The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce which films are finalists in the Beast Foreign Language category on January 25.
‘Lula, the Son of Brazil’ will not be among them.
I watched the film alongside Lula at a special premiere in his adopted hometown of São Bernardo do Campo in December last year.
I wrote this in a blog at the time:
“I was not so much disappointed – I never thought it would be good – as indifferent. The two-hour long flick was overdone and melodramatic in a style that is way too reminiscent of Brazil’s popular soap operas.
But in spite of all that drama and emotion the movie did not capture me as I thought it could have. It jumped from remarkable episode to remarkable episode with little in the way of context. And although the acting is good, particularly Rui Ricardo Dias, who plays Lula, the film just dragged on.
Most seriously, the film made Lula out to be a saint. And Lula is no saint, even though he has done extremely well to keep the economy strong and reduce the country’s shocking inequality.”
There was no outstanding Brazilian film this year, which goes some way to explaining why Lula might have got the nod. There was no City of God or no Tropa de Elite, for example.
I personally think the choice was in part political. Lula is well known and well liked overseas and the Brazilian jury could consider that relevant, as Fernando Mereilles, the director of City of God, says in this Folha piece yesterday. The fact that the Academy has a positive view of Brazil and the president can only be good for the film’s chances.
Some 1.1 million people have seen the film so far, considerably less than the filmmakers had hoped.
But the Academy are no mugs. This won’t make the final five.