Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Foreign Film Oscar Race: So Much (International) Drama

But first things first. If German's popular drama When We Leave is nominated and wins, can the actress Sibel Kekilli please -- pretty pretty please -- repeat her barefoot acceptance/sit- in from Germany's Film Awards this past April? That'd be so sweet.

Oscar night thrives on weird surprises and they get so few. Sibel to the rescue. (I'm aware that Actresses don't accept Best Foreign Film Statues but let me dream!) I've only seen her in Head On but found her just riveting to watch onscreen and I've heard only good things about her performance in this particular movie. Will it be a nominee?

[tangent] Helpful hint: If you ever search for pictures of her online, makes sure to have you "safesearch" filters on though. I'm just saying. Is she now, quite literally, the best/most acclaimed actress to have ever started in the most disreputable form of acting? She was once Amber Waves and now she's Julianne Moore if you catch my drift. I'm trying to avoid spelling it out because I woke up this morning with an intense fear of spambot comments. But my point is this: Well done! She's now a two-time German Oscar winner. [/tangent]

Good luck to Sibel this season.

Click on the links below to go to pages with lots of info about the submitted films. And a big round of applause to The Film Experience's faithful international readership who have been helping track this journey each year since long before every movie site regurgitated each announcement in the 24 hour news cycle. Cinema is a global language and you rock.

Algeria to France
  • Algeria. Outside the Law
  • Austria. La Pivellina
  • Azerbaijan. The Precinct
  • Brazil
  • Croatia. The Blacks
  • Estonia. The Temptation of St. Tony
  • Finland. Steam of Life (there's always at least one documentary submitted though none have ever been nominated)
  • France. Of Gods and Men
    ...and let us break here for a moment to enjoy the beauty of silver fox Lambert Wilson, an actor/model/singer who we've always loved to look at whether that was in French movies, Calvin Klein Eternity ads or even during his stint as Evil Eurotrash Baddie in terrible Hollywood movies (Catwoman, The Matrix Revolution, etcetera)

    You're welcome.

    Oh and here he is with one of his Of Gods and Men co-star and his director. He's as kissy as Jeremy Renner is huggy!

We wish Lambert and especially France luck. Even though French cinema is the most frequently nominated, they haven't won the Foreign Language Oscar since Indochine (1992). Isn't that crazy? Major players Argentina, Denmark and The Czech Republic --countries that have won multiple times -- have yet to announce.

Germany to The Netherlands
  • Greece. Dogtooth
  • Hungary. Bibliothèque Pascal
  • Iraq. Son of Babylon
  • Israel. (The Ophir awards are almost here so we'll know soon. They'll send the Best Picture winner which we suspect will be Intimate Grammar)
  • Japan. Confessions by Tetsuya Nakashima.
    ...and let us break here for a moment to watch the unsettling operatic trailer. I can't imagine Oscar voters responding to something this stylized but you never know. And I do respect the countries that just submit what they love most / deem best rather than worrying about Oscar's particular and sometimes disappointingly narrow aesthetic.

    Creepy odd and loud but doesn't it look highly watchable?

  • Mexico - long list announced. We suspect they'll choose Biutiful on account of the Oscar pull of its team (Gonzalez Innaritu + Bardem). That said, countries don't always choose in a Bait-focused way so we can't guarantee it.
  • The Netherlands. Tirza
Frequently nominated players Italy and Israel have yet to announce. Hong Kong is also up in the air. What will they choose?

Norway to Venezuela
  • Peru. Undertow (Contracorriente) my review
  • Poland. All That I Love
  • Romania. If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
  • Russia. The Edge
    ...and let us break here for a moment to ponder how much Vladimir Mashkov looks like a superhero on his movie poster. Actually the movie poster itself suggests a steampunk adventure or maybe a sci-fi superhero movie. What powers does "The Edge" have?

    Actually it's a post World War II drama (as in immediately following the war) about a man who loves speeding locomotives or some such. I can't find an official site though, damnit. Readers outside of Russia, might recognize Vladimir from films like Behind Enemy Lines (2001) or TV series like Alias.

  • Slovakia. The Border
  • South Africa. Life, Above All
  • South Korea. A Barefoot Dream
  • Spain. They've narrowed it down to three films. I suspect it'll be prison drama Celda 211 which was big at the Goyas.
  • Switzerland. La Petite Chambre
  • Sweden. Simple Simon (previously discussed)
  • Taiwan. Monga (previously discussed)
  • Thailand. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
  • Turkey. Honey (Bal)
  • Venezuela. Hermano
As always your input and comments are welcome. Which of these films are you most curious about? Have you seen any of the films. Do you like your countries choice?

Oscar Nomination Prediction Index


Robert said...

