Oscars: Mexico Selects 'The Chambermaid' for International Feature Category

Courtesy of Alpha Violet
'The Chambermaid'

Lila Aviles is looking to make history as the first woman director to land the nomination for Mexico.

Mexico has chosen The Chambermaid (La Camarista), a drama about a struggling maid working in a luxury hotel, as its submission for consideration in the best international feature film Oscar category.

Lila Aviles' feature-film debut bowed last year at the Toronto International Film Festival to mostly favorable reviews. Similar in some ways to Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, which took home Mexico's first-ever Oscar earlier this year in the category formerly known as best foreign-language film, both movies explore Mexico's social-class divide and its all-too-often invisible women's workforce.

The Hollywood Reporter's review called the film "dramatically engaging" and praised the performance by lead actress Gabriela Cartol as "superbly played." The drama is based on a play by theater turned film director Aviles, which was partly inspired by Sophie Calle's book of photographs, The Hotel.

The award-winning film, distributed by Cine Canibal in Mexico and Kino Lorber stateside, is currently playing in U.S. theaters.

The Mexican Film Academy also selected The Chambermaid as its foreign film entry for Spain's annual Goya Awards.

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to be held Feb. 9, 2020.