Tough Choices For France & Brazil In Oscar’s International Film Category Race

The Playlist | 8/20/2019 | Gregory Ellwood
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The year’s most anticipated Oscar players are set to debut at Venice, Telluride or Toronto, but there is already high drama in the International Film (formerly known as Foreign Language Film) race. Of course, there is always drama in this category. Landing a nomination means more to the film community and general public of many of these nations than most casual American awards watchers realize. And the news today that Amazon Studios acquired U.S. rights to the celebrated Brazillian drama “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao” is going to make Brazil’s decision, in particular, that more difficult.

The winner of the top prize of the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year, “Invisible Life” follows two sisters who are separated from each other in their late teens and, unbeknownst to one another, end up spending the rest of their lives only a few miles from each other in the massive city of Rio de Janeiro. Directed by Karim Aïnouz, “Invisible Life” is a tearjerker with impressive performances from Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler in the lead roles. The film was so beloved at Cannes it had many wondering why it wasn’t included in the official competition. One reason might have been because of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s “Bacurau,” which made the cut.

Winner - Jury - Prize - France - Les

The winner of a shared jury prize with France’s “Les Miserables” (more on that in a minute), “Bacurau” is set in a small town in the Brazillian countryside where the residents find themselves at odds with a corrupt local government and some nefarious English-speakers who don’t have their best interests in mind. Part B-movie, part political commentary, “Bacurau” isn’t necessarily an easy watch but critical praise made it a buzzworthy title out of the fest.

But, wait. It gets better.

Brazil - History

Recently, Brazil has had a dicey history of unexpected...
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