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Italy Picks Sorrentino’s “Beauty” As Its Oscar Contender

Sorrentino's "Beauty" is Italy's strongest foreign Oscar candidate in recent memory

ROME — Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” a tribute to Rome’s decadence and magnificence amid Italy’s current paralysis, is Italy’s candidate for the foreign-language Academy Award race.

Considered a Berlusconi-era homage to Fededrico Fellini, in particular to “La Dolce Vita,” Sorrentino’s latest stars Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) as a novelist with writers’ block on a Dantesque descent amid the Eternal City’s grotesque glitterati and the country’s political, economic, and cultural impasse.

Co-produced by Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima’s Indigo Film with France’s Babe Films, Pathe Prod., and France 2 Cinema, “The Great Beauty” bowed at Cannes and also recently screened in Toronto.

Pic has scored a strong $8.7 million at the Italo box office since its May 21 release via Medusa and been the talk of the summer in Italo cinematic circles.

Sold widely by Pathe, “Great Beauty” will be released stateside by Janus Films in New York and Los Angeles in November.

Pic was chosen by a commission of experts named by Italy’s motion picture association ANICA, with director Liliana Cavani, distributor Andrea Occhipinti, and Warner Bros. Italy topper Barbara Salabe among its members.

Popular on Variety

Enthusiastic reviews from international critics make “Great Beauty” Italy’s strongest contender for the foreign-language film Oscar in recent memory.

Italy last won the foreign-language film Oscar in 1999 with Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful.”

The last date to submit entries for the foreign-language Academy Awards is Oct. 1.  Nominations will be announced Jan. 16 and the ceremony will be held March 2 at the Dolby Theater.

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