‘The Zone of Interest’ Selected as UK Oscar Submission for Best International Feature

Jonathan Glazer’s intense Holocaust drama would mark a first win for the U.K. in this category

"The Zone of Interest"
"The Zone of Interest" (CREDIT: Cannes Film Festival)

Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” has been selected by the United Kingdom as their Oscar submission in the Best International Feature Film category. The tense Holocaust drama, which follows a German officer and his family who live on the outskirts of Auschwitz, is “Under the Skin” director Jonathan Glazer’s first film in 10 years.

The category is open to non-English language films made by countries other than the U.S., making the U.K. eligible to submit films that are not in English. It has submitted 20 films since 1991, with two of Welsh-language entries — 1993’s “Hedd Wyn” and 1999’s “Solomon and Gaenor” — landing nominations. No film from the U.K. has ever won in the category. Also, “Zone” is the first-ever German-language submission for the U.K. for the International Feature Film.

The unsettling “Zone” won the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes, and was shot in Poland and spoken in Polish and German dialects. Christian Friedel plays a German officer who is stationed at Auschwitz and Sandra Huller plays his wife, who finds life idyllic just outside the borders of the concentration camp.

Based on the novel by Martin Amis, the film looks to be a notable player in this year’s awards race, featuring standout work by past nominees such as composer Mica Levi (“Jackie”) and cinematographer Lukasz Żal (“Cold War”), not to mention costarring red-hot actor Hüller, who is the lead in another foreign-language feature with massive breakout potential, France’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” which also wowed the Cannes crowd.

A24 will release Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” in cinemas on Dec. 8.