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91st Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2018 (for the 2019 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes

 discuss on the blog

29 of 87 SUBMISSIONS 
Part 2 Germany through Norway
Last Update October 23rd, 2018

Afghanistan through Georgia Germany through Norway | Pakistan through Yemen |
 

coverage of this Oscar race:
 all the trailers | all the debut directors | all 20 female directors 
previously submitted auteurs | Nathaniel's rankings  | 
12 international hunks | LGBT entries and Trivia | 

Germany
18 noms | 3 wins (submitting since 1956)

NEVER LOOK AWAY
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Trailer 

188 minutes
German

The man behind the Oscar winning The Lives of Others returns with a long  drama about a relationship between two art students that the father of one of them works to destroy.

Not Selected:  3 Days in Quiberon, Balloon, The Captain, In the Aisles, The Invisibles, Mack the Knife, My Brother Simple, The Silent Revolution, Tehran Taboo and Transit (reviewed) were the 10 other finalists.

Greece
5 noms | 0 wins (submitting since 1957)

POLYXENI
 Dora Masklavanou
Trailer

A young Greek woman adopted into a wealthy family is unaware that people are trying to sabotage her inheritance.

Not selected: A couple of possibilities were Pity about a man addicted to sadness and Her Job about an older woman joining the workforce

Hong Kong
2 noms | 0 wins (submitting since 1959)
 

OPERATION RED SEA
Dante Lam
Official Site

142 minutes
Mandarin

Already played US theaters

A Navy marine corps on a hostage rescue operation in this action thriller. Dante Lam was previously submitted for To the Fore (another action thriller). Though a Hong Kong film hasn't been nominated since the early 1990s, they did make the January shortlist recently with Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster (2013) 

Hungary
9 noms | 2 wins (submitting since 1965)
 

SUNSET
Laszlo Nemes

142 minutes
Hungarian 

As expected it's the sophomore feature from laslzo Nemes who won Hungary the Oscar with his debut Son of Saul. This one is a drama about a milliner

Not SelectedGenezis which is three stories with Biblical themes but about actual events in Hungary. 

Iceland
1 nomination

WOMAN AT WAR
Benedict Erlingsson

101 minutes
Icelandic, Ukranian, and English

US Distribution but no date of release yet

Iceland made a great choice with this memorable sophomore effort from previously submitted director of Of Horses and Men. Reviewed right here.

Not Selected: Other Icelandic films this year were And Breathe Normally about two women, one a refugee, forming a bond, addiction drama Let Me Fall from the previously submitted director of Life is a Fishbowl.

 

 

India
3 noms (submitting since 1957)
 

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS
Rima Das
Official Site

87 minutes
Assamese

A drama about a girl in Northeast India who wants to start a rock band.

Not Selected: India's giant film industry has hundreds of options each year though Oscar rarely responds. One movie we had our eye on was the writer biopic Manto.

 

Indonesia
never nominated (submitting since 1987)

MALINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS
Mouly Surya

93 minutes
Indonesian

A drama about a woman haunted by the man she killed when he tried to rob her house.

Not selected: They skipped the imaginative sibling drama The Seen and Unseen which is an incredible movie (sigh)

Iran
3 noms | 2 wins
(submitting since 1977)
 

NO DATE, NO SIGNATURE
Vahid Jalilvand

104 minutes
Persian

A coroner fears he is responsible for a child's death after an autopsy. This is Jalilvand's second feature and both are multiple prize winners from various festivals.

Not Selected: their other finalists were No. 17 Soheila by Mahmoud Ghaffariand, and The Lost Strait by Bahram Tavakkoli.

Iraq
never nominated (submitting since 2005)
 

THE JOURNEY
Mohamed Al-Daradji

82 minutes
Arabic

A woman considering an "unthinkable act" is given a chance to see the potential consequences of her actions.

Israel
10 noms | 0 wins (submitting since 1964)

THE CAKEMAKER
Ofir Raul Graizer
Official Site

113 minutes
Hebrew, German, and English

An LGBT love triangle drama. This is a debut feature from the gay Israeli director.

Already had a US theatrical run

Not Selected:  The other finalists this year were trans high school drama Flawless (also known as The Prom), the coming of age Ethiopian/Israeli war drama Fig Tree  (reviewed), the father son drama Laces, and a teen eating disorder drama Noble Savage

 

 

Italy
28 noms | 11 wins | 3 honoraries (sumitting since 1956)

DOGMAN
Matteo Garrone
Official Site

102 minutes
Italian

Won Best Actor AND the Palm Dog at Cannes. It's about a gentle dog groomer who ends up terrorized by a former boxer.

2019 release from Magnolia

Not Selected: Italy released a list of finalists. The other 20 they were considering were: Bloody Richard, Boys Cry, Caina, L'esodo, If Figlio Sospeso, The Girl in the Fog, Happy as Lazzaro, Imperfect Age, Just Like My Son, Like a Cat on a Highway, Little Tito and the Aliens, Manuel, Napoli Velata, Nome di Donna, On my Skin, The Place, Quanto Basta, Una Storia Senza Nome, There's No Place Like Home, and Where I've Never Lived.

Japan
12 noms | 1 win | 3 honoraries
(submitting since 1956)

SHOPLIFTERS
Hirokazu Koreeda

Japanese
121 minutes

Opens November 23rd in the US from Magnolia Pictures

After its Palme d'Or win it was a natural for Japan to submit though they often make strange choices. This time they stuck with the critical darling about a makeshift family of thieves living on the margins of society who take in a young abused girl whose parents dont even go looking for her.

Kazakhstan
1 nom | 0 wins
(submitting since 1992)

AYKA
Sergei Dvortsevoy

100 minutes
Kazakh

This film won the Cannes Best Actress award. This is only the director's second narrative feature. His first, Tulpan, was submitted in 2008.

