September 17, 2015

‘Home Care’ is Czech submission to the Oscars

The last Czech film to win was ‘Kolja’ in 1996

The film Home Care (Domácí péče) is the Czech submission to the 88th Academy Awards for consideration for a Best Foreign Film nomination.

Every eligible country submits one and only one film, and from that the Hollywood-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences eventually narrows the field down to five nominees.

From these five, a committee that sees all of the films selects a winner. The voting is different than in other categories since not all Academy members vote for this award.

So Home Care still has along way to go before the nominations are announced in January 2016 and the Oscars are given out Feb. 28, 2016.

The Czech Film and Television Academy (ČFTA) chose the film from among 39 features, documentaries and animated films. It beat out the film The Snake Brothers, another strong contender

Home Care already won the Best Actress award for Alena Mihulová at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The film also stars Boleslav Polívka and Tatiana Vilhelmová. It was directed by Slávek Horák, who studied in Zlín and at FAMU.

Horák was the second  assistant director on Kolja, the last Czech film to win an Oscar.

The film’s description in the KVIFF catalog was as follows: “Everyone knows about the finality of human existence, but the realization of life’s actual limits comes to each of us individually and often unexpectedly. Dedicated home care nurse Vlasta (Alena Mihulová) lives for her husband Láďa (Bolek Polívka), her daughter, and her patients. But then one day things change and Vlasta is forced to react. This mature debut portrays deadly serious issues with a gentle humor.”

The Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia has won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film three times since the category was introduces in 1947. Shop on Main Street won in 1965, Closely Watched Trains won in 1967 and Kolja won in 1996.

Shop on Main Street and Closely Watched Trains both dealt with the Holocaust. Kolja looked at the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

The most recent nomination was in 2003 for Želary, which also dealt with World War II. Before that, Divided We Fall was nominated in 2000. It was another World War–themed film.

Czech films by Miloš Forman wee nominated twice — Loves of a Blonde in 1966 and The Firemen’s Ball in 1968.

Closely Watched Trains director Jiří Menzel was nominated again in 1986 for My Sweet Little Village, a somewhat comic tale of village life written by Zdeněk Svěrák, who also wrote and starred in Kolja.

Kolja director Jan Svěrák, the son of Zdeněk, was also nominated for The Elementary School in 1991, another film penned by Zdeněk Svěrák.

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