Oscars: Croatia Selects 'Quit Staring at My Plate' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of Venice Film Festival

Writer-director Hana Jusic's quirky family drama premiered in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival last year.

Croatia has selected Hana Jusic's quirky family drama Quit Staring at My Plate as its candidate for best foreign-language film in the Oscars.

The film, featuring newcomer Mia Petricevic as Marijana, a young woman driven crazy by the too-close confines of family life in a tiny, cramped apartment, is writer-director Jusic's first solo feature, though she participated in the ensemble-directed Transmania last year.

The film, which premiered in the Venice Days section at the Venice Film Festival last year, follows Marijana's despair after her controlling father suffers a stroke and she becomes the family's main breadwinner. Driven to the verge of a nervous breakdown, Marijana finds solace in seedy sex with random strangers, giving her a taste for freedom and a different kind of life.

Although The Hollywood Reporter's critic Boyd van Hoeij observes that the film suffers from some typical first-film faults, he explains that its "sense of bleak realism, which always includes the possibility of hope and redemption just beyond the frame" suggests "it'll be interesting to see what [Jusic] does next."

The film was produced by Ankica Juric Tilic, and international sales are being handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Croatia has submitted a film to the Oscars every year since becoming an independent state in 1992, but a film from the country has never yet been nominated.