Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree” will be Turkey’s contender for this year’s best foreign-language film Oscar. The drama marks the fifth time one of the director’s films has been selected by Turkey.
The film tells the story of an aspiring writer who returns to his native village, where he pours his heart and soul into scraping together the money he needs to be published, only for his father’s debts to catch up with him. It saw its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
In his Cannes review, Variety’s Jay Weissberg called the film “another visually rich chamber piece from Nuri Bilge Ceylan that builds elaborate rhetorical set pieces of astonishing density.”
Turkish newspaper BirGün reported Friday that the film had been chosen by a 17-person committee from among 12 films submitted for consideration.
Turkey has submitted the director’s work for consideration for the best foreign-language Oscar in four previous years, including 2003’s “Distant,” 2008’s “Three Monkeys,” 2011’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” and his 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep.” To date, no Turkish submission has ever made it through to the five nominated films in the category.
Cinema Guild took U.S. rights on the film in June with plans to release it in early 2019. International sales are handled by Memento Films.
Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, 2019. The ceremony will take place Feb. 24, 2019.