Sunday, May 26, 2024

Oscars: French “Horror” Film “Titane,” Submitted by France Fails to Make Short List, Almodovar Missing for A Stupid Reason


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”
Belgium, “Playground”
Bhutan, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
Denmark, “Flee”
Finland, “Compartment No. 6”
Germany, “I’m Your Man”
Iceland, “Lamb”
Iran, “A Hero”
Italy, “The Hand of God”
Japan, “Drive My Car”
Kosovo, “Hive”
Mexico, “Prayers for the Stolen”
Norway, “The Worst Person in the World”
Panama, “Plaza Catedral”
Spain, “The Good Boss”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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