shirley': The Cruelty and Irresponsibility of 'Satire' Félix de Givry on Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Eden' and the Lost Paradise of Electronic Music Félix de Givry on Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Eden' and the Lost Paradise of Electronic Music Jason Schwartzman on 'The Overnight' and the Pleasures of Shooting Chronologically Jason Schwartzman on 'The Overnight' and the Pleasures of Shooting Chronologically The Most Unique Interview Ever for the Most Unique Film of the Year The Most Unique Interview Ever for the Most Unique Film of the Year US in Progress Lauds and Awards Indies in Paris US in Progress Lauds and Awards Indies in Paris Why "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is a Cinephile's Dream Come True Why "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is a Cinephile's Dream Come True Review: Stéphane Lafleur's 'Tu Dors Nicole' is an Unassuming Dreamy Delight  Review: Stéphane Lafleur's 'Tu Dors Nicole' is an Unassuming Dreamy Delight Bulgarian Sundance Gem 'Viktoria' Set for U.S. Release Via Big World Pictures Bulgarian Sundance Gem 'Viktoria' Set for U.S. Release Via Big World Pictures Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works Adrian Grenier, Lucy Cooper & Josh Zeman Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Find The Loneliest Whale Adrian Grenier, Lucy Cooper & Josh Zeman Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Find The Loneliest Whale Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas EXCLUSIVE!! Hulu Original Series, 'East Los High' Reveals the New Cast for Season 2! EXCLUSIVE!! Hulu Original Series, 'East Los High' Reveals the New Cast for Season 2! LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

My Two Cents on the Oscars

Photo of Sydney Levine By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz January 26, 2012 at 10:30AM

Admitting to limited interest in the Academy Awards, per se, I am, however, very interested in Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature this year
3
Chico & Rita by Fernando Trueba
Chico & Rita by Fernando Trueba

Admitting to limited interest in the Academy Awards, per se, I am, however, very interested in Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature this year because I LOVE Chico & Rita (ISA:  HanWay) by Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque and Calle 54) and can't wait to see A Cat in Paris (ISA: Films Distribution) by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Ferlicioli.  Both of these are being distributed by GKids a multi-platform distributor of prestige entertainment for children and teens, specializing in titles that cross over between art house and youth audiences and also runs N.Y. Children's International Film Festival, though Chico & Rita is not a kid or teen film at all!  It is also distributing Studio Ghibli's library which included Spirited Away and Princess Monoke and last year it released The Secret of Kells (with New Video handling its ancillary markets).  While I have yet to see A Cat in Paris, I have seen Chico & Rita twice, once at Toronto's TIFF and again at LALIFF (Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival).  And I was sorry to miss seeing it a third time in Havana itself this December as seeing it with a Cuban audience would be an exhilarating experience.  It is a beautiful romance between a pianist and a singer, taking place in Havana, Manhattan and Las Vegas in the late 40s and 50s.   The film has an original soundtrack by Cuban pianist, bandleader and composer Bebo Valdés and features music by Thelonious MonkCole PorterDizzy Gillespie and Freddy Cole.

A Separation by Asghar Farhadi
A Separation by Asghar Farhadi

I have written about Iran's Separation (U.S. SPC, ISA: Memento) during last year's Berlinale and just saw Canada's Monsieur Lazhar (U.S. Music Box, ISA: Films Distribution).  My partner Peter Belsito has written about Bullhead.  I must see Footnote (U.S. SPC, ISA: Westend) and I have seen In Darkness (U.S. SPC, ISA: Beta).  It's great that Sony Pictures Classics has 4 films nominated, 3 out of 5 for Best Foreign Language and 1 for Best Screenplay. Separation's nomination for Best Screenplay is a wonderful bonus surprise.

I am throwing my hat in the ring for A Separation and Monsieur Lazhar.  A Separation is so adult and at the same time, so accessible.  During a couple's separation and divorce proceedings, one sees that the lies all adults tell, even with the best of intentions, hold a terrible power over those inheritors (the children) of our lives, on a personal level as well as on a polticial and national level.
Monsieur Lazhar's story, involving children and discussing that taboo subject, death, is the sort of film I think the Academy would favor because it is about children.  Its total lack of kitsch or sentimentalism, its gentle understated tone won me over totally when I saw it at the Art House Convergence last week.  The Montreal based production company Micro_Scope, founded by Luc Dery, has also produced last year's Oscar nominee Incendies and is now working on Inch'Allah by director Anais Barbeau-Lavalette about three women, a Quebecoise, a Palestinian and an Israeli. We hope to see it in Cannes this year.  Congratulations go to the Canadians.  This year they have Oscar nominations for Monsieur Lazhar, Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor in Beginners (U.S. and ISA: Focus Features), Hugo for Best Score, In Darkness which is a Canadian co-production with Poland, having received initial development money from Telefilm Canada when it was proposed to be in English, and 2 animated shorts by the National Film Board: Sunday (Dimanche) from Quebec and The Wild One.  What is noticeably missing is any nomination at all for David Cronenberg's masterpiece A Dangerous Method.
All in all, the coming 2011 Academy Awards Show at 4:00 pm EST/ 7:00 pm PST on ABC TV February 26, 2012 will be interesting!  I hope I will be invited to the party of the Winner of the Best Foreign Language Feature or Best Animated Feature (Films Distribution has a film in each category) to celebrate!

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Iranian Film, Iran, Film Distribution Company, HanWay

E-Mail Updates