Biutiful‘s submission as Mexico’s official entry for a possible Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar is a big boost. A sad but vivid lower-depths drama with a knockout Javier Bardem performance, it now has a niche that will give it traction all around. I toppled hard when I saw it in Cannes, comparing it to Italian neorealist cinema and so on. Which is why I was stunned and enraged when the Guy Lodge contingent sauntered into the Orange press cafe going “nyick, nyick, nyick, nyick.”

I’d written director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrritu yesterday afternoon about the news, and he confirmed early last night. He noted that “Academy members were really impacted and proud,” and that “their strong support and response makes me very happy.” Good to go.