Actor Sandra Hüller could be the critical darling of awards season with two acclaimed performances in two high-profile international feature contenders, France’s “Anatomy of a Fall” from Justine Triet and United Kingdom’s “The Zone of Interest” from Jonathan Glazer.
The German performer has opted to campaign her work in Glazer’s Holocaust-era drama for best supporting actress, Variety can reveal exclusively, greatly increasing her chances for possible double acting recognition this year. Her work in Triet’s French Oscar hopeful will be submitted for lead actress consideration.
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Both “Anatomy” and “Zone” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where the former won the prestigious Palme d’Or prize, marking the third time a woman director has won the award. The two films are coming off screening at the Telluride Film Festival and will stop at TIFF and NYFF later this month.
In “Anatomy,” Hüller plays Sandra, a German writer who is arrested for murder following her husband’s mysterious death. In “Zone,” she plays Hedwig Höss, a Nazi wife and self-proclaimed “Queen of Auschwitz,” who builds a life for her family outside the concentration camp.
Hüller is one of the most acclaimed international actors working today. She made her breakout in Hans-Christian Schmid’s “Requiem” (2006) where she won the Silver Bear for best actress, in addition to garnering significant recognition in Maren Ade’s dramedy “Toni Erdmann” (2016). The latter represented Austria for best international feature.
If nominated for “Anatomy” and “Zone,” Hüller would be the first actress to be double nominated for two non-English language performances in the same year.
There have been 52 actors nominated for non-English language performances in the Oscars’ 95-year history. Six have won – Sophia Loren (“Two Women”), Robert De Niro (“The Godfather Part II”), Roberto Benigni (“Life is Beautiful”), Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”), Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) and Yuh Jung-Youn (“Minari”). Only seven actors have received multiple Oscar noms for non-English, although never in the same year – Marcello Mastroianni and Loren.
With the two films in the hunt for best international feature – “Anatomy” hoping to represent France and “Zone” likely to represent the United Kingdom – they could also receive best picture recognition, which would also be the first time two non-English language films were nominated in the same year. “Parasite” (2019) is still the only non-English language film to win best picture.
“Zone” has already been given a significant push by Oscar’s reigning champ, A24 (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), holding a screening earlier this week with stars such as Pedro Pascal and Malia Obama in attendance.
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