Fresh off the heels of its nomination for Best Film Not in the English Language at the upcoming 2019 BAFTA Awards, Nadine Labaki‘s politically-charged film Capharnaüm has just won praise from Oprah Winfrey, who dubbed it “compelling”. Over the weekend, the acclaimed American TV host took to her Twitter to post a still from the movie where Zain is bottle-feeding Yonas, alongside the caption “These 2 are so compelling on screen and worthy of your time. Story of a young boy who sues his parents for having children they can’t take care of. Makes you think of all the children for whom this story is a daily reality. Bravo team #Capernaum 👏🏽👏🏽”.
These 2 are so compelling on screen and worthy of your time. Story of a young boy who sues his parents for having children they can’t take care of. Makes you think of all the children for whom this story is a daily reality. Bravo team #Capernaum 👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/J26E2vigc6
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 11, 2019
The highly-acclaimed film tells the story of a neglected 12-year-old boy in Beirut, who takes his parents to court for giving him life in a world of pain and suffering. Following its premiere at Cannes in May, it received a 15-minute standing ovation. Labaki would go on to make history as the first Arab female filmmaker to take home the prestigious Jury Prize during the 71st edition of the annual film festival.
So why is an Oprah Winfrey endorsement so significant? Well, for starters, the mogul is one of the most high profile Academy members (The Academy members are those who are responsible for selecting the Oscar winners). Winfrey’s tweet prompted a response from director and fellow Academy member Ava DuVernay, who replied “Watched it on Cannes jury. So beautiful. What gorgeous performances. Woman director!”
Labaki, who made her directorial debut with 2007’s critically acclaimed Caramel (in which she also played the lead role), has already been shortlisted for an Oscar with Capharnaüm, with nominations set to be announced on January 22. The film has already been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards and Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Golden Globes, though it lost to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma.
Following the loss, the filmmaker took to Instagram to share a post-Golden Globes red carpet interview, which she captioned “We’ll get them next time!” That she will.