Almodovar locked out of foreign-language category

BARCELONA — Agusti Villaronga’s rural coming-of-age tale “Black Bread” has been selected as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate.

“Bread” beat out Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” and Benito Zambrano’s Civil War meller, “The Sleeping Voice,” which also made a three-pic shortlist announced Sept. 14 by Spain’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The pic, which is set in 1944, took nine kudos at February’s Goya Awards, including film, director and actress for Nora Navas.

“Bread” will be the first Catalan-language movie selected as Spain’s Oscar entry.

A former left-of-field helmer who moved mainstream for “Bread,” Villaronga won this year’s Spanish National Cinema Prize, bestowed by the ICAA Spanish Film Institute.

With “Bread’s” selection, the Spanish Academy has once more cold-shouldered Almodovar. Only one of his last five features, and the one most clearly focused on Spain, “Volver,” has been selected by the Spanish Academy as Spain’s foreign-language Oscar candidate.

Another, “Talk to Her,” though not put forward by the Spanish Academy, won an Academy Award for original screenplay.

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