Brazil’s Oscar Hopeful: “Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures”

The Brazilian pick that will run for one slot among the five Oscar nominees as best foreign movie is Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus (Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures) by Marcelo Gomes. The selection was made by Brazil’s Culture Ministry among 14 entries.

The Academy of Motion Pictures of Hollywood is expected to announce on January 23 the movies nominated to run for an Oscar in 2007. The 79th Academy Awards will be held on February 25, a Sunday. 

The Brazilian choice will be competing with more than 40 movies from other foreign countries around the globe. Only five films will make to the final list being voted by the Hollywood Academy members.

Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus is a story that happens in 1942. during the Second World War in the Brazilian northeastern backlands. There, a German guy called Johann (Peter Ketnath), who is fleeing the war and Brazilian Ranulpho (João Miguel) fleeing the drought run across each other.

A popular survey held by daily O Estado de S. Paulo on its site gave Cinema the third place among the favorites to be nominated for the Oscar. Marcelo Rezende’s Zuzu Angel won first place followed by Cacá Diegues’s O Maior Amor to Mundo (World’s Biggest Love).

In a similiar survey by Folha de S. Paulo, Anjos do Sol won first place to represent Brazil in the Oscar, followed by Zuzu Angel and Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus.

Director Breno Silveira’s 2 Filhos de Francisco (Francisco’s 2 Sons), last year’s choice from Brazil, didn’t make the short list of movies nominated for the foreign Academy Award prize.

This year, the film selection was conducted by a commission that included the Audiovisual Secretary, Orlando Senna, and seven personalities working in the Brazilian film industry:  cinematographer Andrucha Waddington; screenwriter Carolina Kotscho; movie festival director and distributor Ilda Santiago;  cinematographer, producer and screenwriter Jorge Bodansky; producer Moisés Augusto; editor Ricardo Miranda; and cinematographer Sandra Werneck.

The last Brazilian movie that had a chance to win an Oscar was Central of Brazil, in 1999. That year, All About My Mother by Pedro Almodóvar from Spain ended up winning the prize.

In 1998, Quatrilho had also made the list of nominees, losing to Life Is Beautiful from Italy. O Pagador de Promessas (Golden Palm in Cannes), chosen as nominee in 1963 lost to Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.

Black Orpheus won an Oscar in 1959, but that movie although filmed in Brazil with Brazilian cast, music and script, was directed by French Marcel Camus. 

Here’s the entire list of the movies considered by the Brazilian Culture Ministry:

írido Movie by Murilo Salles
A Máquina by João Falcão
Anjos do Sol by Rudi Lagemann
Bens Confiscados by Carlos Reichenbach
Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus by Marcelo Gomes
Cafundó by Paulo Betti and Clovis Bueno
Depois Daquele Baile by Roberto Bontempo
Doutores da Alegria by Mara Mourão
Estamira by Marcos Prado
Irma Vap – O Retorno by Carla Camurati
O Maior Amor do Mundo by Carlos Diegues
Tapete Vermelho by Luiz Alberto Pereira
Vida de Menina by Helena Solberg
Zuzu Angel by Sergio Resende

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