Foreign language films submitted for Oscars
Thursday 30 September 2010
More than 50 countries have announced their official submissions to the 83rd annual Academy Awards for consideration in the Oscar's Foreign Language category. This Friday, October 1 is the deadline for selections. Approximately another ten countries, including Italy, Spain and Argentina, will submit a selection by October 1.
To compete in this Academy Awards category, countries must choose only a single title for consideration. A special foreign-language committee will screen and vote on the shortlist of nine films to be announced in January, prior to selection of the five final nominees.
Contenders include films from Afghanistan's The Black Tulip by director Soia Nassery Cole to Venezuela's Hermano by Marcel Rasquin, winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.
According to Hollywood insider blog The Wrap, this category is difficult to predict, but the current candidates that appear to be favored based on film festival reception and positive reviews include Mexico's upcoming release of Biutiful starring Javier Bardem, as well as the selections from Algeria, Canada, Denmark and France.
Here are descriptions for some contenders including links to websites and trailers:
Algeria: 'Outside the Law,' Director: Rachid Bouchareb
This controversial entry from Cannes and Toronto film festivals looks at the Algerian struggle for independence through three brothers. Jonathan Romney in The Independent UK said: "A tense, energetic historical drama on a grand scale - somewhere between Bertolucci and Michael Mann." http://www.tadrart.com/tessalit/horslaloi/outsidethelaw.html
Canada: 'Incendies,' Director: Denis Villeneuve
This popular drama from the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film fests follows siblings as they journey to the Middle East in search of their father and brother who they never knew about.
Denmark: 'In a Better World,' Director: Susanne Bier
A look at two Danish families brought together by the friendship between two 10-year-old boys and an act of violence in defense of one of the boys. Bier had a previous Oscar nominee After the Wedding. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Diik286Njdg
France: 'Of Gods and Men,' Director: Xavier Beauvois
Winner of the 2010 Cannes Grand Prix award (runner-up to the Palme d'Or), the story, based on a real incident, involves a group of French Christian monks whose lifestyle is threatened by violent Islamic fundamentalists.
Mexico: 'Biutiful,' Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
This haunting drama is the most high-profile submission, and considered to have the strongest chance for a Best Picture nomination. With a remarkable performance from Javier Bardem as a man struggling to raise two children in the slums of Barcelona. Compared to Vittorio DeSica's The Bicycle Thief. http://www.biutifulofficial.com/
The entire roundup of worthy hopefuls is listed on IndieWire.com: http://www.indiewire.com/article/updated_list_of_foreign_language_academy_submissions/
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