Sunday, September 24, 2006

Oscar's Foreign Film: BIG UPDATE

*NEW UPDATED POST HERE*

With 25 countries making it official, we have approximately half our list for Oscar consideration (it's usually around 50 competitors that end up screening for AMPAS voters, trying to nab one of those highly coveted spots on a shortlist of 5)

Algeria to Finland -12 submissions so far
France to the Netherlands -8 submissions so far
Philippines to Venezuela -5 submissions so far



Among the first half of the submissions, I'd watch out for these in particular:

Germany -The Lives of Others Qualitatively speaking, it's said to be a threat for the win. Entertainment Weekly calls it "utterly riveting".
Denmark -After the Wedding (trailer). Susanne Bier's dramas might be a bit tough for Oscar but they also jerk tears, which sometimes translates to votes.
Canada -Water. Already a hit here in the US --usually a good sign. If you want to get a jumpstart on this category, this film is now available on DVD.
South Korea - The King and the Clown. A festival hit about a gay love triangle in the Chosun Dynasty. If it can be an enormous controversial success in its conservative home country, it could conceivably win over Oscar's often timid voting body, too.
Switzerland - Vitus. Familiar faces can be comforting to voters and the enduring, internationally employed Bruno Ganz (The Downfall) leads this cast as a grandfather with high piano-prodigy hopes for his grandson. This category has a history of really enjoying 'senior citizen goes on emotional journey with young child' dramas (See also: Kolya, Central Station, etc...)

33 comments:

JavierAG said...

Very interesting submissions all around. Belgium's seems very interesting, and there are some oddball choices as usual (which sadly probably won't be nominated).

I hope Spain doesn't submit "Volver" - for the sake of its BP run, I mean. (Even though it might just be the best Spanish film of the decade).

Carlinhos Brown said...

I keep saying the strongest are "Volver" and "Indigenes", if "Volver" is chosen it is great enough to take the award, very diserving. However, if they go with Salvador or Alatriste(this movie SUCKS!), I think "Pans Labyrinth" will become the front-runner...

douglas said...

I've seen the blosomming of maximo oliveros already and also the king and the clown and i think both films were good...

Gerry said...

"Water" is an odd submission for Canada, being neither in French nor any Native Canadian language.
Though with the new rules, this may not matter. It WAS a major hit.

"The Lives of Others" was a huge hit at TIFF; should "Volver" fail to be submitted, I'd call it the favourite for the win.

I did not like "Black Book" but it does play rather Osarish and it Verhoeven's first Dutch-language movie in over 20 years.

J.J. said...

Lives of Others was also a hit at Telluride. One of the talks of the town. Very long, though.

etslee said...

Does Hsiao-Hsien Hou's "Three Times" qualify this year? And what exactly are the new rules?

Kamikaze Camel said...

How interesting that Water was submitted by Canada. But, yes, the film has been a big hit around the world.

I just really hope Ten Canoes can make it. I know barely anyone around here has seen it, but it's really bloody good.

BTW Nat, the actual poster for Ten Canoes can be found here:

http://www.antarvictoria.org.au/images/187.jpg

It's really quite a great poster when you consider the man on the poster (and the star of the movie) is Jamie Gulpilil, essentially recreating the Walkabout poster that featured his father 35 years ago, just in a different setting.

NATHANIEL R said...

etslee the only new rule I'm aware of is the relaxing of the language rules. Now, it doesn't matter what language the film is in just that it's not in English (it used to have to be indigenous to your country --which caused problems for immigration dramas and other multicultural productions.)

Emma said...

Volver aside, my favourite foreign films this year have been The Cave of the Yellow Dog (cute, arty, beautiful) and District 13 (SO thrilling from start to finish.)

NATHANIEL R said...

cave of the yellow dog was a submission last year. Oscar passed. they have so many entries each year. it's a tough job getting to their finish line.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, last year there was Hidden deemed ineligable as well as an... Italian film? I can't really remember.

Now you can be speaking any language.

I'm assuming this still means that the United States aren't allowed to submit films. Cause that'd be really unfair.

Emma said...

Odd. I guess then that District 13 (which, according to IMDb is an 04 release) realy has no chance in Hell.

Ah well. Go Volver!

Mona said...

I got a chance to see "The Lives of Others" in Toronto. It's not *that* long (2.5 hours) and it's so, so very good, its length was immaterial.

Carlinhos Brown said...

according to some guys at OW, Spain chose the terrible "ALATRISTE", it sucks big time....

I know it's not official yet, but for some reason all people trust him...he did announced the 3 finalists before they were announced...

crazycris said...

I haven't seen any confirmation on SPain's choice... in theory the Spanish Academy votes Thur Sept. 28.

I hope Volver doesn't get nominated because I would like to see it make a run for BP...

Carlinhos Brown said...

okay, IT'S OFFICIAL>>>>>

Mexico's entry is PAN'S LABYRINTH!!!

