On January 20th the short list of films nominated for academy awards for best foreign film will be announced. 66 countries submitted foreign language films for consideration, and I know only one thing for sure – Italy will lose.
I’ve been reading about the nomination process, trying to make sense of it. It looks like it’s up to the individual countries how they go about selecting the film that they want to submit but it has to be done by an organization, jury or committee composed of people from thefilm industry, whose members’ names must be sent to the Academy. Only one film is accepted from each country,and it has to have been made out of the US and in a language other than English. The award itself is accepted by the director but it isn’t his award, per se, it belongs to the country.
Of course it’s none of my business – literally. The only connection I have to the Italian film industry is – wait, I have no connection to the Italian film industry. I just love it. I’m not Italian, I didn’t grow up with Italian movies, and I don’t even speak Italian very well – I know that this should stop me from saying what I think about this, but I can’t help it. Paolo Virzì’s La Prima Cosa Bella was the wrong submission for an Academy Award.
It’s too sentimental. It’s too ordinary. It’s too much of what the world expects from Italy and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Io Sono L’amore (I Am Love) with Tilda Swinton was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe and I think it could win – at least that’s the buzz. There’s no buzz around La Prima Cosa Bella. If someone can tell me why Italy didn’t nominate Io Sono L’amore for the Academy Award I’d love to hear it. I’ll be the first to admit I’m wrong if I am.
But I’m not.