Never have there been so many strong candidates but the final choice is clear.
Italy announced a shortlist of seven films for Oscar consideration: Francesco Munzi’s Anime Nere (Black Souls) Allacciate le Cinture (Fasten Your Seatbelts) from Ferzan Özpetek , Paolo VirzÌ’s Il Capitale Umano (Human Capital), Edoardo Winspeare’s In Grazia di Dio (Quiet Bliss) , Song’e Napule from the Manetti Bros, Carlo Verdone’s Sotto Una Buona Stella (Under a Good Star), and Le Meraviglie (The Wonders), the Cannes winner from Alice Rohrwacher.
The final pick will be: Il Capitale Umano, without a doubt.
Anime Nere and Le Meraviglie are both strong contenders, and it’s a pleasure to see several competitive choices. Le Meraviglie, having won the Grand Prix at Cannes, would seem to be a shoo-in and it would be in any other year.
As for the rest, Ferzan Ozpetek’a Alleciate le Cinture and Carlo Verdone’s Sotto Una Buona Stella don’t belong on the list. Ozpeteks was good but not great, and Verdone’s, even with the adorable Paola Cortellesi, wasn’t even good. I’m sorry to say it, but Verdone has hit Adam Sandler status; someone should stop him from making movies.
A better shortist would have included: Daniele Luchetti’s ‘Anni Felici’ (Those Happy Year’s) and Pif’s ‘La Mafia Uccide Solo D’Estate’(The Mafia Only Kills In The Summer). Both are emotionally engaging and thought provoking and more important, have more universal appeal.
And where is Ivano De Matteo’s ‘I Nostri Ragazzi’? Leaving this one off the list is what I would call a classic Hollywood-style “snub”!
In the end, Capitale Umano will be the final submission. Will it win a nomination? Yes, I think it will. Can it win? We can hope; can’t we? The final Oscar submission will be announced on September 24th.