OSCARS: Nine Films On Foreign Language Shortlist; ‘The Past’, ‘Wadjda’ Miss Cut

oscarLast weekend, I profiled 15 films that had a lot of heat ahead of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist unveiling today. Of those 15 (plus a handful of wildcards), seven have ended up among the Academy’s nine selections that will move on to the second round of voting. As with many of the Oscar categories this year, this was a field jam-packed with strong contenders and the ultimate shortlist reflects that. Among the films that were roundly expected to make the cut, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty out of Italy, and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt from Denmark, are both in. But in one of the biggest surprises, 2011 Foreign Language Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi did not make the cut with this year’s The Past. That film, as with the other two above, has a Golden Globe nomination, and it won the Best Actress prize for Bérénice Bejo this year in Cannes. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia did not benefit from beginner’s luck. The first entry from the kingdom, the roundly lauded Wadjda, is not on the list. Both of those films are with Sony Pictures Classics which had last year’s winner, Amour. Another shocking omission is Gloria, Sebastien Lelio’s Chilean feature about a 58-year-old divorcée looking for love. That had received tons of advance buzz. Of the other pics chosen to advance by the Academy, Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster probably has the highest profile, and is the most profitable of the bunch, and Belgium’s Broken Circle Breakdown was a prize winner in Berlin, Tribeca and at the recent European Film Awards.

Related:
Oscar Foreign Language Preview: Long List Of Contenders For Such A Short List
‘The Grandmaster’s Wong Kar Wai On China’s Growth, Kung Fu, Oscar Contenders & Bruce Lee

The Academy’s shortlist was whittled down from a record 76 entries. The next heat will see an uber-committee of 30 high-profile members choose the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the weekend of January 10-12. They will be unveiled with the rest of the nominees on January 16th. Here are the titles that advanced to the next stage: Read More »

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Russia’s ‘Stalingrad’ Storms Into China

After making records in its home territory, Russian pic Stalingrad is off to a strong start in China. The Sony Pictures Releasing International WWII drama went out in China on Thursday last week on 7,136 screens, including 123 in IMAX … Read More »

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Argentina Calls On ‘The German Doctor’ As Foreign Language Oscar Entry

Argentina, one of the last big territories to announce its submission for the Foreign Language Oscar race, has chosen The German Doctor (Wakolda). Lucia Puenzo‘s drama is based on her … Read More »

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Norway Submits Toronto Discovery ‘I Am Yours’ To Foreign Language Oscar Race

Iram Haq’s first feature, Jeg Er Din (I Am Yours), screened in the Discovery section of Toronto. Just prior to its debut there, it was shortlisted as Norway’s potential Foreign Language Oscar entry along … Read More »

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‘Wadjda’ Tapped As First-Ever Saudi Arabia Entry Into Oscar Foreign-Language Race

Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda, the first-ever feature shot entirely inside the Kingdom – and notably the first Saudi film made by a female director – has now become the Kingdom’s first entry ever submitted to … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Flowers Of War’

A 20-minute snippet of the Christian Bale-starring The Flowers Of War, China’s official entry into the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar race, was shown to buyers last month at the Toronto Film Festival. Now comes a trailer for Zhang Yimou’s true-life drama set against the backdrop of the 1937 … Read More »

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TOLDJA! Academy Unveils 63 Entries In Foreign-Language Oscar Race

OSCARS: 63 Films In Competition For Foreign-Language Film Academy Award

Beverly Hills, CA – Sixty-three countries, including first-time entrant New Zealand, have submitted films for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category for the 84th Academy Awards®. The 2011 submissions are:

Albania, “Amnesty,” Bujar Alimani, director;

Argentina, “Aballay,” Fernando Spiner, director;

Austria, “Breathing,” Karl Markovics, director;

Belgium, “Bullhead,” Michael R. Roskam, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina,”Belvedere,” Ahmed Imamovic, director;

Brazil, “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within,” José Padilha, director;

Bulgaria, “Tilt,” Viktor Chouchkov, Jr., director;

Canada, “Monsieur Lazhar,” Philippe Falardeau, director;

Chile, “Violeta Went to Heaven,” Andrés Wood, director;

China, “The Flowers of War,” Zhang Yimou, director;

Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Susanne Bier Remaking French Thriller ‘Rapt’

EXCLUSIVE: Susanne Bier’s film In a Better World is Denmark’s Foreign Language Film nomination for Sunday’s Oscars. Now she plans to direct a remake of French kidnapping thriller Rapt for Smuggler Films before the end of this year. The Danish … Read More »

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OSCAR: Academy Chooses 9 Films For Foreign Language Race

Beverly Hills, CA — Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 83rd Academy Awards®.  Sixty-six films had originally qualified in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Algeria, “Hors la Loi” (“Outside the Law”), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve, director;
Denmark, “In a Better World,” Susanne Bier, director;
Greece, “Dogtooth,” Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
Japan, “Confessions,” Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
Mexico, “Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
South Africa, “Life, above All,” Oliver Schmitz, director;
Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”), Iciar Bollain, director;
Sweden, “Simple Simon,” Andreas Ohman, director

Read More »

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‘Crazy Heart’ Helmer Scott Cooper In Remake Of Thriller ‘Carancho’

By | Monday November 15, 2010 @ 3:48pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Remake rights are being shopped this week for Carancho, the Pablo Trapero-directed thriller which Argentina has submitted for the Best Foreign Language category of the Academy Awards. Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper is attached to direct the remake, from … Read More »

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