The latest film from Pedro Almodovar — “The Skin I Live In” — won’t be contending for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars as the Spanish film academy has submitted “Black Bread” instead. Almodovar has a rocky history with his fellow filmmakers in Spain but it was thought all was forgiven.
“Black Bread” is a sweeping historic epic set in the days following the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. It swept this year’s Goyas (Spain’s Oscars) winning nine of its 14 bids including Best Picture and Director (Agusti Villaronga). “The Skin I Live In” is a modern day gothic thriller with Antonio Banderas, in a change of pace role as a grieving cosmetic surgeon who wreaks revenge after his daughter is raped. It screened at the academy this weekend.
Despite being the highest profile director from Spain, Almodovar has had only two of his films contend in the foreign language category. His 1988 breakout hit “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” lost to the Danish film “Pelle the Conqueror.” However, he won this race in 1999 with “All About My Mother.”
In between those two successes, Spain entered two other Almodovar films — “High Heels” (1991) and “The Flower of My Secret” (1995) — but neither was nominated. In 2006, Spain submitted his seriocomic “Volver” which also failed to make the final five though it did net a nomination for star Penelope Cruz.
In 2002, Spain had passed on Almodovar’s “Talk to Her” to submit “Mondays in the Sun” starring Javier Bardem. It was a poor choice as “Mondays” was not nominated while Almodovar contended for Best Director and won Best Original Screenplay.
If “Black Bread” is cited this year, it will be Spain’s twentieth nomination. Their most recent contender was for Alejandro Amenábar‘s “The Sea Inside” (2004) which won Spain its fourth Oscar.
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