Brazil, Israel, and Mexico -- three countries that have yet to produce an Oscar Foreign Film champ despite a small handful or two of previous nominees -- have now joined the fast-growing list of Oscar's subtitled contenders.
The tally now stands at 35...42 films 44 films and 4 finalist lists!
Which means we've only got about 20 films left to hear about officially before the list is complete. October 1st is the deadline for submissions and in mid October Oscar will provide us with the official list which will usually contain a few surprises -- either a last minute film switcheroo, a disqualification, or a country that hadn't publicly announced suddenly surfacing on the list. Let's look at our new contenders and their countries nominee history after the jump.
Israel's New Contender: FILL THE VOID by Rama Burshtein which gives us an intimate look at the Hasidic community in Tel Aviv.
Israel's Nominee History - 10 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages -- all but one available for rental!
1971 The Policeman
1972 I Love You Rosa
1973 The House on Chelouche Street (instant watch!)
1977 Operation Thunderbolt
1986 Beyond The Walls
2007 Beaufort (instant watch!)
2008 Waltz With Bashir
2009 Ajami (instant watch!)
Brazil's New Contender: THE CLOWN is about a father (Paulo José) and son (Selton Mello, also the director) who work together as clowns in the circus. The son no longer thinks himself funny and wants to settle down.
Brazil's Nominee History - 4 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages if available
1962 Keeper of Promises
1995 O Quatrilho
1997 Four Days in September
1998 Central Station is by far the most universally beloved of Brazilian Oscar contenders even netting a well deserved Best Actress nomination for Fernanda Montenegro. In any other year it would surely have been a winning entry but it had the timing misfortune of going up against Life is Beautiful which was that year's even bigger foreign crossover hit, winning 3 Oscars on the big night (Actor, Foreign Film and Original Score) from its hefty 7 nomination tally which included Best Picture and Best Director nods.
Mexico's New Contender: AFTER LUCIA by Michel Franco is about high school bullying and was a hit at Cannes where it won the Un Certain Regard sidebar
Mexico's Nominee History - 8 noms / 0 wins
with links to Netflix pages -- unfortunately spotty
1961 The Important Man
1962 The Pearl of Tlayucan
1975 Letters from Marusia
2000 Amores Perros (instant watch!)
2002 The Crime of Father Amaro
2006 Pan's Labyrinth
2010 Biutiful (instant watch!)
WHO IS LEFT TO ANNOUNCE?
Plenty of countries in South America and Asia as well as three European biggies. The three countries with the mightiest Oscar stats that have yet to announce this year are...
Denmark everyone assumes it will be the festival hit costume drama A Royal Affair... which has won acting awards and critical favor. So why haven't they announced that yet? Rumor has it they're announcing today so perhaps it's a done deal by the time you read this. YEP. IT'S A ROYAL AFFAIR
Italy Reality had some buzz but NYFF is playing Caesar Must Die so it would sure be convenient... for me ;) ... if it were the latter.
Spain announces next Friday though they've already narrowed it down to three contenders. I'm hoping it's the silent black and white Snow White picture starring the internationally recognized Maribel Verdu (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Pan's Labyrinth, etcetera) because I like annual themes, don't you? See we're drowning in Snow White movies in 2012 -- you'd think this ancient story had just hit the public domain or something? -- so let's finally get a good one in the mix!