Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Foreign Film Oscar Race: So Much (International) Drama

But first things first. If German's popular drama When We Leave is nominated and wins, can the actress Sibel Kekilli please -- pretty pretty please -- repeat her barefoot acceptance/sit- in from Germany's Film Awards this past April? That'd be so sweet.

Oscar night thrives on weird surprises and they get so few. Sibel to the rescue. (I'm aware that Actresses don't accept Best Foreign Film Statues but let me dream!) I've only seen her in Head On but found her just riveting to watch onscreen and I've heard only good things about her performance in this particular movie. Will it be a nominee?

[tangent] Helpful hint: If you ever search for pictures of her online, makes sure to have you "safesearch" filters on though. I'm just saying. Is she now, quite literally, the best/most acclaimed actress to have ever started in the most disreputable form of acting? She was once Amber Waves and now she's Julianne Moore if you catch my drift. I'm trying to avoid spelling it out because I woke up this morning with an intense fear of spambot comments. But my point is this: Well done! She's now a two-time German Oscar winner. [/tangent]

Good luck to Sibel this season.

Click on the links below to go to pages with lots of info about the submitted films. And a big round of applause to The Film Experience's faithful international readership who have been helping track this journey each year since long before every movie site regurgitated each announcement in the 24 hour news cycle. Cinema is a global language and you rock.

Algeria to France
  • Algeria. Outside the Law
  • Austria. La Pivellina
  • Azerbaijan. The Precinct
  • Brazil
  • Croatia. The Blacks
  • Estonia. The Temptation of St. Tony
  • Finland. Steam of Life (there's always at least one documentary submitted though none have ever been nominated)
  • France. Of Gods and Men
    ...and let us break here for a moment to enjoy the beauty of silver fox Lambert Wilson, an actor/model/singer who we've always loved to look at whether that was in French movies, Calvin Klein Eternity ads or even during his stint as Evil Eurotrash Baddie in terrible Hollywood movies (Catwoman, The Matrix Revolution, etcetera)

    You're welcome.

    Oh and here he is with one of his Of Gods and Men co-star and his director. He's as kissy as Jeremy Renner is huggy!

We wish Lambert and especially France luck. Even though French cinema is the most frequently nominated, they haven't won the Foreign Language Oscar since Indochine (1992). Isn't that crazy? Major players Argentina, Denmark and The Czech Republic --countries that have won multiple times -- have yet to announce.

Germany to The Netherlands
  • Greece. Dogtooth
  • Hungary. Bibliothèque Pascal
  • Iraq. Son of Babylon
  • Israel. (The Ophir awards are almost here so we'll know soon. They'll send the Best Picture winner which we suspect will be Intimate Grammar)
  • Japan. Confessions by Tetsuya Nakashima.
    ...and let us break here for a moment to watch the unsettling operatic trailer. I can't imagine Oscar voters responding to something this stylized but you never know. And I do respect the countries that just submit what they love most / deem best rather than worrying about Oscar's particular and sometimes disappointingly narrow aesthetic.

    Creepy odd and loud but doesn't it look highly watchable?

  • Mexico - long list announced. We suspect they'll choose Biutiful on account of the Oscar pull of its team (Gonzalez Innaritu + Bardem). That said, countries don't always choose in a Bait-focused way so we can't guarantee it.
  • The Netherlands. Tirza
Frequently nominated players Italy and Israel have yet to announce. Hong Kong is also up in the air. What will they choose?

Norway to Venezuela
  • Peru. Undertow (Contracorriente) my review
  • Poland. All That I Love
  • Romania. If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
  • Russia. The Edge
    ...and let us break here for a moment to ponder how much Vladimir Mashkov looks like a superhero on his movie poster. Actually the movie poster itself suggests a steampunk adventure or maybe a sci-fi superhero movie. What powers does "The Edge" have?

    Actually it's a post World War II drama (as in immediately following the war) about a man who loves speeding locomotives or some such. I can't find an official site though, damnit. Readers outside of Russia, might recognize Vladimir from films like Behind Enemy Lines (2001) or TV series like Alias.

  • Slovakia. The Border
  • South Africa. Life, Above All
  • South Korea. A Barefoot Dream
  • Spain. They've narrowed it down to three films. I suspect it'll be prison drama Celda 211 which was big at the Goyas.
  • Switzerland. La Petite Chambre
  • Sweden. Simple Simon (previously discussed)
  • Taiwan. Monga (previously discussed)
  • Thailand. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
  • Turkey. Honey (Bal)
  • Venezuela. Hermano
As always your input and comments are welcome. Which of these films are you most curious about? Have you seen any of the films. Do you like your countries choice?

Oscar Nomination Prediction Index

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