Fin de Cinema lists the 48 films shortlisted for the European Film Awards only 6 or so of which line up with the Oscar submissions for foreign language film for 2009. That's partially because the time window is different (Slumdog Millionaire and The Reader are somehow eligible) and also due to different rules. The nifty thing about their lineups -- which can't be replicated at the Oscars -- is the ability to recognize a great year one particular country is having. For instance, this year at the European Film Awards they're considering 4 German films: Everyone Else (pictured left), The White Ribbon (the Cannes winner), Jerichow, and Der Baader Meinhof Complex. The EFAs are sort of like the Oscars if you think of Europe as one country... which more people are probably starting to. Or if you think of the USA as a continent composed of many very different smaller countries ... which more people are probably starting to.
The Critical Condition has been doing this thing called the "best picture expansion project". A lot of blogs were doing similar things -- with Oscar expanding their list, let's pretend they did it long ago -- which is why I never jumped in. But that doesn't mean I don't find them fun to read. These are not 'what if's so much as what 'shoulda been's. This one is on 1989. A year near and dear to my heart on account of La Pfeiffer and her Fabulous Baker Boys.
And I highly suggest you read this chain of posts... Kim Morgan of Sunset Gun is a terrific writer and really loves Roman Polanski's touched woman classic Repulsion which sets off rather angry how-dare-she responses from people including Amanda Marcotte who takes great offense from it. Which sets off this impassioned defense piece by Eric Kuehrsten, whose writing I love and who has actually guest blogged here a couple of times.
This is so much more fun / fascinating / provocative than the typical web hissy fits that have almost zero depth and are usually only interesting in the way they display the thin skin and thick egos of the critics involved.