Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Foreign-Film Oscar for Pedro in 2010

The Guardian announced today that Pedro Almodovar's new film "Abrazos rotos" ("Broken Embraces"), which is currently unspooling at the Toronto Film Festival and will close the New York FF in October, has been left out of the running by Spain's Oscar committee. This is nothing new for Almodovar, who in 2002 saw his film "Habla con ella" ("Talk to Her") snubbed in favor of "Mar adentro" ("The Sea Inside"), Javier Bardem's tour-de-force. Perhaps in response to the omission (and the media outrage that surrounded it), the Academy awarded him a Best Screenplay Oscar that year as a consolation prize. Will it happen again? The word from Cannes is that "Embraces" is an uninspired retread of familiar Almodovar themes, so maybe not. I will reserve judgment until I see the film next month since Cannes has proven to be an unreliable barometer. My favorite film of the year, "The Headless Woman," was booed relentlessly there last year.

By the way, the three films that remain in the running to represent Spain on Oscar night are:

Isabel Coixet's "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo"
Fernando Trueba's "El baile de la Victoria" ("The Dancer and the Thief")
- Trueba won the Oscar in 1993 for "Belle Epoque"
Daniel Sanchez-Arevalo's "Gordos"

The committee will announce its decision on September 29th. In related news, Venezuela is the only Latin American country that has already announced its official selection:

Efterpi Charalambidis' "Libertador Morales, El Justiciero"

I'll post a complete list of the films representing all Latin American countries when the Academy makes the official announcement later in the year.