Saturday, October 02, 2010

Foreign Film Race: Ricardo Darín... Again. And More...

First comes Oscar. If you follow my charts and this race each year it's impossible to escape Argentinian movie star Ricardo Darín. Not only is he continually employed but whichever body chooses Argentina's Oscar submission each year has a huge crush. He's the star of their 2001 nominee Son of the Bride and their 2009 winner The Secret in Their Eyes and he's also principle cast in their submission titles that weren't nominated from 2002 (Kamchatka), 2005 (El Aura) and 2007 (XXY).

<--- Portrait of a Busy Actor.

The charts have been updated to include new submissions from Argentina, Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Portugal. The latter chose a transsexual film from the controversy baiting director João Pedro Rodrigues of O Fantasma (2000) fame. If you've ever seen that one, and if this one feels like it's coming from the same mind, you'll understand this is a brave if impossible choice.

Here are the trailers for the Argentina (in which Darín plays an ambulance chaser who gets involved with a doctor) submission and Portugal, too.


And once again the Oscar pages:

There's some missing info but I shall fill in as I find time. I'm off to the New Yorker Festival to see Pee Wee Herman and Jake Gyllenhaal. They can't be kept waiting.


Andrew R. said...

Speaking of Argentina, I just saw an Argentinian foreign film Oscar winner-1985's The Official Story.

Excellent movie. A lot of people hate on it because Ran wasn't even nominated, but a few notes:

1. Ran wasn't submitted.
2. This movie is better acted than Ran. Norma Aleandro won at Cannes for her performance and she is excellent. (Since practically everyone here is an actress lover...well, watch it now!)
3. Ran is the better film, yes...but Official Story is a very very close #2. Watch it if you can find it.

I think I better watch more Argentinean films...Secret in their Eyes was also excellent.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Chile and Kazakhstan also announced their submissions today.

Regarding Portugal... Nathaniel, you're right, it certainly resembles Rodrigues' past work. I'd even say this film is more disturbing that "The Ghost" and many people here in Portugal weren't pleased about this choice. And cows'll fly before this film gets nominated, in my opinion. It's way too bold and controverse for the Academy.

I'd give the movie a B-. Its last third is very confusing.

javi said...

Uruguay has officially chosen Federico Veiroj's movie-themed THE USEFUL LIFE.

LEO'S ROOM didn't make it.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I agree with Jorge, though I liked the movie just a smidge more than he did. Seriously, the film stops for six or seven minutes so the entire image can go magenta while the whole cast sits in the woods and listens to a song (by Antony and the Johnsons, if I recall?) that has no diegetic source or motivation. The aging, transgendered protagonist has gotten an infection from the silicone in her breasts and she won't tell anyone, until the last third of the movie, when we keep watching her squeeze pink pus from her post-op nipple. An early, abruptly violent sequence with soldiers has nothing to do with anything until an hour later, when we glimpse the connection, more or less, sorta. It is nearly impossible to like the lead character.

This isn't getting nominated. But I did like the movie, as I have 3/3 times with Rodrigues. Applause for Portugal.

Lucky said...

Even if I didn't loooove El Secreto de sus Ojos, I think it's quite good and as an argentine I'd be interested in your opinion about it. Have you seen it?

Anonymous said...

Colombia also submitted the official entry for the next Academy Awards.

It's called "Crab Trap" in english or "El vuelco del cangejo" in its original language (spanish).

I'm sure you'll find info abput on the web ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Very interesting. I'm rooting for Portugal to finally get nominated but that doesn't look like the Academy's cup of tea. Definitely looks like an interesting movie though!

And I too loved Argentina's first Oscar winner, The Official Story - Norma Aleandro is just so wonderful in it.

cal roth said...

Darín was SO GREAT in El Aura. Just sayin': it's a movie for the ages.

And Darín can direct, too. Love his film noir La Señal, set in the 50's ( and he lands a moving performance, his second best after El Aura).

This guy is wonderful.

Glenn said...

Wasn't O Fantasma just awful?

cal roth said...

@Glenn I'll never know if it was brave or awful.


glenn & cal -- i think both.

Ed Pereira said...

I don't agree with Portugal's choice. In my opinion, there were better possible submissions like "Embargo" (my favorite one) or even Manoel de Oliveira's "Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl" and Marco Martins' "How To Draw a Perfect Circle" (but this last one may be too dark).

Glenn said...

Agreed, it was both. But, unfortunately, bravery does not a good movie make.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

You're all correct, it was brave but terrible. Even we Portuguese had trouble understanding it.

And Ed is right, "Embargo" and "How To Draw a Perfect Circle" were better choices.

Spartak said...

maybe you can make things clear for me....I am wondering about the eligibility of Greek (Dogtooth) and Indian (Peepli Live) submissions.The rules has this line:
"The picture need not have been released in the United States.".
As far as I understand it means the opposite of "country cinema rule" (From 1 October to 30 September,7 days).
But both of the films were released in USA...So how does it come with the rule or I understood something wrong?

P.S. Did you get my e-mail with Albanian,Danish and Serbian posters (I am asking,cause you have updated the list,but didn't upload them)?


spartak -- "need not" as in they don't have to. not as in "they can't" opening in the US is totally's just not required for the category is all. you have to play in your home country for one week during the determined calendar year --- which is a full year... but it just doesn't start on January 1st :)

Anonymous said...

Well, spartan: Amelie, Pan's Labyrinth, Crouching Tigger Hidden Dragon, The Chorus... There are examples of films nominated for best foreign film and still were release at the same year at the USA.

They can and also they could compete in other categories beside Foreign Language Film

BTW, I really love "The Official Story" and Norma Aleandro must be a nominee that year -at least- She was heartbreaking and excellent

Anonymous said...

BTW, Nat. You have the list of the performers who starred most Foreign Language Films at Oscars. This record belongs to Russian Oleg Menshikov and next Penelope Cruz and Gong Li.

Maybe this year could have another one on the list: Between the Argentinian Ricardo Darin and the Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal. Both have two movies, only one victory for Darin's.

Roark said...

I quite liked To Die Like A Man at last year's NYFF, but agreed with others who have chimed in - while it's not as extreme as O Fantasma, it's still well outside the academy's wheelhouse and stands an approximately zero-point-zero chance of being nominated.

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