Sony Pictures Classics Back In Oscar Race Thanks To Hungary's The Notebook
Sony Pictures Classics, the art-house and indie wing of the major studio, has an eye for Oscar-quality foreign films. The past four years, SPC has taken home the Best Foreign Language Academy Award for Argentina's The Secret In Their Eyes, Denmark's In A Better World, Iran's A Separation, and Austria's Amour. But their winning streak was threatened when the Academy cut their latest acquisitions, Iran's submission (Asghar Farhadi's The Past) and Saudi Arabia's pick (Haifaa Al-Mansour's Wadjda), from their categories' shortlist. Despite these insane turn of events, SPC is bouncing back by picking up a heralded drama out of Hungary.
The Wrap reports Sony Pictures Classics has bought the North American distribution rights for Janos Szasz's The Notebook--or A Nagy Fuzet as it's known in its home country. After a world tour of film festivals--from Karlovy to Hamburg, London to Chicago, Toronto and Stockholm--The Notebook is readying for its screening for the Academy's special committee on January 10th through the 12th. From there, these members will determine if this drama will factor into the final five that will compete for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Based on Agota Kristof's bestselling novel of the same name, The Notebook centers on the grim childhoods of a pair of 13-year-old twins living in Hungary at the onset of World War II. Their parents have abandoned them, leaving them in the care of their cruel grandmother who lives in a village on the Hungarian border. Surrounded by abusive adults and the threat of war, the boys decide the only way to survive these trying and dangerous times is to rely on no one but each other.
Check out The Notebook's trailer below:
Aside from The Notebook, the other short-listed foreign features up for an Academy Award nomination are:
Felix van Groeningen's The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
Notably, the first of these made my Top 10 list, so I clearly have a favorite.
Which of these movies do you think is guaranteed a spot in the final five nominations?
No US release date has yet been announced for The Notebook.
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