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Oscar Watch: Spain and Italy Snub Auteurs Almodovar and Moretti

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 28, 2011 at 5:23AM

On the foreign Oscar front Spain has disappointed Pedro Almodovar yet again by not picking The Skin I Live In, which failed to win a prize at Cannes. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the kinky thriller starring Antonio Banderas stateside. And Italy did not choose Nanni Moretti's non-award winning Cannes entry Habemus Papam, either, which IFC is releasing here.
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Thompson on Hollywood

On the foreign Oscar front Spain has disappointed Pedro Almodovar yet again by not picking The Skin I Live In, which failed to win a prize at Cannes. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the kinky thriller starring Antonio Banderas stateside. And Italy did not choose Nanni Moretti's non-award winning Cannes entry Habemus Papam, either, which IFC is releasing here.

Instead, Agusti Villaronga’s post-Spanish Civil War drama Black Bread, which swept the Goyas, Spain's Academy Awards, is the official Spanish submission. Writes Screen:

It's about a young boy living in a small Catalan village who uncovers dark secrets from the past.

For its part, Italy went with Emanuele Crialese's Venice Fest special jury prize winner Terraferma, which also played well in Toronto. TOH Venice correspondent David Gritten loved the movie,

a story of an Italian fishing family living on a small, remote offshore island. Their business is declining, and their lives are altered when, out on their boat one night, they rescue North African illegal immigrants struggling to swim for shore.


This article is related to: Awards, Festivals, Genres, Oscars, Toronto, Cannes, Foreign


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.