Paul Weiner wonders:

> And here's a dumb question:
> would someone briefly explain to me why (the highly overrated) "Life Is
> Beautiful" is a nominee as best American film AND foreign film? Am I
> missing something? Is it part of an effort to make this year's awards the
> least responsible ever?

Oh, the Academy would have to work pretty hard to sink *that* low!
(Just check the backlists of winners and nominees on the Academy
website or other sources.  Some years make this one look like the
epitome of class!)

Nonetheless, there are precedents.  Costa-Gavras' Z got a double
nomination in 1969 (and did win Best Foreign Language).  And you had
the strange situation of 1972, when Jan Troell's THE EMIGRANTS had a
Best Picture nomination but the sequel, THE NEW LAND, was up for Best
Foreign Language Film.

I suspect that the nominations came because people were surprised (as I
have to admit I was) that a comic film about the Holocaust could be
something other than an exercise in sheer tastelessness.  The Foreign
Film nomination, of course, comes from Italy, while the Best Picture
nomination is American-made.

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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