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Holocaust film ‘Ida’ makes Oscars shortlist

Polish movie traces evolution of young woman about to take her vows in a convent before realizing she is Jewish

‘Ida’ stars Agata Trzebuchowska, right. (photo credit: JTA)
‘Ida’ stars Agata Trzebuchowska, right. (photo credit: JTA)

LOS ANGELES – The Israeli entry is out, but a Polish Holocaust-related film is still in the running, as movies from nine countries were shortlisted Friday in the Oscars race for best foreign-language film.

“Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem,” Israel’s entry, did not make the cut. The film depicts the five-year legal struggle of an Orthodox wife to obtain a divorce from her reluctant husband.

However, “Ida,” an early favorite, made the shortlist. The sparse but powerful Polish movie traces the evolution of a young novitiate in a Catholic convent, who, about to take her vows, learns that she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed during the Holocaust.

Among other strong contenders are Russia’s “Leviathan,” in which a simple worker battles a corrupt city hall, and Sweden’s “Force Majeure,” depicting a family facing down an avalanche while on a ski vacation.

While such traditional cinematic powerhouses as France, Italy and Germany failed to qualify, outsiders Mauritania (“Timbuktu), Estonia (“Tangerines”) and Georgia (“Corn Island”) made the shortlist.

Rounding out the list of nine are Argentina (“Wild Tales”), Holland (“Accused”) and Venezuela (“The Liberator”).

The slate of nine nominees will be winnowed down to five finalists when the 87th Academy Award nominations are announced on January 15.

The Oscars will be held February 22 in Hollywood.

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