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Oscars 2014: Best Foreign Language Film


  

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A record 76 countries have nominated films for this category:

  • Afghanistan, “Wajma – An Afghan Love Story,” Barmak Akram, director;
  • Albania, “Agon,” Robert Budina, director;
  • Argentina, “The German Doctor,” Lucía Puenzo, director;
  • Australia, “The Rocket,” Kim Mordaunt, director;
  • Austria, “The Wall,” Julian Pölsler, director;
  • Azerbaijan, “Steppe Man,” Shamil Aliyev, director;
  • Bangladesh, “Television,” Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director;
  • Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;
  • Brazil, “Neighboring Sounds,” Kleber Mendonça Filho, director;
  • Bulgaria, “The Color of the Chameleon,” Emil Hristov, director;
  • Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;
  • Canada, “Gabrielle,” Louise Archambault, director;
  • Chad, “GriGris,” Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, director;
  • Chile, “Gloria,” Sebastián Lelio, director;
  • China, “Back to 1942,” Feng Xiaogang, director;
  • Colombia, “La Playa DC,” Juan Andrés Arango, director;
  • Croatia, “Halima’s Path,” Arsen Anton Ostojic, director;
  • Czech Republic, “The Don Juans,” Jiri Menzel, director;
  • Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;
  • Dominican Republic, “Quien Manda?” Ronni Castillo, director;
  • Ecuador, “The Porcelain Horse,” Javier Andrade, director;
  • Egypt, “Winter of Discontent,” Ibrahim El Batout, director;
  • Estonia, “Free Range,” Veiko Ounpuu, director;
  • Finland, “Disciple,” Ulrika Bengts, director;
  • France, “Renoir,” Gilles Bourdos, director;
  • Georgia, “In Bloom,” Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, directors;
  • Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;
  • Greece, “Boy Eating the Bird’s Food,” Ektoras Lygizos, director;
  • Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;
  • Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;
  • Iceland, “Of Horses and Men,” Benedikt Erlingsson, director;
  • India, “The Good Road,” Gyan Correa, director;
  • Indonesia, “Sang Kiai,” Rako Prijanto, director;
  • Iran, “The Past,” Asghar Farhadi, director;
  • Israel, “Bethlehem,” Yuval Adler, director;
  • Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;
  • Japan, “The Great Passage,” Ishii Yuya, director;
  • Kazakhstan, “Shal,” Yermek Tursunov, director;
  • Latvia, “Mother, I Love You,” Janis Nords, director;
  • Lebanon, “Blind Intersections,” Lara Saba, director;
  • Lithuania, “Conversations on Serious Topics,” Giedre Beinoriute, director;
  • Luxembourg, “Blind Spot,” Christophe Wagner, director;
  • Mexico, “Heli,” Amat Escalante, director;
  • Moldova, “All God’s Children,” Adrian Popovici, director;
  • Montenegro, “Ace of Spades – Bad Destiny,” Drasko Djurovic, director;
  • Morocco, “Horses of God,” Nabil Ayouch, director;
  • Nepal, “Soongava: Dance of the Orchids,” Subarna Thapa, director;
  • Netherlands, “Borgman,” Alex van Warmerdam, director;
  • New Zealand, “White Lies,” Dana Rotberg, director;
  • Norway, “I Am Yours,” Iram Haq, director;
  • Pakistan, “Zinda Bhaag,” Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, directors;
  • Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director;
  • Peru, “The Cleaner,” Adrian Saba, director;
  • Philippines, “Transit,” Hannah Espia, director;
  • Poland, “Walesa. Man of Hope,” Andrzej Wajda, director;
  • Portugal, “Lines of Wellington,” Valeria Sarmiento, director;
  • Romania, “Child’s Pose,” Calin Peter Netzer, director;
  • Russia, “Stalingrad,” Fedor Bondarchuk, director;
  • Saudi Arabia, “Wadjda,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director;
  • Serbia, “Circles,” Srdan Golubovic, director;
  • Singapore, “Ilo Ilo,” Anthony Chen, director;
  • Slovak Republic, “My Dog Killer,” Mira Fornay, director;
  • Slovenia, “Class Enemy,” Rok Bicek, director;
  • South Africa, “Four Corners,” Ian Gabriel, director;
  • South Korea, “Juvenile Offender,” Kang Yi-kwan, director;
  • Spain, “15 Years Plus a Day,” Gracia Querejeta, director;
  • Sweden, “Eat Sleep Die,” Gabriela Pichler, director;
  • Switzerland, “More than Honey,” Markus Imhoof, director;
  • Taiwan, “Soul,” Chung Mong-Hong, director;
  • Thailand, “Countdown,” Nattawut Poonpiriya, director;
  • Turkey, “The Butterfly’s Dream,” Yilmaz Erdogan, director;
  • Ukraine, “Paradjanov,” Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova, directors;
  • United Kingdom, “Metro Manila,” Sean Ellis, director;
  • Uruguay, “Anina,” Alfredo Soderguit, director;
  • Venezuela, “Breach in the Silence,” Luis Alejandro Rodríguez and Andrés Eduardo Rodríguez, directors.
Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The ones I've seen so far:

