27 January 2023
On March 12, actors, directors, producers and other filmmakers will gather in Hollywood, California, the center of the American film industry. Some will receive Academy Awards for the best acting, directing, writing, music and other work on movies released last year.
The winners will receive an award called an Oscar, a small metal statue of a man, covered in gold. The Oscar is only about thirty-four centimeters tall and weighs less than four kilograms. But the award is extremely valuable. Oscar winners can earn greater fame. They can get offers to work on the best movies. They can also earn much more money.
On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored more than 300 films with Oscar nominations. Among them are five movies competing for best foreign film. European countries produced all the nominees except one: the movie Argentina, 1985. As you might have guessed, it comes from Argentina.
The South American country is not new to Academy Award history. Argentinian movies have won the best foreign film Oscar two times already. The most recent award came in 2009 for the film The Secret In Their Eyes.
Argentina, 1985 is a historical drama. It tells a story about the effort to punish the country's military dictatorship after its rule ended. Earlier this month, it won the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe for best foreign language film. That awards event is considered a signal of what is to come at the Oscars.
Another 2023 nominee is the first Irish-language film to be considered for an Oscar. Ireland's The Quiet Girl is based on the book Foster, by Irish writer Clair Keegan. The film tells about a young girl from a large, poor family living in difficult conditions. She is sent to the home of distant relatives. There, she finds warmth and love but also learns of a secret.
The Quiet Girl has earned loud praise in Ireland and other places. Shortly after its release, it became the highest-grossing Irish-language film in history.
The other three Oscar nominees for foreign film come from mainland Europe. Belgium was recognized for Close. Like Ireland's nominee, the movie centers on children and their relationships. Close explores a close but threatened friendship between two boys.
Poland's EO was also nominated in the best international film category. EO explores the imagined life and times of a donkey raised in a circus. Its interactions with and experiences of the human world point to deep questions about animal connections.
EO won the Jury Prize, a major award, at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in France.
The final nominee for the best foreign film Oscar is Germany for its offering All Quiet on the Western Front. The film is based on the 1929 book of the same name. It tells a story of a soldier during World War One and explores the horror of such conflict.
Two earlier movie versions, both American, came out in 1930 and 1979. The 1930 production of All Quiet on the Western Front won the most important Academy Award of all -- Best Picture -- at the 1931 ceremony.
Check back here for more stories about other 2023 Oscar nominees in the weeks ahead.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Caty Weaver wrote this story for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
drama -n. a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject
highest-grossing -adj. highest-earning before deductions such as taxes
category -n. an individual group, or kind, of something
circus -n. a show that usually travels from place to place and that has a variety of exhibitions including acrobatic feats, wild animal displays, and performances by clowns