CATEGORIES Animation, Foreign Language, New Releases, Oscar Watch, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, Oscar News, New Releases, CinematicalA lot of countries have small film industries, and there's often an "obvious" choice when it comes to selecting an entry for the Oscars' Best Foreign-Language Film category. But not France! France has such a large, thriving movie industry that it can pick and choose, and even snub deserving films in favor of other deserving films.
Case in point: France has announced its entry for the 2008 Oscars, and it's not La Vie En Rose, the Edith Piaf biopic that received rapturous reviews in the United States (including one from our Erik Davis) and seemed like a lock for an Oscar nod. Instead, it's Persepolis -- which won the Jury Prize at Cannes earlier this year and has nothing but positive reviews so far at Rotten Tomatoes. James Rocchi reviewed it at Cannes, calling it a "masterpiece"; Kim Voynar saw it at Telluride and offered her approval, too.
It's hard for me to imagine a movie coming out of France this year that's better than La Vie En Rose, but the consensus is that Persepolis might be just such a film. It certainly isn't an out-of-nowhere choice. Furthermore, its subject matter -- a little girl's story of living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in the late '70s and early '80s -- is weightier and more serious than that of La Vie En Rose.
Meanwhile, for lovers of La Vie En Rose, there is still hope that its star, Marion Cotillard -- undoubtedly the best thing about the film -- will be nominated for Best Actress. If that doesn't happen, THEN I'll start working up some serious outrage.