Oscars: Netherlands Selects 'Tonio' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of Pathe Netherlands

The drama, from 'Zus & Zo' director Paula van der Oest, explores the aftermath of a deadly accident.

For the Oscars, the Dutch are going with what they know.

For the third time, the Netherlands has picked a film from veteran director Paula van der Oest to represent the country in the Oscar's foreign-language category. Her romantic comedy Zus & Zo earned the director an Academy Award nomination (though no win) in 2002. Her real-life drama Accused was put forward by the Netherlands in the foreign-language category in 2014, but failed to secure a nomination.

Her latest, Tonio, is adapted from the best-selling novel by Dutch author A.F. Th. van der Heijden, which explores the death of his 21-year-old son Tonio in a car crash. Chris Peters plays Tonio, with Pierre Bokma and Rifka Lodeizen playing his parents.

Tiny Netherlands has an impressive Oscar record. The country has received a total of five foreign-language nominations over the years and won the Oscar three times in the category. The wins came for Fons Rademakers' The Assault in 1986, Marleen Gorris' Antonia's Line in 1995 and Mike van Diem's Character in 1997.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2017 shortlist of foreign-language nominees Jan. 17. The final five nominees will be announced Jan. 24 when nominations in all categories of the Academy Awards will be unveiled. The 89th Oscars ceremony will take place Feb. 26.