Distinguished performances by foreign players in art house films that were not commercial have been consistently overlooked by the Academy. This list is too long to recite here, but a recent example demonstrates the point. One of Europe’s best and busiest actors, Gerard Depardieu, didn’t receive the Academy’s attention, despite excellent appearances in numerous films, including the frustrated husband in “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs,” and the title role in Andrzej Wajda’s “Danton.”
In the smash Gallic hit, directed by the commercial filmmaker Bertrand Blier, “Get Out Your Handkerchief” (which ran in New York for over six months), Depardieu plays a husband who cannot make his wife happy, or more specifically sexually fulfilled.
He first brings a mature, handsome lover, but to no avail—the wife remains dissatisfied with the latter’s performance. Finally, it takes a teenager, all but 13, to make her both content—and pregnant.
Depardieu did receive a Best Actor nomination for the 1990 French version of “Cyrano,” playing the same role for which Jose Ferrer had won the Best Actor exactly forty years earlier.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Best Foreign Language Film
Oscar Awards: 1