×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

France Selects ‘Memoir of War’ as Foreign-Language Oscar Candidate

France has selected Emmanuel Finkiel’s “A Memoir of War” (“La Douleur”) as its official entry for the foreign-language Oscar race.

The French Oscar committee’s choice was announced late Friday amid a dust-up over the ineligibility of Olivier Assayas’ new film, “Non-Fiction,” which did not meet the French National Film Board’s theatrical release criteria for consideration as an Oscar candidate.

“A Memoir of War” is an adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel “The War: A Memoir.” Music Box Films acquired U.S. rights to the movie in February, shortly after it opened in theaters across France on Jan. 24.

Represented in international markets by TF1 Studio, the film stars Mélanie Thierry, who plays a young Duras and delivers a breakthrough performance. Thierry stars opposite Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay, and Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet.

“A Memoir of War” takes place in June 1944, when France was still under German occupation, and follows Marguerite, then a young writer, who agrees to a series of covert meetings with Nazi collaborator Rabier. In exchange, Marguerite receives information on the whereabouts of her husband, Robert Antelme, a writer and major figure of the Resistance who has been detained and sent to the Dachau concentration camp.

Finkiel’s credits include “A Decent Man,” “Voyages” and “Madame Jacques on the Croisette.”

“A Memoir of War” was chosen over four other movies: Gaspar Noe’s “Climax,” which premiered at Cannes; Xavier Legrand’s “Custody”; Emmanuel Mouret’s “Mademoiselle de Joncquières”; and Claude Lanzmann’s “Les Quatre Soeurs.”

Assayas’ “Non-Fiction” was deemed ineligible because it will not meet France’s requirement of having been in wide release on dozens of screens by Sept. 30. The film, which premiered in Venice and was warmly received in Toronto, is not scheduled to hit French theaters until January. A request for a temporary permit to allow a brief Oscar-qualifying run was denied.

The French Oscar committee members are Thierry Frémaux, Cannes’ artistic director; Teresa Cremisi, president of the CNC’s advance on receipts commission; Alain Terzian, president of the Cesar Academy; Serge Toubiana, Unifrance president; the director Claire Denis; director/actress Nicole Garcia; and the producer Isabelle Madelaine.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content