By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 31, 2011 at 10:12AM
It seems every year at the Oscars, the Best Foreign Film category is one that generally confounds Joe Public. Most of the films that end up being nominated only play the festival circuit or get runs in specialty theaters in big cities on the coasts, and sometimes, like last year's winner "The Secret In Their Eyes," it doesn't hit theaters until well after the ceremonies are over. Either way, it's a tough road for distributors repping those films because it's a tough sell no matter what you do. This year, Sony Pictures Classics has got a 2 in 5 shot at taking home the gold as they have both Susanne Bier's Golden Globe-winning "In A Better World" and Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies" under their roof but neither is due out for a few more months. They are certainly hoping at least one of the them one will bring home Oscar gold at the end of February to help hook audiences in.
Well, a trailer has arrived for the latter picture, "Incendies," and while the film has already made a splash in its native land on the fest circuit, for many it will be their first taste of the pic, and it looks very strong. It centers on a pair of siblings who, during a reading of their mother's will, learn that their father is still alive and that they have another brother and they set out of the find them. While the cast mostly features lesser-known thesps, Lubna Azabal has been raising eyebrows, particularly this past week at Sundance where she had two pics unveiled: "Incendies" and "Here" with Ben Foster. Not too bad.
"Incendies" will open on April 22nd. You can check out synopsis and trailer below (or in HD at Apple).
When notary Lebel (Remy Girard) sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan (Melissa Desormeaux Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) to read them their mother Nawal's will (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes - one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn't know existed. In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal's retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into a family history of which she knows next to nothing. Simon is unmoved by their mother's posthumous mind games. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in search of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew. With Lebel's help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman. An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad's hit play, INCENDIES is a deeply moving story that brings the extremism and violence of today's world to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the uncanny power of the will to survive.