Oscars Shortlist: 9 Foreign Language Features Shortlisted for 89th Academy Awards

  1. “It’s Only the End of the World” (Canada)
  2. “The King’s Choice” (Norway)
  3. “Land of Mine” (Denmark)
  4. “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)
  5. “My Life as a Zucchini” (Switzerland)
  6. “Paradise” (Russia)
  7. “The Salesman” (Iran)
  8. “Tanna” (Australia)
  9. “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)

With “The Handmaiden” and “Elle” being the favorites yet not in contention, the only other foreign language film that was being tossed around with those films is Germany’s “Toni Erdmann,” which has the fact that it is a comedy going in its favor.

Having not seen any of these foreign language films this year, all I have to go on is the trailers, Academy history, and the pundits. If we’re looking at history, director Asghar Farhadi has previously won an Oscar for his film “A Separation” (2011). With “The Salesman” getting some good reviews, it could easily grab him a nomination.

As far as word of mouth goes, “A Man Called Ove,” which is also a dark comedy, made the slightest mark at the box office this year, enough so that I noticed it. The fact that people saw the film might be enough to move it along for a nomination.

“Tanna” is a love story set in the South Pacific, where a Romeo and Juliet story plays out between two indigenous tribes. Having won the won the Audience Award Pietro Barzisa at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, this sounds a lot likely something the Academy would nominate.

Lastly, I’m picking “It’s Only the End of the World” because of the cast alone. It has been said more than once that the Academy cannot get enough of Marion Cotillard. And although her American films this year are not likely to get her noticed (“Allied” and “Assassin’s Creed”), this foreign language film in which she appears could do so. Also starring Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux, I definitely will go out of my way to see this film even if it is not nominated.

Not on my prediction list, but in the ballpark of being able to push through is Russia’s black-and-white entry, “Paradise,” which competed for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival and won director Andrei Konchalovsky the Silver Lion for Best Director.

Being the only animated film in the bunch, “My Life As A Zucchini” might also be able to catch some voters’ eyes by being different from everything else.


MY PREDICTION of 2016 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEES for BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

  • “It’s Only the End of the World” (Canada)
  • “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)
  • “The Salesman” (Iran)
  • “Tanna” (Australia)
  • “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)

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