Forget Blue As Best Foreign Pic Contender

Deadline‘s Nancy Tartaglione has been “told” that Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is The Warmest Color, the epic-length lesbo love story with the hot sex scenes that won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, will not be submitted as France’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Feature, and is therefore out of the race before it begins.

“Despite the difficulties of trying to woo some Academy voters with a lesbian love story with explicit sex scenes, the main reason I’m told it won’t make the cut is because [the film’s] French distributor, Wild Bunch, is not releasing it in time. The Oscar rep selection committee at the the CNC requires that a film go out nationally in France before September 30, and Wild Bunch has set an October release. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval calls the rule ‘stupid’ but tells me they believe October is best for the picture. It’s my understanding that Sundance Selects will release Blue unrated later this year in the U.S.”

So that’s it — game over. An emotionally fascinating, deeply submersive love story that rocked the Croisette and got the whole town arguing is going to play stateside as a marginal sideline thing via Sundance Selects. Those who care will obviously see it and talk it up and tell their friends, but most of the palookas out there (not to mention the Academy blue-hairs) won’t even notice.

  • Actually

    I don’t see this happening, there’s no way this doesn’t get into Academy contention. Somebody’s posturing and negotiating, it’ll get resolved by then.

    • That would be excellent. Here’s hoping! But Wild Bunch knows the rules. They knew what they were doing. If the French film authorities bend their rules and allow Wild Bunch and “Blue” to be an exception, they’ll be less respected and less deferred to by the next film or distributor that doesn’t agree with some aspect of their rules.

  • YR

    It will be Asgar Farhadi as France’s submission, n’est-ce pas? Blue, if it makes a splash states-side, will settle for Best Adapted Screenplay and/or Best Actress, or go the Rust and Bone way and top critics’ lists, without any Oscar nominations.

  • With the caveat that EVERYTHING can always change, at this juncture (especially with the expanded-roster) this thing is still a BP contender right now, Foreign nod or not.

    The stars are just lined-up right for it. Any “classy” gay-themed movie was going to get major attention this year what with the DOMA ruling happening (“Milk” would’ve been a BP frontrunner if it was opening now); add to that that YES because it’s (apparently) straight-dude-friendly woman/woman coupling and that means much higher visibility period and you’re probably looking at the “big” Arthouse Contender of the year. Winner? No way, but a nominee with a push if they’re smart about it.

  • Sailor Ripley

    Yeah, because a film with a hardcore lesbian sex-scene is exactly what wins Oscars….by the way: Its fucking July! Theres way more interesting things in the world of film to talk about than the Oscars…actually that goes for late February as well…

  • Guy Lodge

    Game not over. It could feasibly be submitted next year.

    Also, I’m pretty sure “submersive” isn’t an actual word.

  • Raising_Kaned

    Way to bury the lede — the real story here — at least to me — is that this is actually getting a theatrical release (presumably limited, I’d imagine) later in the year in this country. That’s great news!

    I couldn’t really give two shits about the Oscars, at this juncture. As is, I barely care about them as they’re unfolding live right before my very eyes.