Kamikaze Camel said...

Doesn't Pan's Labyrinth reek of House of Flying Daggers to anyone else? I'm sure it's great (as Daggers was) with great techs and it has a higher profile than most, but...

...they don't really go fantasy. It'd be interesting to see it get up, but it's nowhere near a homerun for a nomination just because it looks pretty and has a high profile.

Anonymous said...

Pan's Labyrinth doesn't just look pretty, it was the best film I saw at the 2006 TIFF. A masterful film about Franco's brutal regime in Spain seen through the eyes of young girl who transforms the horrors into a faery tale.

Peo | Bio.nu said...

Swedens Oscar entry was announced today. It's a drama called Farval Falkenberg (Falkenberg Farewell) by Jesper Ganslandt. It's been shown recently at the film festivals in Venice and Toronto.

Carlos said...

It's official. The spanish film academy has been wise this time and has announced this morning that the chosen film is "Volver".. it looks like we have a front runner.

Anonymous said...

I am with Carlos. VOLVER is the only choice. i think is the frontrunner and i hope Volver gets other nominations in the main categories

Anonymous said...

Something about "Pao's story" submitted by Vietnam. It's a film by Ngo Quang Hai, not by Bui Thac Chuyen. Running time: 97 min. You can check details from this review:

"Helmer-scripter Ngo Quang Hai's debut feature, "Pao's Story, is a contemplative but overlong coming-of-age tale set among the Hmong people, an ethnic minority indigenous to the mountains of North Vietnam. Based on true events and told through the eyes of the serenely beautiful Do Thi Hai Yen (star of "The Quiet American" and Ngo's wife), pic's convoluted plot about heroine's two mothers is not exactly a thrill ride, but magnificent scenery, colorful costumes and authentically exotic players make for a restful ethnographic jaunt. Pic and actress snagged Golden Kite awards -- the Vietnamese equivalent of an Oscar -- at home, but failed to score at the box office.

Pao's ethnicity does not play a dramatic part in her story. Instead, hers is a universal story about letting go of resentments based on childhood memories, as multiple revelations alter her perception of the past. But ultimately, even these lessons of maturity serve as a pretext to experience the widescreen vistas and graceful rhythms of a timeless rural existence, shepherded by an especially beautiful woman in a fetching folkloric getup."(By RONNIE SCHEIB - Variety)

NATHANIEL R said...

FYI

since I'm out of town I'm not able to update the pages but the complete list will be in sometime shortly after October 2nd and updated completely at the site the weekend of October 6th.

Anonymous said...

My favo among the foreign Films is Black Book. Stunning and great leading actress Carice van Houten. Sings well too. Some caracters and telling in the movie are based on reality out of WWII... My suggestion is go see it.

hugo said...

Hello! I've got a last-minute-news on Argentina's submission. Finally, "Derecho de familia" (a bitter-sweet comedy about a young lawyer dealing with the experience of becoming "dad": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0474622) was the selected one to competition for an oscar nomination.
http://www.clarin.com/diario/2006/09/29/um/m-01280975.htm

Good site!

nixon said...

The fight will be between Rang De Basanti ( India ) vs Water ( Canada ).

Rang de Basanti is to be a hit with golden globe awards, and the oscar guys will follow the similar pattern.

Whereas, Water is one among biggest foreign hits in USA. The reviews are outstanding.

Danzumees said...

Russia's entry this year is The 9th company. A really good war film, quite realistic and was quite controversial in Russia.

Darbicus said...

China has selected Zhang Yimou's "Curse of the Golden Flower."

Hong Kong has selected Feng Xiaogang's "The Banquet."

Italy has selected Emanuele Crialese's Nuovomondo (AKA "Golden Door")

China and Hong Kong entries: http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/20061002/115981764000.html

Italy entry:
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/20061002/115981758000.html

Bruno said...

Some other submissions I've uncovered that haven't been mentioned here:

Bulgaria - Monkeys in Water
Croatia - Libertas
Czech Republic - Lunacy (Jan Svankmejer's latest...he's brilliant, but it won't get a nomination)
Iran - Border Cafe
Iraq - Half Moon
Israel - Sweet Mud (chosen over Aviva My Love)
Macedonia - Contact
Norway - Reprise
Portugal - Alice
Serbia - Tomorrow Morning
Thailand - Invisible Waves

Anonymous said...

Pay attention to Italian film "Nuovomondo", I think It will included in the 5 nominations. It's a perfect story for the Academy: a tale of emigration from Sicily to USA in the early 1900. And we have no to forget that the film is spoken in Italian and English and in it there's the last performance of Vincent Schiavelli. Nuovomondo is going to the Oscar.

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Anonymous said...

Saw Blackbook recently, its quite a great movie, altough the characters are more two dimensional, but the story is great and convincing. I think this lead actress is far far more talented than Sharon Stone...but yeah Sharon's got other qualities