Austria chooses Goodnight Mommy for the Oscars
by Bénédicte Prot
- The country is pinning its hopes on the elegance and extreme violence of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film
Comprising the FAMA (Fachverband der Film- und Musikindustrie), the jury tasked with selecting the Austrian candidate for the upcoming Oscars has made the bold decision to submit not only a feature debut (admittedly an impeccable one), but also a movie that does not simply settle for flirting with genre film but totally glues the viewer to their seat: Goodnight Mommy [+see also:
interview: Severin Fiala and Veronika …
film profile] by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala.
This film, produced by director Ulrich Seidl, started off its run by petrifying audiences in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival before ripping out the entrails of festival-goers all around the world, ranging from non-specialised gatherings (Buenos Aires, Angers, Ljubljana, Thessaloniki and Stockholm) to events dedicated to genre films (Sitges, Gerardmer and Fantaspoa).
With its faultless aesthetics, the intelligence and mastery of its mise-en-scène, its subtly repulsive atmosphere and its way of suddenly veering into genre-film territory, causing the viewer to pull all manner of horrified grimaces while clinging tightly to his chair, Goodnight Mommy is both an obvious and a risky choice. It is true that Austria has been on a roll for the last few years at the Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign-language Film category: The Counterfeiters [+see also:
film profile] by Stefan Ruzowitzky and Amour [+see also:
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile] by Michael Haneke took home the prestigious statuette from Hollywood in 2007 and 2012, while Revanche [+see also:
interview: Götz Spielmann
film profile] by Götz Spielmann was nominated in 2008.
We will not know until mid-January whether Franz and Fiala's film will be among the five nominees. The Oscars ceremony will take place on 28 February.
(Translated from French)
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