Defending Champ Argentina Submits ‘Carancho’ to Oscars

Country delays its announcement until final day, opts for drama about insurance fraud

On the heels of its Oscar win in the Best Foreign-Language Film category, Argentina has been the LeBron James of countries when it comes to naming this year’s entrant, declaring ahead of time that it would make its announcement on the final day for countries to submit their films to the Academy.

And if that makes Argentina look like something of a showboat, remember that they did actually win the foreign-language championship last year – which means, I suppose, that they have more right to make a fuss with their announcement than James did with his splashy program on ESPN.

At any rate, Argentina has finally announced its selection, and has chosen the noir thriller “Carancho,” which played in Toronto last month.

CaranchoThe film stars Ricardo Darin, who played the lead in last year’s winner, “The Secret in Their Eyes,” as an ambulance-chasing lawyer in a shady underground world in which traffic accidents are routinely staged as a way to make money on insurance fraud. 

Martina Gusman co-stars as a young doctor who attends to Darin.

Said critic Daniel Kasman: “Trapped in the video-smoothed moral squalor, the film has the inevitability of a noir—a genre touchstone its starkly action-filled conclusion reinforces—but none of that genre’s uncertainly.”

The end of the day Friday is the final deadline for countries to submit their films for Academy consideration. The Academy’s foreign-language committee will meet next Tuesday to look over the list of submitted films and determine if any have eligibility problems.  The full list of eligible films is expected to be released within the next two weeks.

TheWrap’s roundup of submitted films is here.