Oscars: Austria Selects 'Stefan Zweig' for Foreign-Language Category

Locarno Festival Stefan Zweig Farewell to Europe Publicity Still H 2016
Festival del film Locarno

The drama from actress-turned-director Maria Schrader chronicles the years in exile of the Jewish-Austrian writer of 'The Royal Game.'

For the 2017 Oscar race, Austria has chosen a biopic of one of its most famous sons.

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe is an unlikely sleeper hit chronicling the life, in exile, of the Jewish-Austrian writer, who fled the Nazis for shelter in Brazil. The drama, directed by Aimee & Jaguar actress Maria Schrader, features Austrian cabaret star Josef Hader in the lead role as the novelist, tortured by the people, and the dying culture, he left behind.

Farewell to Europe has enjoyed nearly universal critical praise for its subtle portrayal that avoids the cliches of the biopic. The film has been a crossover success in Germany, Austria and France.

Austria received its first-ever Oscar nomination, and first win, in the foreign-language category in 2007 with Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters. Gotz Spielmann was nominated (but didn't win) for his thriller Revenge in 2008, and Viennese filmmaker Michael Haneke won an Oscar for his home nation in 2012 with the French-language Amour.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2017 shortlist of foreign-language nominees Jan. 17, 2017. The final five nominees (as well as the nominees in all other categories) will be announced Jan. 24, 2017. The 2017 Oscars will be held Feb. 26.