Chen Kaige's 'Caught in the Web' China's Oscar Hopeful

7:54 AM PST 10/01/2012 by Scott Roxborough

The modern-day drama from the "Farewell My Concubine" director looks at online character assassination.

Caught in the Web, a modern-day drama about Internet character assassination from period film specialist Chen Kaige will be China's official contender for next year's Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

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Chen Kaige is best known outside of China for his lush period dramas - foremost among them Farewell My Concubine (1993), which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes and received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film. Two more of his films: Forever Enthralled (2009) and The Promise (2005) were China's official Oscar entries but neither received a nomination.

Caught in the Web is a departure for the veteran director. The drama is set in modern-day, middle class urban China and has a ripped-from-the-headlines plot: an cell phone video shot on a public bus goes viral, disrupting several lives in the process. Gao Yuanyuan, Chen Yao and Mark Chao star.

China has never won the Best Foreign Language Oscar, though Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon took the honor for Taiwan - which entered under its official designation the Republic of China - in 2000. The last Chinese film to receive a Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination was Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou, back in 2002.

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