Russia Makes Controversial Oscar Selection in Foreign-Film Race

Was8379157 Photo: ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Some interesting news from the Oscar foreign-film race: Andrey Zvyagintsev's Leviathan has been chosen to represent Russia as its foreign-language entry after fellow contender Andrei Konchalovsky's White Nights of a Postman was withdrawn from consideration. While Leviathan received wide critical acclaim and won the screenplay prize at Cannes, it has sparked controversy within Russia for the critical view it takes of the country's contemporary political situation and its implicit criticisms of the Putin regime. The profanity-heavy script also ran into some trouble with Russia’s new obscenity laws, although it was recently given a national release, albeit with the obscenities bleeped out.