None Of The Six Donkeys Starring In Jerzy Skolimowski’s Oscar Contenders EO will receive the image at 2023 Oscar ceremonyEven though the film unexpectedly pulls off an upset in the Best International Feature Film category against its toughest competition, Eduard Berger’s film All Quiet on the Western Front, Animals are not eligible for Academy Awards, although many films accepted by the Academy have featured animal actors such as Terry (Toto Inn). the Wizard of Oz) and Popcorn Daylights (Seabiscuit Inn seabiscuit,
but focused EO As a subject rather than an object on a donkey, as star rather than a supporting figure, that makes Skolimovsky’s film a unique experience both in and outside of the Oscar context. whatever does The win would be downright conventional compared to Best International Feature Film EOA film that best argues that movies need more animal point of view.
Skolimowski, liberal veteran Polish filmmaker, painter and actor behind the films essential Killing And 11 minutes ,and little playersoddly enough, in the 2012 MCU film the Avengersfilter EO Through the eyes of its protagonist, a lovable, lonely, lost donkey is roaming the Polish and Italian countryside. like a camera can do Cinematographer Michael Dymek tries to show the viewer the world as seen by an animal. EO’s eyes are Dymek’s destiny, an anchor to which he repeatedly returns for reaction shots between the worst and the best representations of mankind. The donkey playing the role of EO cannot act or react as a human performer: he comes across as cool, calm and cool. But their expressionlessness is an invitation to consider how they see what we see.
Skolyomsky’s contributions to cinema’s “sad ass” include films such as the 1966 au husard balthazarWith Oscar-nominated examples from 2022 triangle of sadness And Banshee of Inishrin, It’s Like Movies About Critters Other Than Donkeys kelly richard first cow And Michael Sarnosky pig: Productions that respect their animal companions as characters, but still hand over the reins of the narrative to humans.
EO There is a permanent tragedy. Heartbreak is baked into the film’s logline: Eo, a donkey who has been performing to please the circus crowd with his handler, Kassandra (Sandra Drijmalska), before being removed from his custody by the state. After a series of transfers from one owner to another, it escapes and spreads it throughout creation, apparently trying to return to Cassandra. His misadventures along the way range from the warm-hearted to the strange and terrifying.
The “state” in this film is led by a pompous government official who, after being freed from the circus performers, pats himself on the back with a speech about “rectifying irregularities”. Skolimovsky lays out his thesis right here: the people least qualified to administer animal welfare are in positions of power, rather than people like Kassandra, whose love for EO is tender and unconditional. Of course, one of Cassandra’s fellow circus folk does abuses EO, but he doesn’t treat people much differently. Throughout the film, there are countless ambassadors for the human-animal relationship who have stronger credentials than he does.
the farmers who welcome Eo into their stable; special-needs children who visit the farm and shower it with affection and pampering; football fans who adopt him as their mascot after winning a game against their rivals; Richling Vito (Lorenzo Zurzolo), who takes Eo to his family’s villa away from a crime scene, and chats with him like an old friend rather than a random asshole – these characters do what’s best for the well-being of animals. Represent humanity in the light.
On the other hand, there are furriers who kill caged foxes; Garland violent hooligan fans of the football team who take their frustrations out on Eo; And the hunters crawl through the foreboding woods at night, lighting their way with a green laser sight. Together, they form the “guys suck” side. EOTravel.
But singling out the film for that misanthropic message does Skolimowski’s job poorly. EO Sugarcoat nothing: humanity’s darkest instincts are shown in detail without hesitation, down to murder. (Vito’s relationship with his passionate stepmother – played by Isabelle Huppert with a normal level of her hard-jawed intensity – doesn’t suggest much faith in human relationships.) But in that darkness there is light, humanity’s goodwill. The well of all is reflected in the bottomless depth of Eo’s gaze. He is aware of the kindnesses shown to him and of the cruelties inflicted upon him, even when he is not the focus of the frame, or not in the frame at all. And he knows he misses his caretaker and hopes to return to her, to the point where he leaves the idyllic safety to find her, as the ass-POV glare makes clear what he’s thinking. .
It’s very rare that the Oscars recognize a film EO, where an animal takes the spotlight and humans play a secondary role. If the Academy Had Ignored Daniel Cowan and Daniel Scheinert everything together everywhere, EO Will unquestionably be the most unique nominee of the year. for all everything EverywhereHowever, Daniels’ specialties are invested in the human condition, explored from a human perspective.
EO Invests in animal perspective. Not too much seabiscuit can claim it. The matter of observed experience is important; While every movie offers a chance to see the world through another person’s eyes, movies rarely provide the same opportunity for animals. and those movies Doing, none of them reach the kind of platform an Academy Award carries. The Academy Could Do With More Films EO — but above all, moviegoers can too.
EO Is Streaming on Criterion Channeland is available for rental or purchase Amazon, Vudu’sand other digital platforms.