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France and Taiwan Select Foreign-Language Oscar Entries ‘Renoir’ and ‘Soul’

France and Taiwan Select Foreign-Language Oscar Entries 'Renoir' and 'Soul'

More news on the Foreign-Language Oscar entry front. France has selected “Renoir,” directed by Gilles Bourdos, for the race, while Taiwan has nominated psychological horror-thriller “Soul,” helmed by Chung Mung-hong.

Renoir,” which played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2012, centers on the life of painter Auguste Renoir (played by Michel Bouquet) during World War I on the French Riviera, and his young son, Jean, who would grow up to be renowned filmmaker Jean Renoir (“The Rules of the Game”). The film hit theaters stateside back in the spring. (French production “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which won this year’s Palme d’Or, didn’t meet the release date criteria to be eligible as France’s official Oscar selection.)

“Soul” centers on a sous chef (played by Joseph Chang) who is moved to his home town and into the care of his father (martial arts veteran Jimmy Wong) when he becomes ill. When it becomes apparent that the young man’s body is possessed by psychopathic forces, his father proves he will do anything to protect him.

Meanwhile, on September 13 Saudi Arabia nominated “Wadjda,” and the Netherlands nominated “Borgman.” A running list of all nominations thus far is here.

The five Oscar nominations for Best Foreign-Language Film will be announced January 16, 2014.

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Great choices for both France and Taiwan! Interesting that both films deal with the father-son relationship in very different ways. Soul seems somewhat dark, disturbing, while Renoir is breathtakingly beautiful and haunting in its own way.


………And France tosses in the towel for any chance of winning this year.

Why the hell was the distributor of BLUE so pig-headed to not release the film for a week before the deadline as is so often done in the U.S.? Makes no sense to take yourself out of competition for the world’s most public prize (not saying the Oscar is the be all and end all, but, it gets the most attention, rightly or wrongly).

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