By Cody Dericks
As per Variety, the new film from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, “The Mauritanian,” is to be released on February 19, 2021. With the Academy’s temporary extension of the eligibility window for the upcoming Oscars, “The Mauritanian” is now set to be one of the final films eligible for the 2021 ceremony.
The film, which was previously titled “Prisoner 760,” follows the harrowing true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), who was kept prisoner at the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Slahi was held captive for a full decade without receiving a charge or trial. He eventually finds help from a legal team (played by Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley), and together they face the rocky road toward justice.
Macdonald, a previous winner for Best Documentary Feature for “One Day in September,” last found Oscar success with his film “The Last King of Scotland.” A major player in the 2006 awards race, the film’s star Forest Whitaker won Best Actor at the Oscars and at nearly every other awards ceremony that season. This past success could bode well for the star of “The Mauritanian,” Tahar Rahim.
In addition to Rahim, Woodley, and two-time Academy Award winner Foster, the cast includes Academy Award-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch. With such an Oscar-friendly cast, an inspiring true story, and a familiar director, it’s possible that this film could greatly appeal to the Academy. Whether it has awards in its future or not, “The Mauritanian” looks set to tell a rousing and moving story.
So what do you think? Does “The Mauritanian” have the potential to be a major awards player? Where is it most likely to contend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.
You can follow Cody and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @codymonster91