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director

Brazil, “Neighboring Sounds,” Kleber Mendonça Filho, director;

Canada, “Gabrielle,” Louise Archambault, director;

Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;

France, “Renoir,” Gilles Bourdos, director

Georgia, “In Bloom,” Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, directors

Iceland, “Of Horses and Men,” Benedikt Erlingsson, director

Iran, “The Past,” Asghar Farhadi, director

Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director

Latvia, “Mother, I Love You,” Janis Nords, director

Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director

Romania, “Child’s Pose,” Calin Peter Netzer, director

Russia, “Stalingrad,” Fedor Bondarchuk, director

Saudi Arabia, “Wadjda,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director

 

Next up: ?

 

My faves to date: Renoir, Wadjda,  The Past

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I'm mildly surprised that The Hunt (Denmark) is on this list, as I saw it a whole year ago at the local VIFF. Apart from that, I've also seen The Past (Iran) and Heli (Mexico) at this year's VIFF, and while I missed Wadjda (Saudi Arabia), that film will be getting a regular release here in a week or two, so I hope to catch up with it then.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Post here because I don't want to start a thread on a film that may get very limited viewing opportunies, but Iceland's entry Of Horses and Men, has the most wonderful synopsis in its press notes:

 

Kolbeinn loves Solveig and Solveig loves Kolbeinn but Kolbeinn is in love with his prized possession and Darling, the mare Grana and grana is obsessed with the Stallion Brunn.  Spring is coming and the whole community is following the story.  This cannot end well. Vernhardur is in love with vodka and the horse Jarpur loves Vernhardur, his master.  Aboard a Russian trawler is a mate by the name of Gengis who doesn't have vodka but loves horses like Jarpur. This is not going to end well.  Grimur has a passion for ancient horse roads but Egill admires barbed wire fences.  Grimur owns a horse and a pair of pincers and Egill owns a tractor  This cannot end well.  Johanna loves Raudka, her mare, but Raudka is in love with freedom.  On the heath by an old summer cottage likes an injured old man.  This could have a happy ending.  Juan Camillo loves life and nature and is seeking God in the Icelandic highlands but the horse Old Piebald is tired and longs for rest.  How will this end?  Well, it all ends in the autumn when the horses are herded and men and horses become one great strand of excitement.  The autumn round-up of the horses unifies theme, place, objects, time and sharacters into an ensemble film.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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The shortlist:

 

  • Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;
  • Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;
  • Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;
  • Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;
  • Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;
  • Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;
  • Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;
  • Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director.

 

Of those, I've seen only The Hunt and The Broken Circle Breakdown, so far.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Hard to believe The Past didn't make the cut, but whatever. So it goes with the Foreign Film Oscar. (And there are some great choices on the short list.)

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Tyler wrote:
: Is the original cut of Grandmaster nominated, or the American one?

 

Whichever version was released in Hong Kong, I'd imagine. (It's the territory, and not any American distributor, that nominates films for this category.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Tyler wrote:

: Is the original cut of Grandmaster nominated, or the American one?

 

Whichever version was released in Hong Kong, I'd imagine. (It's the territory, and not any American distributor, that nominates films for this category.)

 

Makes sense, though I'm sure it won't stop Weinstein from marketing his version as "Oscar-nominated."

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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Tyler wrote:

: Is the original cut of Grandmaster nominated, or the American one?

 

Whichever version was released in Hong Kong, I'd imagine. (It's the territory, and not any American distributor, that nominates films for this category.)

 

Makes sense, though I'm sure it won't stop Weinstein from marketing his version as "Oscar-nominated."

 

He can't yet.  There's still another step for nomination.  And if it is the Hong Kong version, I think the length could play against it being nominated.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced their nominees for the Golden Reel Awards:

 

BEST SOUND EDITING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE (INCLUDES ADR, DIALOGUE, SOUND EFFECTS, AND FOLEY
Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Grandmaster
The Past
Wadjda

 

The winner will be announced February 16.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced their nominees for the Golden Reel Awards:

 

BEST SOUND EDITING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE (INCLUDES ADR, DIALOGUE, SOUND EFFECTS, AND FOLEY

Blue Is the Warmest Color

The Grandmaster

The Past

Wadjda

 

The winner will be announced February 16.

