The Star Maker (1995) - News Poster


2014 Foreign Language Oscar Breakdown

By Terence Johnson

Managing Editor

The Oscar race is never a dull one and that couldn’t be any more apparent than in the race for Best Foreign Language film. This year is certainly shaping up to be a battle of David vs. Goliath if you looked at the histories of the countries competing. In one corner, you have Italy, with a whopping 12 wins in this category, facing off with a country like Cambodia, with no Oscar nominations. But such is the beauty of the awards season and the Oscars. So before the nominations come out, here’s an Oscar primer to get you caught up on the Foreign Language films.

Belgium – 2013 Nominee: The Broken Circle Breakdown

Logline/Synopsis: Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill,
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Exclusive: Geoffrey Rush Spies On His Mysterious Client In Clip From Giuseppe Tornatore's 'The Best Offer'

A winner at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, and led by the arthouse director behind hits like "Cinema Paradiso," "The Star Maker" and "Malena," any work from Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore is usually worth paying attention to. So when he assembles the kind of talent he's got in his latest "The Best Offer," it's certainly hard to resist. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland, and featuring new a score by Ennio Morricone, the art world drama tells the story of an auction house director, Virgil Oldman, who receives a special assignment to sell the family antiques belonging to a mysterious young woman, who refuses to appear in person. And so begins a unique mystery, but as you'll see in this clip, it isn't long until Virgil tries to learn the identity of who he's working for. "The Best Offer" is now playing in limited release and is available on VOD.
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Watch: U.S. Trailer For Giuseppe Tornatore's 'The Best Offer' Starring Geoffrey Rush & Jim Sturgess

While ordinarily we'd totally understand anyone's excitement for the latest from Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore ("Cinema Paradiso," "The Star Maker," "Malena") you might want to temper that a little bit when approaching his latest, "The Best Offer." The film, which has already seen release overseas and played some festival dates, hasn't earned that much buzz, nor did it impress our own Jessica Kiang when she caught it in Berlin earlier this year. Declaring the movie "strangely old-fashioned in its construction and requiring a Golden Gate-level feat of engineering to achieve the suspension of disbelief necessary to unironically enjoy it," it does at least have the always enjoyable Geoffrey Rush at the center of it. The actor plays an aging auctioneer asked to handle the valuation and sale of a mysterious woman’s priceless heirlooms, finding himself soon enveloped by a passion that will change his life. Or, you can look at this way,
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Watch: Italian Teaser Trailer For Giuseppe Tornatore's 'The Best Offer' Starring Geoffrey Rush & Jim Sturgess

As the man behind such films as "Cinema Paradiso," "The Star Maker" and "Malena," there was an era when Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore was a familiar name at the arthouse. However, it has been a while since he's had a movie arrive stateside with quite the same attention as those pics, but "The Best Offer" could change that. Featuring his "starriest" cast in quite some time, the film features Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland and Jim Sturgess, in the tale of an eccentric art expert who is invited by a mysterious woman to assess a piece, and it's a journey that will change his life forever. This new teaser trailer for the movie is in Italian, but you can still get a sense of the story, but most of all, you can drink in Tornatore's typically gorgeous widescreen compositions. Seriously, this thing looks pretty great. Also featuring a score by Ennio Morricone,
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Geoffrey Rush & Jim Sturgess Get 'The Best Offer' With Giuseppe Tornatore, Ennio Morricone To Score Film

Celebrated Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore doesn't exactly crank them out, and while he made waves on American shores in the late '80s and '90s with "Cinema Paradiso," "The Star Maker," "The Legend Of 1900" and "Malena," it has been over a decade since the latter and the subsequent movies -- "The Unknown Woman" and "Baaria" -- have made the same splash.  But his next effort is gearing up, and drawing upon two well-known names, it could see him once again back in American arthouses in bigger form.

Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess are set to star in "The Best Offer." Details are pretty scarce, but the film is said to be an "art auction world drama" set in Vienna and the Alps that will start shooting at the end of the month. But adding a bit of excitement to the news is the mentoin that 83-year-old master composer
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Italy names 'Baaria' as Oscar hopeful

Italy names 'Baaria' as Oscar hopeful
Rome -- Giuseppe Tornatore's epic coming-of-age story "Baaria" has been selected as Italy's hopeful for a 2010 foreign-language Oscar nomination, the Italian cinema and audiovisual association Anica said Tuesday.

It is the fourth time Tornatore has had a film tapped for the honor by Anica. Three years ago, Anica selected Tornatore's "La sconosciuta" (The Unknown Woman) as Italy's hopeful, and in 1995 it selected "L'uomo delle stelle" (The Star Maker), though it was not chosen as a candidate by the Academy either time. But in 1990 his "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" won the foreign language honor.

"Baaria," the most expensive Italian film ever made, has already had a banner year, as the first Italian film in a generation to open the storied Venice Film Festival, where is screened in competition and won the coveted Pasinetti collateral prize.

  The film tells the story of three generations in Tornatore's hometown of Bagheria in Sicily (the
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Tornatore earns best film, director

Tornatore earns best film, director
ROME -- Giuseppe Tornatore's La Sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman) dominated Thursday night's 51st annual David di Donatello Awards, taking home the awards for best picture, director and actress.

But Tornatore had to share the spotlight with the Centoautori (Hundred Author) movement of writers and directors who are calling for greater government efforts to promote culture and make it more accessible. Several prize winners dedicated their award to the year-old movement and others mentioned it in their acceptance speeches.

It was the second major award in the Italian capital for La Sconosciuta, which tells the story of an illegal Ukrainian immigrant in Italy. The film, which has had only limited success outside Italy, also was named best film at the first RomaCinemaFest, where the film had its world premiere.

Tornatore has taken home Davids for two other films: in 1995 for L'Uomo delle Stelle (Starmaker) and three years later for "La Leggenda del Pianista Sull'Oceano" (The Legend of 1900). Tornatore is best known for Cinema Paradiso, which earned the foreign-language Oscar in 1990.

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