Telluride Awards Analysis: Paolo Sorrentino Could Put Italy Back in the Oscar Hunt with ‘The Hand of God’

Sep 09, 2021 498

BY: Scott Feinberg

No country in the world has birthed more winners of the best international feature Oscar — formerly the best foreign language film Oscar — than Italy, with 14. However, all but one of those wins happened many years ago. Indeed, in the 21st century, Italy’s only win in the category came eight years ago, with Paolo Sorrentino‘s The Great Beauty.

In the time since, this great hub of cinema has failed to even make the shortlist for the award, to say nothing of landing a nomination. This is not because Italy has ceased making great films. It’s largely because the process of selecting an Oscar submission is, like most things in the nation, highly political, I’m told by sources close to the process. If Italy wants to please local interests, it can continue to make its picks that way. 

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