Spain has selected Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, directed by David Trueba, as its Oscar contender in the best foreign-language film category.
Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed was the big winner at this year’s Goya Awards, the Spanish Oscars, in February. The movie, based on a true story, is about an English teacher’s trip to meet John Lennon. The teacher, played by Javier Camara, uses the lyrics of songs by The Beatles to teach English in 1960s Spain.
The film won six of the top prizes at the Goyas. Trueba’s brother Fernando Trueba won the Oscar for his 1992 Belle Epoque. In the U.S., the film grossed $11,600 over one weekend in Miami.
The Spanish Film Academy had recently shortlisted three films for final consideration.
One of them was Daniel Monzon‘s El Nino, which focuses on drug trafficking in the Straits of Gibraltar. It sold more than 1.2 million tickets in its first nine days in theaters. The thriller was produced by Spain’s Mediaset Cinema, distributed by Fox and stars Spain’s newest heartthrob, Jesus Castro.
The other film that wasn’t selected for the Oscar race was Carlos Marques-Marcet‘s directorial debut, Long Distance, which snagged five awards at Spain’s main springtime platform, the festival in Malaga, but also got acting honors for leads David Verdaguer and Game of Thrones‘ Natalia Tena at South by Southwest.
Spain joins dozens of other countries that have announced their pick for the foreign-language race in recent weeks.
Last year, Spain nominated 15 Years and One Day from Gracia Querejeta in the foreign-language category.
The country’s last foreign-language contender to make the Oscar shortlist was 2010 release Even the Rain by Iciar Bollain. The country has won four times, most recently for 2004’s The Sea Inside from Alejandro Amenabar.