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« Best Shot Season Finale: The Matrix (1999) | Main | 50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Keanu Reeves Birthday! »
Tuesday
Sep022014

Iceland, Norway, and Foreign Chart Updates

We travel now overseas to two of my all-time favorite places on Earth. I lived in Norway many years ago (and went back for the first time just last summer for my birthday). And Iceland is just about my favorite vacation spot  these days. Well, okay, I've only been there twice but I'm eager for a third. It's so otherworldly beautiful. If you saw Land Ho! this summer (reviewed), that sweet comedy is basically one long commercial for booking a flight to Reykjavik, post-haste.

NORWAY
The land of the midnight sun has chosen three finalists for consideration for Oscar submission and I write this prematurely since they'll name their official pick tomorrow. I'll be travelling to Toronto so you might hear before I do. The race is between these three films: Bent Hamer's 1001 Grams, which premieres in Toronto, a romantic drama about a female scientist who travels to Paris and falls for a Frenchmen; Hisham Zaman's Letter to the King an immigrant drama about five refugees who travel to Oslo; and finally Eskil Vogt's Blind, about a blind woman with a potent imagination and a troubled marriage. I loved this film at Sundance so I hope they pick it. Vogt is the co-screenwriter of Joachim Trier's beautiful and highly acclaimed movies Reprise and Oslo August 31st. This is Vogt's first time in the director's chair and it turns out he's got quite an eye as well as a tongue.

ICELAND
They've narrowed it down to four films: Paris of the North, Life in a Fishbowl (which is playing in Toronto) Metalhead, and Harry & Heimir. My friend A.D. (who you also may know as Dzong2) who cowrites the Oscar charts in this category with me, suspects its between Life in a Fishbowl which is extremely popular at home and Paris of the North (which recently played Karlovy).

I'm betting on Life in a Fishbowl due to its spectacular hometown reviews. When you get blurbs like "The Best Icelandic Film In History" and "The Golden Age of Icelandic Cinema Has Begun" and such, people don't just like you - they're obsessed. 

NEW OFFICIAL SUBMISSIONS:  Sweden has chosen Force Majeure (also known as Turist) which made a good splash at Cannes; Finland has chosen Concrete Night; Estonia is submitting a film called Tangerines; Croatia has chosen Cowboys as its submission, Serbia has chosen See You in Montevideo; Luxembourg went with Never Die Young; Venezuela and The Phillipines are also down to just a few films so they'll announce soon. You can read about them all at the Oscar charts which have been fully updated as of today.

UPDATE 11:18 PM: Venezuela has just finished voting and chose the historical drama "The Liberator" in a tight race with the gay-themed poverty drama about a boy and his mother called "Bad Hair" (of which I am a huge fan)

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Reader Comments (12)

Still means Iceland'll likely come up short. Romania has STILL not made the nomination ballot, and it's been a decade since The Death of Mr. Lazarescu made The Romanian New Wave the toast of film critics.

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

What a tricky, tricky business divining the Foreign Film category is! I really appreciate the effort that goes into it-- there's so little coverage in this area on other sites.

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Sorry to be nitpicking Nathaniel, but in the Portuguese submission, you mention The Mais... It's actually called Os Maias (The Maias), which is the name of the family in the book which the movie was based on.

It's probably between that and Joaquim Pinto's fabulous AIDS documentary "What now? Remind me".

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

It is The Philippines... not Philipines

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjo69e

Norway chose 1001 grams.

http://www.aftenposten.no/kultur/1001-gram-norsk-Oscar-kandidat-7690918.html

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkirenaj

LIBERTADOR stars dreamy Edgar Ramirez, speaking about obsession...

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Just wanted to say-- A.D./Dzong2 is my hero. Love the work he does on this site and his mini-blog.

I'm curious to hear what people think about Leviathan. I keep hearing people mention it as a possibility in the FL contest, but that to me seems woefully ignorant of the selection process. I'd love to be wrong, but I doubt the Russian government would ever allow it to be submitted.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

The Dutch submission has been announced. "Lucia de B."

It's about this murder trial in The Netherlands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucia_de_Berk

September 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRalph

The Finnish film is absolutely gorgeous, but very grim and certainly not Academy friendly. It was at TIFF last year.

September 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Greece also chose its entry. It is "Little England" as expected and it could make it.

http://www.screendaily.com/awards/greece-enters-oscar-race-with-little-england/5077336.article

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterManos

Representing Taiwan: Ice Poison (a small budget art film directed by Myanmar-born Midi Zhao). Runners-up that almost made it are A Time in Quchi and Paradise in Service. Also in discussion were KANO, Anywhere Somewhere Nowhere and Stray Dogs. According to the official statement, the film was "chosen on the strength of its documentary-like approach to depicting the struggles of overseas Chinese in Myanmar and the selflessness of people in extending help to others".

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Portugal chose WHAT NOW? REMEMBER ME from Joaquim Pinto. It got interesting reviews from festivais in US and worlwide. It's a docu-drama featuring the struggles of the director himself while he copes with the most recent AIDS treatment and talks about his life, his career and his disease.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

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