The Czech movie Charlatan directed by Agnieszka Holland has been shortlisted for the prestigious Oscar award. Charlatan is now one of the 15 movies nominated in the International Feature Film category for the 93rd Academy Awards. Other nominated films include for instance the Bosnian film 'Quo Vadis', 'Aida?', the French film 'The two of us' and the Russian film 'Dear comrades'.
The director Agnieszka Holland studied at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts’ film and TV School in the past and has scripted few Czech films previously. For instance, ‘Janošik: A True Story’, or ‘Burning Bush’ drama series about Jan Palach. The movie Charlatan is an intriguing and lightly fictionalized story of Jan Mikolášek, the Czech herbalist and healer who became a cult figure in the 1930s.
In an interview for Czech television, Agnieszka said she found the struggle of evil with generosity contained in Jan’s character very interesting for the film. The character of the original healer Jan Mikolášek inspired Czech screenwriter Marek Epstein to create a very intimate story against the background of major historical events.
The Charlatan was a very popular film in cinemas before the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the main reasons could have been the main character, portrayed by Ivan Trojan, who has already won six awards for acting from in the Czech Lion awards in the past and he was nominated for the best actor in the film Charlatan last year. The movie was also awarded at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards, for the Best Director and the Lead Actor. "He was probably the most difficult character I've ever played in a movie. Strange and very inconsistent,” Trojan said about his role.
The last time the Czech movie has been awarded Oscar statuette in the category of International Feature Film was in 1997 for the movie ‘Kolja’ directed by Jan Svěrák. The Oscars winners will be announced on April 25 this year.