Among the many factors making this year one of the most unique in cinematic history, the lack of a traditional film festival season has upended the Best International Feature race. In prior years, it would be somewhat easy to understand what the main contenders are, as they would have debuted at places like Cannes. This year, however, that’s not the case. Especially after last year’s success for Parasite, becoming the first movie not in the English language to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the initial hope was that it was the start of a new era. Well, that may be put off a bit, but we’re still looking for various nations to submit their picks for this non-traditional Oscar year. One such country is Italy, where they’re about to pick whether or not to submit The Life Ahead.
Tomorrow, the Italian submission will be announced, and rumors have it between The Life Ahead and Pinocchio. Those are the two most likely picks, especially since both have United States distribution, in particularly the former through Netflix. In particular, this is worth noting because The Life Ahead is probably the only International Feature possibility that can contend in other categories. Of course, it has Sophia Loren as a legitimate player for a Best Actress nomination/win. Then, there’s also Diane Warren‘s Original Song, making it by far the highest profile of its ilk.
Though they could go either way, it does seem like The Life Ahead represents a slam-dunk pick for Italy. They’d have Netflix behind them, across the board potential, and Loren as a real selling point. Obviously, the Italian powers that be may have their own calculus, but if you were them, wouldn’t it seem like an easy choice?
For what it’s worth, my predictions here at Awards Radar have The Life Ahead getting three nominations and two wins, taking the Oscars for Best International Feature and Best Original Song. Loren is a nominee in Best Actress, if the season ended today. A lot remains to be seen, but tomorrow will tell us a bit, at the very least…
Stay tuned to see what Italy decides to do!