The Academy has spoken. The Foreign Film branch has announced its shortlist and left off Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” unlikely winner of this year’s Palme D;or at the Cannes Film Festival.
I am not surprised.
Though “Titane” is considered cutting edge by some, it gave me nightmares — twice. It’s a punk horror film that is way beyond the Oscars. In it, the main character, a very fluid young woman, has aex with a Cadillac and gives birth to a metal spined baby. And that’s the least objectionable part of it.
France submitted “Titane” as its official entry, and was denied. It’s as simple as that.
Meantime, Spain didn’t choose Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers” as its Oscar entry. Instead, they put in “The Good Boss.” This was a mistake. Obviously, some kind of politics at the Spanish Film Commission were involved. They will now lose, big time. Frankly, “Parallel Mothers” should be a Best Picture nominee, and Penelope Cruz should be up for Best Actress. Almodovar should be in for Best Director and Screenplay. I doubt this will happen, but it should.
The winner will likely be “Drive My Car,” from Japan, already the Best Picture chosen by the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics. It’s long, and a little slow, but the overall effect is masterful. Still, I don’t understand how a movie about people driving a 1980s Saab around Japan doesn’t include one scene of going to get gas. Or seeing a mechanic. Me? I loved “A Hero.”
Austria, “Great Freedom”
Bhutan, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
Finland, “Compartment No. 6”
Germany, “I’m Your Man”
Iran, “A Hero”
Italy, “The Hand of God”
Japan, “Drive My Car”
Mexico, “Prayers for the Stolen”
Norway, “The Worst Person in the World”
Panama, “Plaza Catedral”
Spain, “The Good Boss”