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A Place in the World (film)

A Place in the World
Theatrical Poster
Directed by Adolfo Aristarain
Produced by Adolfo Aristarain
Osvaldo Papaleo
Written by Adolfo Aristarain
Alberto Lecchi
Kathy Saavedra
Starring Federico Luppi
Cecilia Roth
José Sacristán
Music by Emilio Kauderer
Cinematography Ricardo DeAngelis
Edited by Eduardo López
Distributed by Transmundo Films
Release dates
  • April 9, 1992 (1992-04-09) (Argentina)
  • October 30, 1992 (1992-10-30) (Spain)
Running time 120 min.
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

A Place in the World (Spanish: Un lugar en el mundo) is a 1992 Argentine drama film co-written, co-produced and directed by Adolfo Aristarain. It stars José Sacristán, Federico Luppi, Leonor Benedetto and Cecilia Roth.[1]

The drama won numerous awards and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was declared ineligible and removed from the final ballot because it had been submitted by Uruguay, which had exercised insufficient artistic control over the film. It is the only film so far to have been disqualified from the Foreign Language Film category after having secured a nomination.


The story is set in 1974, following the death of Argentine President Juan Perón. While they live their lives, the characters argue about the country's most controversial subjects at the time: religion, politics, and human rights.


Critical reception

Critic Mick LaSalle, film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, liked the film and wrote, "A Place in the World is a sensitive, beautifully made coming-of-age story, set against a backdrop of Argentine politics played out on a local scale. Featuring a cast of strong characters, all driven by their deepest beliefs and passions, this is that rare case of a film that's not just lovely -- it's lively, too."[2]

Film critic James Berardinelli wrote, "The acting is uniformly strong, with all the principal and secondary performers delivering believable portrayals. Celia Roth is especially worthy of mention for the emotion she projects through her eyes. She and Federico Luppi are perfectly matched. A Place in the World offers a frank, somewhat unusual view of the relationships that form families and communities. Although the film has a lot more meat to chew on than that, the issues presented by A Place in the World would not generate the same degree of interest without the characters who argue about and live them. It's hard to deny the effectiveness of this marriage between personalities and ideology where neither eclipses the other."[3]

Oscar controversy

A Place in the World, which was registered for the Golden Globes as an entry from Argentina alone, was originally submitted in the fall of 1992 to Argentina's Oscar selection committee as a possible contender. However, the committee chose (by one vote) to submit The Dark Side of the Heart instead.[4] A Place in the World's director Adolfo Aristarain then asked Antonio Mercader, Uruguay's Minister of Education and Culture, to submit the film as a Uruguayan entry. After the minister refused, Aristarain took the matter to Manuel Martinez Carril, director of the Cinematheque of Uruguay, who agreed to sponsor the film for submission to the Academy's foreign-language film committee.[4]

When the nominations were announced by the Academy on February 17, 1993, A Place in the World was initially included among the five nominees, and was presented as a Uruguayan submission.[5] However, a week later, the Academy launched an investigation after it was revealed that the film was almost entirely Argentine with minimal input from Uruguayan artists.[4] It was disqualified three days later, with the Academy saying it was essentially an Argentine production and that this violated the Academy's rules which require that there be "substantial filmmaking input from the country that submits the film".[6] This was only the second time in the Academy's history that a film was disqualified after being nominated, the previous case being that of the documentary Young Americans (1967), which had won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature but was later ruled ineligible after it was revealed that it had opened theatrically prior to the Academy's eligibility period.[6] The disqualification of A Place in the World was all the more unusual as the Academy decided not to replace it with another film, leaving only four films in competition.[6]

Aristarain, who argued that the film was an [9]

Because of the controversy surrounding A Place in the World's disqualification, the Academy adopted in the summer of 1993 new guidelines aimed at clarifying its eligibility rules for the Foreign Language Film category, and especially at making more specific the role played by each crew member.[10] It is also worth mentioning that in its November 2001 press release listing the foreign language submissions to the 74th Academy Awards, the Academy announced that a film from Uruguay (In This Tricky Life) had "qualified this year for the first time", thereby omitting any mention of A Place in the World.[11]




  1. ^ A Place in the World at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ LaSalle, Mick. San Francisco Chronicle, film review, July 21, 1995. Last accessed: February 18, 2008.
  3. ^ Berardinelli, James. Berardinelli Reviews, 1994. Last accessed: February 18, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Marx, Andy (23 February 1993). "Place"AMPAS in hard .  
  5. ^ Variety Staff (18 February 1993). "The Nominees".  
  6. ^ a b c Marx, Andy (26 February 1993). "World"Acad rejects .  
  7. ^ Marx, Andy (5 March 1993). sues Academy"Place".  
  8. ^ Klady, Leonard (8 March 1993). loses bid for TRO; trial Tues."Place".  
  9. ^ Klady, Leonard (10 March 1993). in Oscar race"Place"No .  
  10. ^ Marx, Andy (12 August 1993). "Pic Academy spells out rules for foreign entries".  
  11. ^ "51 Countries In Race For Oscar" (Press release).  

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