Just three months after the country’s national football side lifted the World Cup trophy in Qatar as champions for the third time, Argentina is hoping to win global recognition once again.
Cinephiles across the country will be cheering this Sunday as Argentina, 1985, the record-breaking feature detailing some of the darkest years in the country's recent history, vies for a coveted Oscar
Director Santiago Mire’s drama, which is in the running for Best International Feature Film, could win Argentina’s third Academy Award if chosen, following in the footsteps of 1985's La historia oficial ("The Official Story") and 2009's El secreto de sus ojos ("The Secret in Their Eyes").
The Oscar nomination caps off a whirlwind year for the film’s stars, producers and director. The film, however, faces tough competition – also in the race are the runaway favourite from Germany, All Quiet on the Western Front, Belgium's Close, Poland's Eo and Ireland's The Quiet Girl.
The winner will be announced at the 95th Academy Awards this Sunday, March 12, with the ceremony taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
In the running
Most critics are tipping All Quiet on the Western Front to talk away with the statue, with IndieWire’s Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson highlighting the support behind Edward Berger’s World War I epic. However, both mentioned Argentina, 1985 as a potential upset winner.
Senior Awards Editor for Variety, Clayton Davis, also predicted that the German film will take the prize, after the drama picked up seven awards at the recent BAFTAs. The writer also included Argentina, 1985 as a possible, though “shocking,” winner.
The Argentine feature, which details the efforts of prosecutors to put the leaders of the brutal 1976-1983 military dictatorship on trial for their crimes against humanity, was just one of five selected in the category from a pool of 70 films from all over the world.
Nevertheless, momentum has been building behind Argentina, 1985, which won the Golden Globe for Best Non-English Language Film, a prize awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
"For the people of Argentina, after winning the World Cup, this is a great joy," said veteran actor Ricardo Darín, one of the film's stars, as he accepted the award onstage with Mitre.
Back in February, Paris Saint-Germain star and national team skipper Lionel Messi even took to social media to join his compatriots' campaign for the film to win the Oscar.
"What a great film, '1985,' with [actor] Ricardo Darín and nominated for an Oscar. Let's go for the third," Messi wrote on Instagram.
The last time an Argentine feature film was nominated in the Best International Film category was Damián Szifrón's Relatos Salvajes (“Wild Tales”) which lost in 2014 to the Polish film Ida.