2017 Oscars nominations shortlist: Paul Verhoeven’s Elle snubbed for Best Foreign Language Film

One of the best and most talked about films of the year

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a shortlist of nine pictures competing for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Oscars, and there are some surprising omissions.

Chiefly, Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert, has not made the cut, despite being one of the best and most talked about films of the year.

A complex and twisting drama about a stoic businesswoman’s life immediately after she is raped, it recently came third in a poll of 163 critics on their favourite films of 2016.

Huppert landed Best Actress at the New York and Los Angeles film critics group and Gotham Awards, and both she and the film have Golden Globe nominations.

With an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Elle was described by one reviewer as “the most empowering rape movie ever made”.

Renowned filmmaker Pedro Almodovar also missed out on the shortlist for his latest, Julieta.

The shortlist was chosen by a host of Academy members, and will be whittled down to five nominees by an Academy committee in January.

The nine films on the Best Foreign Language Film shortlist, by their country of origin:

Australia, “Tanna,” Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, directors

Canada, “It’s Only the End of the World,” Xavier Dolan, director

Denmark, “Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet, director

Germany, “Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade, director

Iran, “The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi, director

Norway, “The King’s Choice,” Erik Poppe, director

Russia, “Paradise,” Andrei Konchalovsky, director

Sweden, “A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm, director

Switzerland, “My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras, directo

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