I'm pretty sure I've said this before but still: I love Sibel!! (my best actress of that year for Head-On)

OtherRobert said...

I want to see Confessions. It looks like a cross between Sion Sono and Kinji Fukasaku, and I mean that in the best way possible. Very stylized, offbeat, and freaky.

Agustin said...

Argentina's film is going to be chosen tomorrow. They probably will go with Carancho, yet another film starred by Ricardo Darin... Maybe El Hombre de al Lado (The Man Next Door) which was at this years Sundance.

Ryan T. said...

Thanks for sharing the trailer for Confessions. That looks pretty great and will definitely check it out whenever I can...

Robert said...

Very, very, interesting. I'm just curious to see what Portugal selects...maybe this will finally be their year!

No Bad Movies said...

Tsar was a pretty good flick chronicling the life of Ivan The Terrible ( Russia )

dfwforeignbuff said...

Nathan and Fans: I have updated my page keeping track of these films also

Canada Drugs said...

The trailer for Confessions is best i have seen so far. The music fits perfectly!

Glenn Dunks said...

I'm not sure if anyone has told you, but Australia won't have a contender this year. None were released with a foreign language. It's a shame Samson couldn't be this year since looking at that roster and... yikes. Are there ANY big name titles this year? Italy should submit I Am Love to at least give this long list a name people know.


Glenn -- well, if Mexico submits Biutiful there's a "name" title for you but after winning the Palme D'Or doesn't Uncle Boonmee apply?

Andrew R. said...

YAY for Greece submitting Dogtooth and Thailand submitting Uncle Bounmee. (Maybe they decided that since Uncle Bounmee won the Palm d'Or, it WAS mainstream.)

NAY for France not submitting Micmacs. (Of Gods and Men had better be good!)

(I've only seen two-well, five if you count Fish Tank, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Girl Who Played With Fire-foreign films? That's not good!)

cal roth said...

Will Chad submit A Screaming Man? Any info?

aaron said...

I really want to see Intimate Grammar, i have read good things about it. I hope it gets nominated!

Guy Lodge said...

Nathaniel: Waltz With Bashir was kind of a documentary, was it not? So we can't say none have been nominated...

Andrew R: I hope you're not counting Fish Tank as a foreign-language film. Essex-girl English takes some getting used to, but I assure you it's still English!


Guy --- hmmm. i'm not sure i'd count that but i suppose some people would. I guess i view it more as a autobio-pic and war drama.

Guy Lodge said...

Nathaniel: I agree, but that's how it was formally classified in many circles -- after all, it won both the DGA and WGA documentary categories. Either way, it stands as a pretty unique nominee in Academy history.

Bill_the_Bear said...

It's not official yet, but it's looking more and more like Canada will submit "Incendies."

I saw it on Friday, and it's VERY powerful. If it's submitted, I can easily see it being nominated.

Glenn said...

Waltz with Bashir was as much a documentary as Mulholland Drive. That definition always struck me as a crock of shit.

Nathanniel, yeah but Uncle Boonmee isn't getting nominated (although it'd be nice if it was purely for Apichapong and Thailand) and... well, I haven't seen it, but Biutiful looks as interesting as nailgun to the balls.

gabrieloak said...

I am hoping Denmark submits In a Better World directed by Susanne Bier. I saw it in Toronto and it was outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Confessions is one of the best movies I've seen this year so far. I'd never imagine to sell that movie with Paganini, but it works.

Michael W. said...

The committe here in Denmark will make their choice on Thursday.

They have already announced that it will be either Thomas Vinterberg's "Submarino", the tough prison movie "R", the feature film debut from directors Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm, or Susanne Bier's "In a Better World", that has received some great reviews in Toronto and was very well received in Denmark too.

I expect it to be Bier's, but wouldn't count out R as a risky choice.

Burning Reels said...

Appreciate the overview and agreed, Kekelli rocks!

Andrew R. said...

@Guy-Hahaha. You're correct, actually, but I also consider An Education to be a foreign film. Just not a foreign language film.

Meaning, An Education was the best foreign film of last year IMO, but not the best foreign language film (White Ribbon). Since I follow Academy rules in my awards (albeit loosely) I gave Foreign Film to White Ribbon.

P. Sherman said...

Confessions looks so cool. DO WANT. Fantastic trailer too.

Carl Joseph Papa said...

philippine's entry is "Noy"

Agustin said...

Don't know where i got that they would announce Argentina's submission this week! They decide on October 1st

flash design said...

I'm just curious to see what Portugal chooses ... Maybe this will finally be their year!

seo consultant said...

Are there ANY big name titles this year? Italy should submit I Am Love to at least give this long list a name people know.