CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Romance, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie, Toronto Film Festival, CinematicalTwo more countries have officially tossed their hats in the ring for the Foreign-Language Oscar, according to separate stories in Variety, and both selections are screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. South Korea's entry is Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine. The well-regarded drama debuted at Cannes, where Jeon Do-yeon won the award for best actress. As the Variety story notes, she plays "a young widow who moves from Seoul to start over in a provincial city." Variety says that Secret Sunshine was selected over Kim Ki-duk's Breath (also a Cannes selection) and May 18, a box-office hit based on real events. In addition to its screenings in Toronto, Secret Sunshine will also be playing at the New York Film Festival and at AFI Fest in Los Angeles, but does not yet have US distribution.
Another Variety story covers the general wariness of buyers toward the films on display in Toronto, but also reports that Lebanon officially selected Nadine Labaki's directorial debut Caramel as their Oscar entrant. According to Variety, the film opened in France and Lebanon in August and is already on course to become the top-grossing Lebanese release in those two territories. Caramel is a romantic comedy revolving around the lives of five women, set in and around a beauty salon in Beirut. The trailer at the official French site looks low-key and glossy. Jason Anderson at Eye Weekly called it "a Lebanese chick flick" that's "usually as fetching as it is familiar." Roadside Attractions has US distribution rights.