The early October deadline for the Foreign Film category entries is fast approaching and each subsequent day brings more submissions from around the globe. In my last batch of Oscar predictions, I included an update on the Foreign Film race even though I knew almost nothing about what was coming. By now many of those films have not been picked by their country, making them ineligible for the prize.
France is sticking with the highly acclaimed film A Prophet from Jacques Audiard, a film that still remains a likely winner for the category. Also, Germany has adopted Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon as their own (I thought Austria, Haneke’s home country, would take it). Based on this year’s film festival success, those two films have to be the clear frontruners.
Today two more Foreign-language entry announcements came from the populous nations of Australia and Spain. Both countries have great track records with the Oscars and their submissions will certainly be notable.
Spain has decided to once again snub the father of Spanish cinema, Pedro Almodovar, and instead has chosen Fernando Trueba’s The Dancer and the Thief. Spain made an announcement earlier in the season that they had narrowed their selection down to three, none of which were Almodovar’s Broken Embraces. Trueba does have some Oscar cred under his belt having won the Best Foreign Film prize in 1993 with his film Belle Epoque. Spain will attempt to get a nominee back into the category after a 5-year dry spell.
Also making the announcement today is Australia, which has chosen Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah. The film has already received fantastic reviews and won the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. The Aboriginal film about love against all odds could be this year’s sleeper hit at the Oscars.
When I finally get around to the Oscar update, I will have a new list of Foreign contenders. For now check out the full list sorted by country over at In Contention.