Parallel mothers, by Pedro Almodóvar; Mediterranean, by Marcel Barrena, and The good boss, from Fernando Leon de Aranoa, are the three preselected by the Spanish Film Academy to compete for the Oscar for best international film at the 94th edition of the Hollywood Awards, whose gala will be held on March 27, if the pandemic does not alter the calendar. Now, the academics will vote again to choose the definitive film that competes for Spain in that category: it will be announced on October 5. The reading of the three titles has been carried out by the actress Verónica Echegui, together with the president of the Academy, Mariano Barroso, and the notary Federico Gayaralde. The academics have chosen from 48 feature films.
Parallel mothers, by Pedro Almodóvar, he comes from winning last weekend the Volpi Cup for best actress at the Venice Film Festival for Penelope Cruz. “This is a film that talks about different maternity hospitals, or different ways of approaching motherhood”, explained its director in The weekly country. Its protagonist, Janis, is a single mother photographer who faces a terrible moral dilemma over her daughter, whose upbringing she shares with a teenage girl, a roommate at the maternity hospital where they both gave birth. In turn, Janis struggles to fulfill her dead grandmother’s wish: to exhume the remains of her great-grandfather, executed on the outskirts of her town after the July 1936 coup. For this reason, Almodóvar opens and closes his film with stories of families still searching for the remains of their own. The film opens commercially on October 8.
On seven occasions a film by Almodóvar has represented Spain at the Oscars, and at the headquarters of the Academy, producers Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García spoke about that career for the Hollywood award, which will start for Parallel mothers at the New York festival, from the hand of its usual distributor, Sony Classics. “Pedro is happy and willing to face this global promotion,” said García. And on the possibilities of Penélope Cruz, Almodóvar had an impact: “We are in all the races. It makes Pedro happy that his actors are rewarded, because his work is linked to theirs ”.
Milena Smit and Penélope Cruz, in ‘Parallel Mothers’. In the video, trailer of the film.
The good boss, from Fernando Leon, He tells of the week that the owner of a scale factory, Básleras Blanco, goes through in pursuit of the regional government’s award for business excellence, while everything around him seems to collapse. That local cacique of an anonymous city is embodied by Javier Bardem, who builds a category manipulator and seducer who performs all kinds of personal and business balances, without understanding moral dilemmas or social problems. A kind of cross of a coin whose face would be Mondays in the sun. “Here I felt that I had to take a step further, towards satire, but without detaching myself from the ground. Find a dark comedy. That’s where the tone comes from, something so fine that you handle in each rehearsal, in the montage, in the music, until the last moment. It is very fragile and you have to watch over it and take care of it ”, said its director in EL PAÍS. The good boss It will be commercially released on October 15 after its screening in the official section to the competition of the next San Sebastián festival.
At the Academy, its producer, Javier Méndez, from Mediapro, recalled that 15 years of Mondays in the sun “And if then the character of Bardem challenged power, now he exercises it.” And about rivalries – the year of Mondays in the sun it was also that of Talk to her- He explained: “We are companions and the joys of some are those of all”. Méndez vindicated Bardem and Cruz, “who are at the height of … a Rafa Nadal.”
Still from ‘Mediterráneo’. In the video, trailer of the film.
Mediterranean, by Marcel Barrena, which will also be premiered at the San Sebastián contest, illustrates the foundation of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms. In autumn 2015, two lifeguards, Óscar (played by Eduard Fernández) and Gerard (Dani Rovira), traveled to Lesbos (Greece), shocked by the photograph of a child drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean. Upon arrival they discovered that thousands of people risked their lives every day crossing the sea fleeing armed conflicts. But nobody helped them. That is why they took the step of starting themselves with an initial team to help them, and later creating Proactiva Open Arms. Mediterranean opens commercially on October 1.
In addition to Spain, there have been half a dozen countries that have already announced their choice. Among those films, the Polish one stands out Leave No Traces, de Jan P. Matuszyński; la serbia Oasisby Ivan Ikić; and the Moroccan Casablanca Beats, by Nabil Ayouch. For the award for best international film, the journey is long: the candidates must have been released in their country of origin between January 1 and December 31, 2021, and the deadline for submission is November 1. The Hollywood Academy will conduct a first screening of 15 finalists, which it will announce on December 21; later, along with the rest of the nominations for the awards, it will announce the five nominees on February 8.
Last year, 97 countries submitted a film for this award, of which 93 were accepted (equaling the 2019 record). The award was finally taken by the Danish Another round, by Thomas Vinterberg.