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