I've updated the foreign film pages to reflect some of our now known contenders: Iraq (Son of Babylon), The Netherlands (Tirza), Romania (If I Want to Whistle, I'll Whistle) and Taiwan (Monga) have all announced. South Korea has narrowed their list down to six films, though most suspect it'll be Lee Chang-Dong's Poetry in the end. Many countries have yet to announce but there's still time. We generally don't know the full list until sometime in October. And some of the submissions won't have even opened in their home countries yet. (Foreign language submissions have to have been released in their home countries between October 1st, 2009 through Sept 30th, 2010 to compete in this category for the 2010 film year.) UPDATE: if you're looking for the current race (2011) that's here.
So far in the competitive lineups we have two rough sets of twins: two dramas about young male criminals (Taiwan & Romania) and two journey films wherein an older person searches for their adult child with a young child helping them (Iran & The Netherlands). And yes, "Oscar already loves the Iran and Dutch entries sight unseen," he said sarcastically. This AMPAS branch just digs cross generational journeys. A lot. You know they do.
I wrote about the Taiwanese submission Monga very briefly over at Towleroad earlier this year because of some talk show incident wherein they asked the 20something leads, Mark Zhao and Ethan Ruan, to kiss. I can't imagine an American talk show asking Young Hollywood co-stars to kiss. Could you imagine the ruckus if the ladies from The View asked the Twilight boys to lip lock in order to get their trailer shown?
To quote Nomi Malone... "different places!"
Here are the popular boys singing "Tonight Tonight" from Monga (with clips from the movie). It appears to be the theme song though Wikipedia states differently saying that this cover of "Making Love Out of Nothing At All," the Air Supply classic, has that honor. ("!!!" and also "???")
I'll update more Oscar pages tomorrow. In the meantime, if you need more Oscar speculation check out All These Wonderful Things' list of documentary hopefuls.