The List: 9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar

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We’re down to 9 foreign language films vying for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature, which originally had seventy-one films. No surprises, seeing the two frontrunners, “Amour” and “The Intouchables”, making the final cut. It is just too bad “Rust and Bone” isn’t competing, as it was my favorite foreign film so far this year. Here’s the official list that will eventually be narrowed down to five when the Oscar nominations are announced:

  • Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
  • Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director
  • Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director
  • Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
  • France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
  • Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director
  • Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
  • Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director
  • Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director

I really feel this is the year of “Amour” since it is a mostly unanimous pick across the board at all the critics awards this year, as was “A Separation” last year which won the award for Best Foreign Film. The only other film getting recognition is “The Intouchables” and since it beat out “Rust and Bone” for the French entry, I am inclined to say that will make into the final picks. Also, “The Royal Affair” has the star power and brilliant production design to breakthrough. My last two picks are wishful thinking, as “Kon-Tiki” has been popping up here and there ever since it came out and “Sister”, starring Lea Seydoux, a new favorite actress of mine, looks to have just enough emotion to work. Here’s what I feel the final list may be:

  1. Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director
  2. Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director
  3. France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
  4. Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
  5. Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director

From Awards Daily: “The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 4, through Sunday, January 6, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.”

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