Almodovar's Cannes pic faces off with 'Bread,' 'Voice'

BARCELONA — Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” has made the Spanish Academy’s three-film shortlist for its foreign-language Oscar contender.

Skin” faces off with Agusti Villaronga’s “Black Bread” and Benito Zambrano’s “The Sleeping Voice.”

In a statement after the shortlist was known, Almodovar said that the selection “demonstrated Spanish cinema’s variety,” and that the Spanish Academy’s final choice of its foreign-language Oscar contender was “absolutely unpredictable.”

Certainly, “Skin’s” selection is no shoo-in. Only one of Almodovar’s last four films, “Volver,” has been chosen by the Spanish Academy as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate, although Almodovar won a U.S. Academy Award for one of the films rejected by the Spanish Academy in the foreign-language category: Original screenplay for “Talk to Her.”

Based on a bestselling novel by Spanish writer Dulce Chacon, the Maestranza Films-produced “Voice,” about women on the losing side of the Spanish Civil War, has been generating positive buzz off sneak-peeks before its world premiere next week at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Black Bread,” a rural coming-of-age tale set in Spain’s post-Civil War period based on Emili Teixidor’s 2004 novel “Bread,” took nine nods at February’s Spanish Academy Goya Awards, including film, director and actress for Nora Navas, a record for a Catalan-language pic.

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