EXCLUSIVE: To vote in the Best Foreign Language film competition Academy members must prove they have seen all five nominees. That makes the voting pool deciding this category much smaller than nearly every other one. Although Amour, also nominated for Best Picture is a heavy betting favorite, this is a category where surprises often happen. So don’t count out Norway’s entry Kon-Tiki, an early favorite among members of the Academy’s foreign language committee when it first screened on October 13th, only the second day of competition for the record 71 entries seen this year over the course of two months. The impression it made lasted and Kon-Tiki became one of this year’s five nominees and a crowd favorite. The film, which recounts the 1947 4300 nautical mile journey Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl took across the Pacific Ocean on a balsawood raft, has become a huge hit in its native country and has been picked up by The Weinstein Company for domestic release on April 19. Directors are Joaquim Roenning and Espen Sandberg (Max Manus) and its producers are Aage Aaberge and Oscar winner Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor). Should it win, it would not be the first Kon-Tiki movie to nab an Oscar. Heyerdahl’s own 1951 documentary feature of his journey actually won an Academy Award for that year, marking the first – and only – Oscar winning film in Norway’s history. Could Kon-Tiki be a good luck charm again for the country when the Best Foreign Language Film envelope is opened next Sunday? Here’s an exclusive featurette:
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.