Oscars: Italy Selects 'Human Capital' for Foreign-Language Category

Loris T.Zambelli
'Human Capital'

Paolo Virzi's intense family thriller will compete for the award after Paolo Sorrentino brought home the statuette earlier this year

Can Italy repeat its Oscar magic after Paolo Sorrentino became a national hero with his 2014 win for The Great Beauty? The country is placing its bets on Human Capital for its bid for the best foreign-language nomination at next year's Academy Awards.

Paolo Virzi's neo-noir thriller Human Capital earned a slew of national awards this year , including seven wins at the David di Donatello awards, beating out The Great Beauty for the best film honor, and six Nastri d’Argento Awards.

The film was a box-office smash in Italy, widely hailed for its fast-paced tale of the unraveling of a wealthy family who bet on Italy's downfall, all the while destroying everything around them in their quest for success. It was based on the American novel by Stephen Amidon, swapping out Connecticut for northern Italy, which accounts for its Hollywood-style storytelling. It had its U.S. premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and was acquired by New York distributor Film Movement.

Read more Field of Foreign-Language Oscar Contenders Begins to Come Into Focus

Human Capital was chosen from a shortlist of seven films this year that also included Alice Rohrwacher's The Wonders, Francesco Munzi's Black Souls, Ferzan Ozpetek's Fasten Your SeatbeltsEdoardo Winspeare's Quiet Bliss, the Manetti Bros.' Song e' Napule and Carlo Verdone's Sotto una Buona Stella.

Directors Gianni Amelio and Gabriele Salvatores, producers Tommaso Arrighi and Angelo Barbagalloand distributor Barbara Salabe served on the selection panel alongside other industry players. Italy holds the record for the most foreign-language Oscar wins, with 14 statuettes to date.  

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