Human Capital is the Italian Oscar nominee
by Camillo de Marco
- The Selection Committee chose Virzì’s movie, which overshadowed Black Souls and The Wonders
“This year was particularly difficult to select just one film to represent our country at the Oscars, because we loved and felt represented by many of the films in competition. The committee identified a list of three exceptional candidates; Black Souls [+see also:
interview: Francesco Munzi
film profile], The Wonders [+see also:
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
interview: Tiziana Soudani
film profile] and Human Capital [+see also:
interview: Paolo Virzì
film profile], which then outshone the others”.
That’s the official comment from the Selection Committee for the Italian Oscar nomination established by ANICA, at the invitation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and it’s made up of Gianni Amelio, Tommaso Arrighi, Angelo Barbagallo, Nicola Borrelli, Caterina D’Amico, Maria Pia Fusco, Barbara Salabè, Gabriele Salvatores and Niccolò Vivarelli.
And so representing Italian cinema in the Oscar category for Best Foreign Language Film will be Human Capital by Paolo Virzì. Freely based on the eponymous novel by Stephen Amidon, the movie stars Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Fabrizio Gifuni and Valeria Golino, and is produced by Motorino Amaranto and Indiana Production with Rai Cinema. "'It’s a huge responsibility to represent our country at such a complex and dynamic moment for Italian cinema'', said the director recently.
5,713,000 euro in total Italian box office receipts (1,641,000 € in the first weekend), sold in 25 countries and recipient of a number of awards: seven David di Donatello awards to the film, screenwriters, actors and technicians; a Golden Globe from the foreign press for Best Film; 6 Silver Ribbons from Italian critics, one of which went to the director and Best Actress to Valeria Bruni Tedeschi at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York: " In her elegant portrayal of a profoundly conflicted wife and mother, this actress crafts a complex performance of a woman wrestling between love, family and obligation. She layers both strength and fragility without self-consciousness, with a fearlessness to exercise both subtlety and restraint", reads the comment.
Italian critics have praised the actors but are divided over the direction. At Tribeca, Variety deemed the protagonists’ performance as "flawless" and praised the "nervous tension" expressed by Bruni Tedeschi’s character, while The Hollywood Reporter writes: “the film is much more than a chic thriller" commending the cast’s performance, the photography, the production design and soundtrack.
(Translated from Italian)