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Italy locks ‘Keys’ for Oscar bid

Porcelli-RAI production doing boffo local biz

ROME — Gianni Amelio’s father-and-handicapped-son drama, “The House Keys,” is Italy’s contender in Oscar’s foreign-language category.

Pic produced by Enzo Porcelli and RAI Cinema has been doing boffo biz in Italy, pulling in close to E3 million ($3.7 million) in three weeks.

Lakeshore Intl. has international rights for “Keys,” which was released in Italy after unspooling at the Venice Film Festival in September. Local press had widely anticipated it would win the Golden Lion, which went instead to “Vera Drake.”

Kim Rossi Stewart stars as a man who takes his 15-year-old mentally and physically handicapped son to a Berlin hospital where he meets a woman (Charlotte Rampling), who has a daughter with a similar condition.

Pic was chosen by Italy’s Motion Picture Assn. Anica, the fourth time one of Amelio’s pics has been entered for Oscar consideration.

“I believe very strongly in this film,” Amelio said. “Who knows: this time I might get lucky.”

Amelio’s previous Oscar hopefuls were “Open Doors,” “Stolen Children” and “Lamerica.”

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