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In 2016 Foreign Oscar Race, Argentina Chooses Wisely

In 2016 Foreign Oscar Race, Argentina Chooses Wisely

Along with ushering the year’s prime time Academy Awards contenders, TIFF offered a launchpad for a number of this year’s foreign Oscar entries. That included Argentina’s no-brainer submission “The Clan,” which the country announced yesterday.

This mafia-like thriller stormed the Argentine box office over the summer, surpassing even “Wild Tales,” the country’s entry and nominee for the 2015 foreign Oscar.

READ MORE: Foreign Oscar Submissions So Far

Director Pablo Trapero nods to Scorsese in presenting the story of the corrupt Puccio family who, for years beginning in the 1980s, were kidnapping the wealthy, holding them for ransom and then killing them anyway. It’s breezy, broad and flashy, wickedly crafted with time-shifting edits and montages set to ironic music choices. It’s hugely entertaining, and a true story stranger than any fiction. “The Clan” is awaiting US distribution.

Winner of this year’s Venice Silver Lion, “The Clan” is produced by Spain’s Almodovar brothers and their El Deseo shingle, which also handled “Wild Tales.”

Also this week, two more countries added Oscar entries: Iran added Majid Majidi’s Islam origin story “Muhammad: The Messenger Of God,” and Italy surprisingly snubbed Cannes favorite “Mia Madre,” instead submitting “Non Essere Cattivo,” directed by Claudio Caligari.

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