Italy has chosen Nostalgiaa drama from Naples by director Mario Martone, as best international Oscar entry.
The film, a contemporary adaptation of Ermanno Rea’s novel, premiered at Cannes this year to critical acclaim. Pierfrancesco Favino plays Felice Lasco, who returns to his old neighborhood in Naples after living in Egypt for 40 years. But once back, his criminal youth begins to catch up with him. Francesco Di Leva stars as a local priest who helps Felice navigate the streets of modern-day Naples.
Nostalgia defeated a shortlist of Italian contenders, including the Italian-language drama by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch The Eight Mountainswho won the jury prize at Cannes this year, and Emanuele Crialese’s Penelope Cruz starrer L’Immensitàwhich premiered in Venice. Bones and everything by Italian Oscar winner Luca Guadagnino (call me by your name) is in English, so is not in the running for the international feature film Oscar.
Produced by the Italian Picomedia, Mad Entertainment and Medusa Film together with the French Rosebud Entertainment Pictures, Nostalgia has sold a lot internationally, but is still looking for a US distributor. True Colors takes care of the worldwide turnover.
With 14 Oscar wins, Italy is world champion in the best international feature film category. Paolo Sorrentino’s The hand of God was among the last five international Oscar nominees this year, and his 2013 feature film The great beauty was the last Italian film to win the Oscar.