Only one of which may get an Oscar nomination.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Darrel Manson wrote:
: Only one of which may get an Oscar nomination.

 

Oh, right. Interesting.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Vote!

 

Interesting that The Grandmaster got snubbed here, given that it's been nominated in other categories.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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From Thomas Vinterberg's statement on The Hunt's nomination :

 

I actually awarded two of the other nominees, “The Missing Picture” and “Omar ,” prizes when I presided over the Un Certain Regard jury in Cannes.

 

I did not know that.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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From Thomas Vinterberg's statement on The Hunt's nomination :

 

I actually awarded two of the other nominees, “The Missing Picture” and “Omar ,” prizes when I presided over the Un Certain Regard jury in Cannes.

 

I did not know that.

But it is wonderful to think about.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I watched The Hunt again Tuesday night. It's even better the second time. Mikkelsen's performance should have been nominated.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read a couple of articles speculating that the Woody Allen / Dylan Farrow dispute might affect Blue Jasmine's Oscar prospects, but I haven't seen any speculation about how the situation might affect prospects for The Hunt.

 

In one sense, that's understandable; Farrow names Jasmine star Cate Blanchett in her NY Times article and points an accusing finger at her. And to bring a movie about a protagonist who's unjustly accused of inappropriate behavior with a child into the Farrow / Allen discussion might suggest that Allen has been falsely accused.

 

But those issues are already out there. People are publicly speculating that Farrow is "remembering" something that never happened, and that she was coached into giving false testimony against Allen. The parallels with The Hunt are kind of eerie, and I would have figured that Oscar bloggers, who write about even the slightest possibility that something could affect the Oscar race, would have picked up on this. Sure, Best Actress is a higher-profile race than Best Foreign Film, and Blanchett is the favorite in her category. But I think The Hunt is a favorite in its category, too (with the caveat that the Foreign Film award has sometimes gone to unexpected winners). The voting requirements for Foreign Film have changed so many times that I no longer know what's required of the voters, but I imagine many of them will be aware of the current Allen controversy.

 

Which makes me wonder, Is it just me? Did no one else think of The Hunt when the Farrow / Allen situation resurfaced several days ago?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Christian wrote:
: Which makes me wonder, Is it just me? Did no one else think of The Hunt when the Farrow / Allen situation resurfaced several days ago?

 

Oh, I totally did. Though for what it's worth, the comparison breaks down when you have the scene where the girl says she was lying, and her parents assure her that she *wasn't* lying and she's only trying to block the memory (or whatever), versus the bit in Dylan's open letter where she claims that Mia asked her to say whether she had been lying or not, and Dylan insisted she wasn't.

 

So I did think about the coincidence, of this film being nominated at the same time that that other issue flared up again. But I hadn't thought about the Allen-Farrow thing *affecting* this category. Not sure whether I think it would or not.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

But I think The Hunt is a favorite in its category, too 

Gold Derby just posted this in its BAFTAs wrapup:

 

"The Great Beauty" solidified its frontrunner status at the Oscars, picking up another prize for Best Foreign Language Film. 

 

Shows what I know. Or maybe no one knows what the front-runner is in this category.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Oh, I agree that The Great Beauty is worthy, Darrel. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. Both films ended up in my Top 20, although The Hunt held up much better on second viewing than I thought it might. Several negative comments had me thinking I'd see problems with it on re-viewing that I'd missed the first time around, but I ended up thinking more highly of The Hunt the second time through. I've yet to see The Great Beauty a second time. 

 

I'm just surprised to see Beauty now listed as the favorite, although it has won a couple of high-profile awards, so why wouldn't it be the front-runner? I suppose I'm wondering about the methodology a writer uses to determine said "front runner." Is it based on the film winning other awards? Do the Oscar voters follow the Golden Globes / BAFTA winner in this category? I don't know. I still can't figure out who gets to vote for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, and what the qualifications to vote are. I confuse the voting requirements with those of the Best Documentary category. Don't both require that all nominated films be seen before you can vote, and aren't voters limited to certain branches of the Academy, rather than open to everyone? And if so, how does one establish a "front runner"?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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According to the poll here, we all think The Hunt will win. As I just pointed out in The Great Beauty's thread, The Hunt was a Bafta nominee last year, and hence yesterday's result has little bearing on a possible face-off between the two. I would favour The Hunt because it's more accessible - more conventional in style and more gripping in story. It also deals with a more universally 'topical issue' than The Great Beauty does. I think Oscar voters will prefer it, based on previous results.

 

I don't really mind either one winning. Or even The Broken Circle Breakdown. In my opinion it's a stronger category than Best Picture.

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