Oscar History

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Entries in foreign films (429)


Top 5 Films Without Repeating a Language or Country

by Sebastian Nebel

Name your Top 5 films without repeating a language or country of origin.

That was the challenge I posed on Twitter last month. It's tricky enough to limit your favorites to a specific number, and I was interested in seeing what kind of responses this added degree of difficulty would garner.

Turns out Twitter loves making lists! I got a ton of replies – way too many to collect all of them here, unfortunately. But I've rounded up a handful of them after the jump including lists by The Film Experience contributors, film critics and film makers...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo)
2001: A Space Odyssey
Police Story (警察故事)
Santa Sangre (Holy Blood)

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YNMS: A Fantastic Woman

by Ilich Mejía

Since screening at Berlinale earlier this year, and now at TIFF and Telluride, A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica in Spanish) has been generating very positive talk. It is Sebastián Lelio's follow up to 2013's wonderful and under-appreciated Gloria. The film stars trans actress Daniela Vega as a waitress mourning her lover in what looks like will be another queer classic from this year. 

Let that stunner of a trailer sink in after the jump and let's discuss the Yes No and Maybe So of it all... 

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TIFF: Foreign Oscar Hopefuls from Hungary & Belgium

by Nathaniel R

On day one of TIFF two official Oscar foreign film submissions, one emphatically weird but kind of irresistible and the other mainstream but lush and erotically charged.

what's that panda doing in her bed?

On Body and Soul (Hungary)
Written and directed by Ildikó Enyedi 

Ildikó Enyedi first came to niche fame in 1989 winning the Camera d'Or at Cannes for My Twentieth Century the story of identical twins separated as children who both board the Orient Express as much different adults unaware of the other. The film had a succesful arthouse run in the US and was submitted but not nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. 28 years later Enyedi is winning prizes again for another film that concerns doubling...

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OTD: Yul Marries, Macy Screams, Fellini Premieres

on this day in showbiz-related history...

1944 Yul Brynner marries his first wife, actress Virginia Gilmore, in Los Angeles. They're both in their mid 20s. She's already made 15 movies but he's just starting out with two Broadway shows under his belt. Their marriage will last 16 years and they will have one child together. Rock Brynner (their son) will go on to write a book about his dad and their family history.

1954 Federico Fellini's La Strada premieres at the Venice Film Festival and goes on to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Fellini will go on to completely own that category, winning thrice more with The Nights of Cabiria (1957), 8½ (1963), and Amarcord (1974)

Macy Gray, The King's Speech, and more after the jump...

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Foreign Film Oscar Hopefuls with Matthias Schoenaerts & Diane Kruger

We have 10 official submissions for the foreign language race thus far. With the October 2nd deadline looming, expect more news regularly. As a quick reminder or 101 guide for newbies, to qualify for Oscar Foreign Race you have to a) open in your home country theatrically between October 1st of the previous year and September 30th of the Oscar submission year b) be chosen as the submission by your country (only one per country no matter how many films your country makes) and c) be in a non-English language for at least 50% of the dialogue and d) and this is where it often gets tricky... be primarily, on a creative level, from your submitting country. That is to say your cast or crew or at least your director needs to be from the country that's submitting you.

Official Submissions Thus Far

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New Oscar Chart ~ Foreign Hopefuls including Spain

Last month we shared speculation about what countries Argentina, Chile, Denmark, and The Czech Republic among others might submit to the Oscars this years. And we'll soon have more charts up. Spain narrowed down their finalists to three which is worth noting. The most successful countries in terms of Oscar in the later portions of the alphabet are Spain (19 nominations and 4 wins), Sweden (14 nominations and 3 wins) and Poland (10 nominations and 1 win). If you include the former Soviet Union stats with Russia's stats since 1992, they're approximately tied with Sweden.

Maribel Verdú in "Abracadabra" which is a finalist for Spain

Spain is currently in their longest dry spell of all time in this Oscar category (their last nominee The Sea Inside, which won, was 13 whole years ago). They will select their submission on September 7th but they've narrowed down their choice to the following three pictures: 

  • 1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines [This film is available to stream on Netflix]
    Luis Tosar and Javier Guteirrez star in Salvador Calvo's war epic about soldiers who held a town square under seige for almost a year in the Philippines even after Spain had surrended and The Philippines had become a free country.
  • Summer 1993 This is the first narrative feature from director Carla Simón who has previously made shorts and documentaries. It's in the Catalan language and about a six-year-old girl trying to adapt to a new life with her uncle after her mother's death. Simón won two prizes at Berlinale for this debut.
  • Abracadabra - My favorite Spanish submission of the past ten years was the great Snow White themed black and white silent Blancanieves.  The director (Pablo Berger) and star (Maribel Verdú) of that memorable entry (which inexplicably didn't make the finals) reunite for a colorful film which the director describes as a "paella of genres" but is at least partially a comedy about a woman who thinks her husband is possessed. Antonio de la Torre (Volver, The Last Circus) co-stars

I couldn't tell you which they'll choose as there's a definite pro for each, statistically. Consider: War films are often submitted to Oscar. Childhood-focused dramas are often beloved in this category. Countries generally like to return to directors they've submitted before. 

The foreign submission charts will be updated this weekend.


"I only need one of you to help me"

...please decide between yourselves."


More TIFF Lineups: Midnight Madness and Platform

Another day another festival announcement. TIFF keeps adding to the festival. Even though they've reduced the number of films this year it's still SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM IN EACH SECTION. Herewith the Midnight Madness and Platform choices. Let us know which ones you're most curious about!

Gael García Bernal in the French film "If You Saw His Heart"

This section of 12 films, which tends to focus on directors in early stages of their careers, is actually juried (though TIFF isn't known for awards really outside of "People's Choice" which tends to have a strong correlation to eventual Best Picture nominations at the Oscars).

“Platform is the place to look for the distinct stamp of today's most interesting directors as they establish their reputations.
- -Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director

The three-person jjury for 2017's Platform are directors Chen Kaige (China), Malgorzata Szumowska (Poland) and Wim Wenders (Germany)

Beast (UK) A troubled woman becomes involved with a suspected killer in this debut from Michael Pearce [WORLD PREMIERE]
Brad's Status (US) Screenwriter Mike White returns to the director's chair for this story about a man (Ben Stiller) comparing himself unfavorably to friends while touring colleges with his teenage son [WORLD PREMIERE]...

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