The Oscar Submissions continue to trickle in.
THE NETHERLANDS (7 nominations, 3 wins)
For about a decade from the mid 80s to the mid 90s Dutch-language films were the rage with Oscar voters with 3 nominations which all went on to win the big prize. The country last nomination was for 2003's Twin Sisters but given their track record (at least one nominee a decade since their first) they'll be golden again soon. This year they've selected Maria Peter's Sonny Boy which is a true scandalous story based on a best selling book about a 40 something married woman and her affair with a 19 year old black student. The couple get pregnant. Trivia note: Their child -- "Sonny Boy" being the Al Jolson inspired nickname they gave him -- is supposedly still alive and an octogenarian now!
Oscar does like a true story. And they like epics involving World Wars. Here's the dialogue free teaser and you can decide for yourself how Oscar might respond.
They've never been nominated but there's got to be a first time. Dragan Bjelogrlic's Montevideo God Bless You which seems, from descriptions, to be a nostalgia soaked period piece about 1930s Belgrade just as much as it's a sweeping inspirational story of young men with big (sports) dreams, in this case football (soccer). To be specific their dreams take them to the First World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay.
If IMDb can be trusted on Serbian film industry goings on (they sometimes get foreign film info wrong) they're already filming a sequel which is this movie. Can anyone translate that title for us?
This is quite a bit different than the type of film Serbia usually submits. They've never submitted a film by this director before and the films don't usually skew this young either. The film stars two relative newbies Milos Bikovic (previously on Serbian TV series) and Peter Stager (film debut).
Will Oscar take a longer look this time?
The closest Serbia has come to a nomination was The Trap in 2007 which made the finals but not the shortlist.
AUSTRIA (3 noms, 1 win)
Austria's entry this year also trains its lens on a young man, the 19 year old Roman (Thomas Schubert). Roman, though, doesn't have big dreams but is just trying to build a new life after prison. Guilt haunts him for his teenage crimes. The film is directed by the actor Karl Markovics (most recently seen in the international hit Unknown).
It's worth noting that the movie is already an award winner. Schubert won Best Actor at the Sarajevo Film Festival and who handed him the prize but global icon Angelina Jolie, who was honored herself (and accepted tearfully) at the very same event. So should Breathing (Atmen) be Oscar nominated, Schubert might have another chance to share oxgyen with her. He's already experienced one embodiment of Hollywood glamour, just not the gold plated kind.