Oscars: Russia Selects 'Beanpole' for International Feature Film Category

Beanpole - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

Kantemir Balagov's drama is centered on women struggling to survive in the aftermath of World War II and won the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year.

Russia has selected Kantemir Balagov's Dylda (Beanpole) as its submission for the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

Set in a ravaged Leningrad just months after the end of World War II, Balagov's sophomore feature centers upon two women recently discharged from the army and struggling to cope with their traumatic war experience.

"The sustained, unflinching camera eye often pays strong dramatic dividends, but the downside of this approach lies in the inability to cut within scenes if they begin to sag and lose their force, which sometimes happens; there are definitely stretches that outlive their usefulness and/or could use punching up when the director’s approach has made this impossible," THR wrote in its review.

Beanpole premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year and brought Balagov the section's best director prize.

The film was released in Russia on June 20 and grossed $428,000. Recently, Kino Lorber picked up U.S. rights to Beanpole.

Beanpole is Russia's 27th submission to the best international feature Oscar race since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun won an Academy Award in 1994, and another six movies earned nominations. The most recent nomination was earned last year by Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless.

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 9, 2020.