Another week, another 10+ submissions for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. We're up to 15 official titles now (which means there are about 50 to go). We previously covered Germany's finalist list but they didn't go with the youthful hit comedy Oh Boy after all but with the drama Two Lives, which we highlighted as a strong possibility given its war themes and the presence of Liv Ullman in the cast list.
But the German news is just scratching the surface of what's going on in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race.
FINALISTS AND SPECULATION
They've recently announced a list of 8 finalists although, to make things confusing, they are still willing to look at more films that aren't on the list in case of late arrivals to the cinema. But chances are the film will come from this list: Supremo, Boses, El Presidente, Thy Womb (from the acclaimed Brillante Mendoza), Dance of the Steel Bars (inspired by a true story of prison inmate dancing videos going viral), Pinoy superstar Eugene Domingo (Ploning, The Woman in the Septic Tank) might be representing her country again in Tuhog, and finally director Erik Matti has two opportunities for submission since he has two films on the list On the Job and Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles. You may recall I was bummed that The Phillipines missed last year since I loved their entry Bwakaw. They've yet to be nominated for an Oscar.
I was just visiting earlier this summer! Norway has announced their three finalists for Oscar submission. The Norwegian Oscar committee will be choosing between Arild Østin Ommundsen’s It’s Only Make Believe (Eventyrland) about a woman convicted for shooting two people who is released from prison, Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Pioneer about a deep sea diver, and Iram Haq’s I Am Yours (Jeg er din) about a Norwegian Pakistani woman falling in love. The latter starsOla Rapace (the ex Mr. Noomi who was recently in Skyfall) and Amrita Acharia and I'm hoping to see it at TIFF. None of these directors have been submitted in previous years. Norway won't be announcing their official candidate until September 20th. The land of the midnight sun has been nominated for the Oscar fem ganger (most recently last season with Kon-Tiki) but has yet to win the gold.
Brazil has not released a finalist list or an official submission but longtime fans of this category (and of The Film Experience which has always had a loyal following in Brazil!) should note that it's very possible that Fernanda Montenegro, Best Actress nominated for Central Station (1998), could be back on Academy screens. The 83 year old acting icon co-stars in the lush period drama Time and the Wind. It’s from director Jayme Monjardim, whose film Olga was submitted in its year, and it’s based on a beloved series of historical novels set in the colonial era.
15 ½ OFFICIAL SUBMISSIONS THUS FAR
AUSTRIA The Wall
BULGARIA Colour of the Chameleon
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Who's the Boss?
FINLAND The Disciple
GERMANY Two Lives
GREECE Boy Eating the Bird's Food
HUNGARY The Notebook
LUXEMBOURG Blind Spot
MONTENEGRO Debut Submission! Bad Destiny
NEPAL Soongava: Dance of the Orchids
THE NETHERLANDS Borgman --Though it's been referred to in some articles here and there as the Dutch Oscar entry, this is not official (yet). Just widely assumed
ROMANIA Child's Pose
SINGAPORE Ilo Ilo
SOUTH KOREA Juvenile Offender
TURKEY The Butterfly's Dream
VENEZUELA Breach in the Silence
May the best films be nominated, no matter what country they're from! Pass it on to your friends who love subtitles!