Which films will Denmark and Argentina submit for Oscar consideration this year? Both countries have won the Best Foreign Film prize in the recent past and could compete again this year.
They've announced their three finalists for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission. I think the likeliest of their three finalists is The Hunt, directed by Thomas Vinterberg (A Celebration) which won Mads Mikkelsen Best Actor at Cannes a year plus ago as a teacher under attack due to false allegations from a child. It's currently in release in the States which means it's eligible for the Oscars in general if not for this specific category (which requires official submission... and each country may only choose one film). The major obstacle to its submission might be its lack of newness. It played in Cannes during last year's eligibility period (Oct 11- Sept 12) but not in its home country (making it ineligible for selection last year) and opened within the 2013 window in Denmark making it eligible for submission this year. Got it? But still... it could end up feeling like old news to the Danish powers that be if they vote anything like our Academy who have that notoriously short term "what did I just see?" problem. If the Danes vote for their current hot property they could go with either The Act of Killing, the very buzzy documentary (also in Stateside release right now) about the Indonesian genocide of the 1960s or Northwest from director Michael Noer (who co-directed A Hijacking) a crime thriller about a man named Casper who is moving up in the criminal world selling stolen goods.
Regardless of what they choose, Denmark is popular with Oscar voters. A Royal Affair (2012) was their 9th nominee in the category and they've already won three times (back to back wins in the 80s with Babette's Feast and Pelle the Conqueror and a win for Susanne Bier's In a Better World recently)
This South American country has been nominated six times and won twice. The first statue came for 1985's arthouse hit The Official Story. Argentina won again just a few years ago with Juan José Campanella's crime thriller The Secret in Their Eyes starring Ricardo Darín, who pops up regularly in the country's submitted films. Both Campanella and Darín could factor in again though not together this time.
Darrin stars in Thesis of a Homicide, another crime thriller, and Campanella directed the animated hit Metegol (trailer embedded below). Darín might have competition for familiar Argentinian face this year though since Diego Peretti stars in two films: Wakolda (from the director of the Oscar submitted XXY) about a family who lived with Nazi war criminal/physician Josef Mengele without realizing who he was and La Reconstruccion about a lonely man on a trip. My current guess is that it'll be Wakolda that gets Argentina's vote, both for the subject matter and because most countries tend to repeat directors in their submissions over the years. [Thanks to reader Marcos for his thoughts on these possible submissions.]
P.S. For what it's worth though only one animated film (Israel's Waltz With Bashir) has ever been nominated in the Foreign Film category, that doesn't stop countries from trying with their submissions.