Kenya
never nominated (submitting since 2012)

SUPA MODO
Likarion Wainaina
Trailer

74 minutes
Swahili

A village rallies to help a young terminally ill girl feel like the superhero she dreams of being. A debut feature.

Not Selected: Though the director of the banned lesbian film Rafiki (Reviewed) was able to pressure the government into allowing it to screen to make it eligible, Kenya went with another film anyway.

Kosovo
never nominated (submitting since 2014)

THE MARRIAGE
Blerta Zeqiri

97 minutes
Albanian

Romantic drama and gay love triangle (with political content given the Balkans history). A woman is unaware that her fiance is in love with his best friend. It's the first Kosovan film to feature a gay sex scene. The director has previously won a short film jury prize at Sundance.

 

Latvia
never nominated
(submitting since 1992)

TO BE CONTINUED
Ivars Seleckis
OFFICIAL SITE

95 minutes
Latvian and Russian

A documentary following five children over two years time as they start school. The director is 83 and still working and has received lifetime achievement awards. 

Lebanon
1 nomination
(submitting since 1978)

CAPERNAUM
Nadine Labaki
CLIP

120 minutes
Arabic

Opens December 14th in US theaters

Nadine Labaki's Cannes  sensation at Cannes, is about a child suing his parents. This is her third film submitted by Lebanon after arthouse hits Caramel and Where Do We Go Now?

Lithuania
never nominated (submitting since 2006)

WONDERFUL LOSERS: A DIFFERENT WORLD
Arünas Matelis

Italian, English, Dutch
71 minutes

A documentary about the cyclists on professional teams that make up the back of the pack, and have no right to personal victory.

Luxembourg
never nominated (submitting since 1997)

GUTLAND
Govinda van Maele
Official Site

107 minutes
Luxembourgish, German, and English

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime

A noir about a German thief discovering a small Luxembourg village has secrets of its own. Starring Vicky Kreips (The Phantom Thread) and Frederic Lau (Victoria). 

Macedonia
1 nomination
(submitting since 1994)

SECRET INGREDIENT
Gjorce Stavreski
Official Site

104 minutes
Macedonian

A dramedy about a man who gives his father a cake made with stolen marijuana to relieve his pain. Soon drug dealers and neighbors are after him.

 

Malawi
first submission!

THE ROAD TO SUNRISE
Shemu Joyah

145 minutes
language?

The first ever submission from Malawi is a lesbian drama about two prostitutes seeking refuge in each other.

Mexico
8 nominations
(submitting since 1957)

ROMA
Alfonso Cuarón

135 minutes
Spanish and Mixtec

Opens December 14th in US Theaters. 

Alfonso Cuaron's gorgeous memoirish drama watches a maid and the family she works for throughout a tumultous year (1970) in Mexico City. Reviewed right here.

Not Selected: Mexico's finalists were El Angel en el RelojEl BuquinistaEl Club de los InsomnesDevil's FreedomEternal Feminine , Everything ElseGaze of the SeaLas TinieblasMuseoTigers Are Not AfraidTime Share and El Vigilante .

Montenegro
never nominated
(submitting since 2013)

ISKRA
Gojko Berkuljan

81 minutes
Serbian

A retired detective's daughter goes missing. Berkuljan said he wanted to make a thriller because it's a genre often neglected in cinema at home.

Morocco
never nominated (submitting since 1977)

BURNOUT
Nour Eddine Lakhmari

112 minutes
Arabic and French

An ensemble drama about the lives and socioeconomic status of characters in Casablanca

Nepal
1 nom | 0 wins
(submitting since 1999)

PANCHAYAT
Shivam Adhikari

138 minutes
Nepalese

Panchayat refers to an old style of local political systems in South Asian countries in which five elders would settle disputes between individuals and villages. 

Not Selected: The only other Nepalese movie we were aware of this year was  Sunkesari which is a horror drama set in an ancient hotel.

 

The Netherlands
7 noms | 3 wins
(submitting since 1959)

THE RESISTANCE BANKER
Joram Lursen
Official Site

123 minutes
Dutch

Available to Stream now on Netflix

World War II drama about a banker and his brother who work a banking fraud right under Nazi noses in occupied Netherlands, to fund the resistance. 

Not Selected: The other 8 finalists were Brothers, Catacombe, Cobain, Craving, Messi & Maud, Life is Wonderful, Rafael, and Redbad

New Zealand
never nominated
(submitting since 2011)

YELLOW IS FORBIDDEN
Pietra Brettkelly
Official Site

97 minutes
Chinese

A documentary about the designer Guo Pei who is striving to become part of the world of Haute Couture and gets a big break when Rihanna wears her dress to the Met Gala

Niger
first submission!


THE WEDDING RING
Rahmatou Keïta
Official Site

REVIEWED

96 minutes
language

A playful charming movie about Western resistance and influence when a girl educated in the West pines for her college boyfriend when she goes back home to Niger. Gorgeous costumes!

Norway
5 nominations
(submitting since 1957)

WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY
Iram Haq

106 minutes
Norwegian and Urdu

Already played US theaters

A Pakistani Norwegian teenager is kidnapped nd taken to Pakistan (where she has never been) and must learn to adapt to her parent's culture. (Weird trivia note: this was a  finalist LAST  year for Norway so we thought it was ineligible but apparently it's Norwegian released was pushed back for the new eligibility window.)

Not Selected: Surprisingly they passed on Erik Poppe's terrorism drama U-July 22 given its buzz and Poppe's history.

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AFGHANISTAN through GEORGIA

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PAKISTAN through YEMEN

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PREDICTION / STATS PAGE