Academy Narrows 2013 Foreign Film Oscar Contenders to Nine

'Amour' (2012) Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Finalists, Shortlist, Michael Haneke, Austria

The Foreign Film branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has screened the 71 submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar down to nine finalists. Included in the list are presumptive frontrunners Amour from Austria and The Intouchables from France. These movies will compete alongside nominees from Canada, Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Romania, and Switzerland for the final five spots that will be announced on January 10 along with the complete nominees for the 2013 Oscars.

Michael Haneke’s Amour is leading all of the final nine films in precursor awards attention with various Best Foreign Film wins from critics groups and the Palme d’Or from this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film’s female lead Emanuelle Riva has also received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Actress and is one of the names being tossed around in the Oscar race in the packed leading actress category. Currently I am predicting Amour will receive a Best Picture nomination, but regardless of whether or not it receives a nomination in that category, it has to be considered the frontrunner in the Foreign Language Film Oscar race, especially considering that none of Michael Haneke’s films have won before and only The White Ribbon has been nominated.

The Intouchables (2012) France, Oscars, Best Foreign Film Oscar FinalistsFrance’s The Intouchables certainly poses a threat because of its crowd-pleasing quality and France’s strong reputation in this category. It certainly seems like the only legitimate threat to Haneke, but the Foreign Film race has been known to surprise us many times before.

Canada’s War Witch, Denmark’s A Royal Affair, and Iceland’s Kon-Tiki have each received their share of awards attention this year as well. Canadian films have been nominated four times in the last decade and Denmark has received two nominations with a win in 2010. Romania and Chile have never received a nomination before and Iceland has only been nominated once in their history. Nominations would be significant for any of those nations.

Notable omissions from the shortlist are Our Children from Belgium, Fill the Void from Israel, Caesar Must Die from Italy, After Lucia from Mexico, and Pieta from South Korea. View the complete list of finalists below courtesy of MovieWeb:

  • AUSTRIA, Amour directed by Michael Haneke (Duncan’s Review)
  • CANADA, War Witch directed by Kim Nguyen
  • CHILE, No directed by Pablo Larrain (Duncan’s Review)
  • DENMARK, A Royal Affair directed by Nikolaj Arcel
  • FRANCE, The Intouchables directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (G Clark’s Review)
  • ICELAND, The Deep directed by Baltasar Kormakur
  • NORWAY, Kon-Tiki directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
  • ROMANIA, Beyond the Hills directed by Cristian Mungiu
  • SWITZERLAND, Sister directed by Ursula Meier (Duncan’s Review, G Clark’s Review)

View the complete list of submissions for Best Foreign Language Film at our detailed page.

Which of the nine finalists do you think has the best shot at getting an Oscar nomination?

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  • I have only seen Amour and A Royal Affair from the list. Rooting for Amour all the way, its my favorite movie of the year.

    My Prediction:

    1. Amour
    2. The Intouchables
    3. A Royal Affair
    4. No
    5. War Witch

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