Friday, December 21, 2012

Academy Narrows Foreign Language Film Race to 9

The Academy announced the short list of 9 foreign language titles that will advance in this year's Oscar race. They are:

Emmanuelle Riva as Anne in AMOUR.
Photo by Darius Khondji, (c) Films du Losange, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. 

  • 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.
Amour is clearly the frontrunner, but while it may gain widespread support from the Academy as a whole, I have a feeling that France's The Intouchables will strike a chord with the foreign language branch as well, because it is absolutely the kind of thing they tend to favor in this category, plus it has Harvey Weinstein behind it, who should never be counted out. Switzerland's Sister is also quite good but maybe a bit too cold for the Academy. Chile's No is a pretty good bet, as is Canada's War Witch. It's good to see Cristian Mungiu get some recognition here after the egregious snubbing of his brilliant 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, but I don't think the Academy will go for Beyond the Hills either. Denmark's A Royal Affair most likely will round out the nominees.

This year, the only real snub is Germany's entry, Barbara, which is one of my favorite films of the year, and you'll be hearing me talk more about it in the coming weeks.

The five final nominees will be announced on January 10, 2013, along with the rest of this year's Oscar nominations.

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