Oscars: Brazil Selects 'The Great Mystical Circus' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The film, which premiered in Cannes, is directed by veteran Brazilian helmer Carlos Diegues and stars Vincent Cassel.

The Brazilian Film Academy announced that The Great Mystical Circus will be the country's bid for the Oscars in the foreign-language category.

The film, which premiered in Cannes, marks the return to fiction of veteran Cinema Novo filmmaker Carlos "Caca" Diegues after more than a decade and features Vincent Cassel in a lead role. 

Based on a 1938 poem by Jorge de Lima, the film tells the story of five generations of a prosperous Austrian family who tour the world with their family owned circus in the early 20th century.

This is Brazil’s 46th submission to the Academy Awards and the seventh of a film by Diegues, whose previous bids include Xica da Silva (1976), Bye Bye Brazil (1979) and Tieta do Agreste (1996), although none obtained a nomination.

While Brazil has never won the best foreign-language film Oscar, the country's history at the Oscars includes a handful of nominations in major categories, like Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund's City of God (five nominations, including best director, in 2004); Walter Salles' Central Station (foreign-language film and best actress for Fernanda Montenegro in 1999); and Hector Babenco's The Kiss of the Spider Woman, which won best actor in a supporting role for William Hurt in 1986.