Colombia hoping to make a splash at the Oscars

By Carolina Morales January 29, 2016
Colombia at the Oscars, Colombia movies

Michael Fassbender in Macbeth.

Carolina Morales looks ahead at some of the films that are likely to be big winners in the upcoming awards

Awards season is upon us, and cinephiles are on standby to see which of the year’s biggest movies and best actors will get a prize. After a year full of festivals around the world, premieres and box office statistics, directors and actors are no doubt practising their surprised winner or dignified loser faces.

With the winners from Sunday’s Golden Globes announced, it’s time to look ahead – with the BAFTAs on February 14 and the big one, the Academy Awards, on February 28.

First, though, we should mention the burgeoning cinema market right here in Colombia. 2015 was a big year for Colombian cinema, with a number of films gaining critical acclaim around the world, including La tierra y la sombra, which picked up three prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. However, the stand-out picture of the year was Ciro Guerra’s El abrazo de la serpiente, which also won an award at Cannes, and which ended the year picking up the vast majority of the Premios Macondo – honouring the best in Colombian cinema.

Guerra’s film has made it onto the shortlist of nine films competing for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and there are high hopes that it will be amongst the final five nominations for the award.

The other candidates include Danish film A War (Tobias Lindholm), Mustang (by French director Deniz Gamze) and the much-acclaimed German movie Labyrinth of lies (Giulio Ricciarelli).

However, all eyes will be on the awards for Best Picture, Actor, Actress and Director – here are some of the candidates for the gongs:

Brooklyn (Dir.: John Crowley)

The Sundance Festival has been one of the best platforms for films to end up competing for an acclaimed Academy Award. There are plenty of examples, most recently Whiplash and Boyhood. This year the bells are ringing for Brooklyn, a film that takes us to 1950s Ireland to tell a tale of love in the midst of tragedy and conflict.

The Danish Girl (Dir.: Tom Hooper)

It looks as though Eddie Redmayne yet again wants to surprise the film world and take home one of the year’s big awards. After winning his first Oscar for his role as Stephen Hawking, he has now taken on the guise of the first transexual in history, in a movie based on the lives of Danish artists Einar and Gerda Wegener.

Carol (Dir.: Todd Haynes)

A film that will, without doubt, be fighting for one of the top prizes. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara manage to create perfect chemistry as they tell the tale of an impossible love affair between two women in 1960s New York.

Joy (Dir.: David O. Russell)

Jennifer Lawrence cements her status as one of the most powerful and versatile actresses of her generation. With this film, Russell is hoping to receive his fourth consecutive nomination, this time with a film based on the life of Joy Mangano, a humble working class woman who went on to invent a number of household products before becoming one of the faces of American home shopping networks. The film sees Lawrence reunite with Robert de Niro and Bradley Cooper.

Macbeth (Dir.: Justin Kurzel)

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard put in stunning performances in the cinematic reproduction of the William Shakespeare classic.

In the run-up to the Academy Awards, a number of the main candidates will premier in Colombia, hopefully giving eager cinema-goers time to see them before the winners are announced. Here’s a look at some of the release dates in Colombia:

January 7: Spotlight; Macbeth

January 14: Joy; Le tout nouveau testament (The brand new testament)

January 21: The Big Short; Hateful Eight

January 28: Creed; Room

February 4: The Revenant; Carol

February 18: Danish Girl

February 25: Brooklyn

By Carolina Morales