Aamir Khan directed Taare Zameen Par is India’s official entry into the Oscars under the foreign films category for 2009. Aamir Khan’s is not new to the Oscars, he has been there 2 times earlier on, infact once, very close to lifting the glimmering Oscars trophy when his movie Laagan was one of the five final nominees at the 74th Academy awards. Rang De Basanti was the reason how Aamir Khan became associated with the Oscars for the second time, unfortunately this critically acclaimed movie and a blockbuster couldn’t make it to the top of the brass in nominations.
Taare Zameen Par might just be lucky for Aamir third time around, however there’s still lot of work to be done in terms of films promotion and creating a buzzword that would guarantee that the movie makes it to the top 5. In the meantime, let’s look at what Taare Zameen Par is up against in this year’s foreign film category. Amongst the scores of movie submitted to Oscars this year, the front-runners include
Gomorra (Italy; director. Matteo Garrone) – Power, money and blood: these are the “values” that the residents of the province of Naples and Caserta confront every day. They have practically no choice, and are forced to obey the rules of the “System”, the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a “normal” life.
Five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and ostensibly invented world, but one that is deeply rooted in reality
Gomorrah was the winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
Entre les murs (The Class) (France; dir. Laurent Cantet) – François and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighbourhood. Armed with the best intentions, they brace themselves to not let discouragement stop them from trying to give the best education to their students.
Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom, a microcosm of contemporary France. As amusing and inspiring as the teenaged students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeapordize any teacher’s enthusiasm for the low-paying job.
The film received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Germany; dir. Uli Edel) – Traces the bloody rise and fall of left-wing terrorist group the Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader Meinhof gang, which carried out bombings, kidnappings and assassinations in the 1970s and ’80s in an attempt to topple the German state
These are some strong contenders for next year’s oscars, but Aamir says that he is hopeful of scoring at the Oscars since people have ‘seen his face’ after Lagaan. “I am hopeful because people over there have seen my face and they know that I have acted in the film. So it will help me.” Let’s hope he does get third time lucky with TZP