Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan scored the Jury Prize in his first time in the main Cannes Competition earlier this year with Mommy. The film has now been selected to represent Canada in the Foreign Language Oscar race. While the last Canadian film to win an Oscar was 2003’s The Barbarian Invasions, the country has had a strong showing with four nominees since 2006. Mommy is 25-year-old Dolan’s fifth film as director and his second to rep Canada after his 2009 breakout I Killed My Mother. Produced by Nancy Grant, Mommy stars Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément. It’s set in a fictional Canada, where a new law allows distressed parents to abandon troubled children to the hospital system. Séville International handled sales of the film which was acquired by Roadside Attractions domestically.
Another Cannes competitor, Two Days, One Night, has been chosen to rep Belgium. This is the fourth film from brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne to do the honors. Despite being among the winningest helmers ever in Cannes, none of their films has advanced to a Foreign Language Oscar nomination. This film boasts Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as a woman who has one weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses so that her job can be saved. It recently played Telluride and Toronto, and will also screen at the New York and AFI festivals. Sundance Selects pre-bought the film in 2013 and will release in the U.S. on December 24. Belgium was a favorite in last year’s Foreign Language Oscar race with Felix Van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown among the nominees.