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Spain is submitting Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta for the 2017 best foreign-language film Oscar race.
The Spanish film academy announced the decision on Wednesday.
Freely adapted from three Canada-set short stories by Nobel Prize-winner Alice Munro, it follows a Spanish classicist (played by Adriana Ugarte in the character’s youth, then Emma Suarez in middle-age) as she falls in love, has a child and eventually loses those she cherishes most.
The Hollywood Reporter in its review said: “At their worst, Almodovar’s films deliquesce into a disparate mix of eclectic references, cultish influences and high-brow quotes that boast his exceedingly refined cultural tastes. The mix here feels excessively random and hence deeply unsatisfying.”
The film came out in Spain in April, with Almodovar canceling press and promotion events citing the uproar over the Panama Papers.
Last month, Spain had announced a shortlist of three films it was considering submitting in the foreign-language Oscar race. The other two were Iciar Bollain’s The Olive Tree and Paula Ortiz’s The Bride.
The most recent of Spain’s four foreign-language Oscar wins was in 2005 for Alejandro Amenabar’s The Sea Inside.
It is the sixth Almodovar film submitted in the category by Spain. He won the award in 2000 for All About My Mother and also was nominated in the category in 1989 for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The last Almodovar film submitted for the foreign-language Oscar was Volver, which made the January shortlist for the 2007 Academy Awards but didn’t clinch a nomination.
Jose Luis Garci also has represented the country in the competition six times, achieving four nominations, including one win. Carlos Saura has represented Spain five times.
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