Estonia enters ‘St. Tony’ in Oscar race

Veiko Ounpuu helmed dark, surreal pic

A dark and surreal journey through a middle manager’s mid-life crisis, “The Temptation of St. Tony,” directed by Veiko Ounpuu, is Estonia’s choice for the best foreign Oscar race.

The story of a man’s descent into an ever weirder series of strange challenges and confrontations, the black-and-white film depicts the rapidity with which Tony loses touch with his secure, if boring life, after the funeral of his father pitches him into crisis.

With striking photography by Mart Taniel — including a scene in which a funeral cortege barely pauses to gawk at a car that has spun out of control and flipped over — the film ends with a dark and epic orgy involving human sacrifice and cabaret music.

Popular on the festival circuit, the 114-minute film has been compared to the work of David Lynch in its capacity to provoke and challenge audienes.