“Titane” “L’Evénement” Will France finally win the Oscar for best international film again?

The new commission set up by Roselyne Bachelot will have to choose the right candidate to finally win again the Oscar for best international film.

Every year, almost the same paper … Since 1992 and Régis Wargnier’s “Indochine”, French cinema has dreamed of seeing its representative win the statuette in the best international film category. This did not prevent the seventh art Made in France from winning Oscars – remember, for example, “The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius, Marion Cotillard or more recently Florian Zeller or Alexandre Desplat – but twenty nine years that’s a long time … France has yet presented strong candidates such as “Le Prophète”, “Les Misérables” or last year “Deux” but the competition in this category is particularly fierce between the award-winning films in major festivals (Berlin, Cannes or Venice) and those directed by great filmmakers … who sometimes work in the United States, such as the Taiwanese Ang Lee (“Tiger and Dragon”) or the Mexican Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”).

On September 8, Roselyne Bachelot, Minister of Culture appointed on the proposal of Dominique Boutonnat, president of the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC), the new members of the commission which will be responsible for choosing the candidate film. of France in the Best International Film category at the next Oscars ceremony to be held on March 27, 2022: filmmakers Julie Delpy and Florian Zeller, producers Iris Knobloch and Alain Goldman, exporters Emilie Georges and Grégory Chambet as well as members by right, Thierry Frémaux, Serge Toubiana and Véronique Cayla. On October 7 the commission will establish a preselection of films, then on October 12 the members of the commission will hear the producers and exporters of the preselected films before the final choice which will be sent to the Academy of Oscars on November 1, 2021. To be eligible, the candidate feature film must be released between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. It must be shot in a majority language other than English (but not necessarily French) and must be composed of a majority artistic team French.

The Palme d’Or or the Lion d’Or?

This year, France has … two major assets in its game: “Titanium” by Julia Ducournau, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and “L’Evénement” by Audrey Diwan, Golden Lion at the last Festival de Venice. Awarded on the Croisette, “Titane” has just received the audience award for films presented at midnight screening in Toronto. Julia Ducournau is well identified on the other side of the Atlantic since the success of her first film “Grave” – ​​she even directed two episodes of the series “Servant”. The film also has an American distributor – Neon – and a release date set for October 1. But it’s still a horror film, kind of little Oscar-winning …

Golden Lion in Venice unanimously chaired by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”), “The Event” by Audrey Diwan is a possible alternative. Its subject – abortion – is extremely sensitive in the United States and its French distributor – Wild Bunch Distribution – has advanced its French release date from February 2022 to November 24, 2021, which will allow it to be taken into consideration by the commission. Audrey Diwan is less well known than Julia Ducournau in the United States but she has just been signed by the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) for the United States.

In any case, the selected French film will have to face many competitors who will be chosen by the local committees. “Madres Paralelas” by the Spaniard Pedro Almodovar, “Drive my Car” by the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “A Hero” by the Iranian Asghar Farhadi and especially “Julie, in twelve chapter” by the Norwegian Joachim Trier could stand on the road of the French candidate.

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“Titane” “L’Evénement” Will France finally win the Oscar for best international film again?

Hank Gilbert