Oscars: France Nominates 'Renoir' in Foreign Language Category


The biopic beat out "The Past," which took home an acting prize at the Cannes film festival.

PARIS -- Gilles Bourdos’ Renoir has been chosen as France’s entry into the Oscar race.

A seven-member committee that included Cannes head Thierry Fremaux, actress Isabelle Adjani and France’s Academy president Alain Terzian made the selection.

Drama Renoir, which closed the Un Certain Regard sidebar section of Cannes earlier this year, trumped The Past, considered a front-runner for France’s entry. The Past won Oscar-nominee Berenice Bejo the best actress prize in the main competition at the film festival.

The nominated bio-pic, starring Michel Bouquet and Christa Theret, was released in the U.S. in March. The story examines the painter late in life as he meets his last muse, Andree, on the Cote d’Azur in 1915, and the early life of his son, Jean.

Because of Oscar rules, Cannes big winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, which saw not only its director Abdellatif Kechiche awarded the Palme d’Or but lead actresses Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos co-honored with the prize as well, is ineligible. It wasn't realeased in France before the Academy's Sept. 30 domestic release cutoff date. However, The Weinstein Co. is still gunning for actress nominations for the leads in the emotional, lesbian love story.

Despite last year’s best foreign film Oscar going to the French language, Paris-set Amour, the film was an entry of director Michel Haneke’s native Austria. The last French film to win the Oscar was 1993’s Indochine with Catherine Deneuve.