China to likely bring ‘Flowers’ to Oscar

Final decision will be made Friday

SHANGHAI – Zhang Yimou’s WW2 epic “Flowers of War,” which stars Christian Bale, looks set to be China’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar, as Ann Hui’s “A Simple Life” will be Hong Kong’s entry for the award.

Liu Chun, a spox for the international section of China’s Film Bureau, said the final decision would be made on Friday, but “Flowers,” previously titled “Heroes of Nanjing” and China’s most expensive movie ever with a budget of $93 million, was the only candidate to represent China in the category.

Pic deals with the Rape of Nanking, the massacre that followed the invasion of China’s wartime capital, now called Nanjing, on Dec. 13, 1937.

The pic will screen for a week from Sept. 24 to meet the Oscar screening requrirements.

The “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Red Sorghum” helmer is hoping that “Flowers” will open up the Chinese biz overseas.

“A Simple Life,” which earned kudos at the Venice International Film Festival, has been selected as Hong Kong’s contender for the foreign-language Oscar.

Hui’s film features Andy Lau as a film producer, and veteran thesp Deanie Ip earned Venice’s Coppa Volpi for best actress for her role in the pic.

“A Simple Life” is also getting a restricted theatrical release to meet the Oscar requirements.

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