France has snubbed Roman Polanski.
The French film academy has submitted a list of titles for their possible Oscar submissions and omitted Polanski’s new “An Office and a Spy.” The film, starring Oscar winner Jean DuJardin, was shown to ovations at the Ve3nice Film Festival. Polanski received the Silver Lion for Best Direction.
But France has submitted several titles on a short list. They will then choose from among them including “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and the newest telling of “Les Miserables.”
The sad irony here is that Polanski has lived in France as a French citizen for three or four decades.
This year, Polanski– who won Best Director at the Academy Awards in 2003 for “The Pianist”– was expelled from the American academy in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
France, by the way, has not won the Best Foreign Language film Oscar since “Indochine” in 1992. They haven’t had a film in Oscar competition since 2015’s “Mustang.”
Ironically, he’s a character in a movie that could win a lot of Oscars next February, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” That movie goes back and changes Polanski’s real life history, saving his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, from being murdered, in 1969. It’s possible that 8 years later Polanski would then not have been involved in the scandal that irretrievably changed his career.
Alas, all that is fantasy. And in this political climate, no matter how good “An Office and a Spy” is, it seems it will not be going into contention for the Oscars.