Estonian black comedy enters Oscar race

Hussar's debut takes aim at politicians

MOSCOW — Helmer Toomas Hussar’s debut feature “Mushrooming,” a black comedy of modern political and celebrity manners, is Estonia’s nomination for foreign language Oscar consideration.

The film, which takes satirical aim at political corruption, the cult of celebrity and the vacuity of society’s leaders, balances the genres of thriller and comedy.

When a well-known politician (Raivo E. Tamm) receives a call from a journalist with a potentially explosive allegation of corruption, he decides the time is ripe to take his wife mushroom picking in a forest.

The couple find themselves mixed up with a pompous rock star (Juhan Ulfsak) and, as the corpses pile up and the forest gets deeper and darker, the humour takes off on a truly Baltic tangent.

The film, produced by Piret Tibbo-Hudgins of Allfilm, world preemed in July in Karlovy Vary’s East of the West competition and also screened in Toronto’s Discovery section. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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