October 1st was the deadline for countries to submit their entries for Best Foreign Language film for the 85th Academy Awards. Everyday the list of announced submissions has grown and an official list won’t be released until later in October, after the Academy has had the opportunity to review all the submissions and deem which ones are eligible according to their lengthy requirements.
I always find it disappointing that only 5 of the 60+ films that are submitted every year will be recognized at the Oscar ceremony. That is why we at Film Misery will do our best to prevent this category from getting ignored by providing extensive coverage over the next several months leading up to the Oscar nominations. Below you will find plot synopses, Oscar analysis, trailers, and images from ALL of the submissions for Best Foreign Language Film. We will be providing reviews for the films that we can access and contributing commentary on the race throughout the season. I have also set up a page with all submissions that will continue to be updated throughout the rest of the year.
The list below reflects the first submissions that were announced. I still have about 15 countries to get caught up on, so expect updates throughout the week. My predictions based on the analysis provide below are currently:
1) AUSTRIA – Amour
2) FRANCE – The Intouchables
3) DENMARK – A Royal Affair
4) ISRAEL – Fill the Void
5) AUSTRALIA – Lore
Scroll down to see all of the submissions that we have analyzed so far and be sure to share your thoughts on the Foreign Film Oscar race in the comments!
Plot: Story follows a woman who starts a relationship with a young soldier while she is caring for her comatose husband.
Oscar Chances: Afghanistan has only been submitting films for about a decade and they have yet to receive a nomination. This Afghan production had a lot of help from people in the French film industry like writer Jean-Claude Carriere and cinematographer Thierry Arbogast. That may help the film, but it’s not likely to be a nominee.
Plot: Branko enters into a romantic relationship with one of his father’s employees, Sara, a young nurse. Accidentally or not, Sara provokes the tense relation of a father and a son, uncovering a silent generational conflict between the two.
Oscar Chances: It wasn’t until 2008 that Albania started regularly submitting films in this category. Their film industry is growing and they might have a breakout film within a few years, but Pharmakon is not likely to be it.
Plot: The movie focuses on the life of Ahmed Zabana, a 30-year-old nationalist who became a hero to the independence movement after being executed by the French colonial authorities in 1956.
Oscar Chances: The only Algerian films that have been nominated in the past two decades have come from director Rachid Bouchareb. This film’s submission might help draw attention to the 50th Anniversary of Algeria’s independence, but it is not likely to become the first non-Bouchareb Algerian nominee since the 80s.
Plot: Juan lives in clandestinity. Just like his mum, his dad and his adored uncle Beto, outside his home he has another name. At school, Juan is known as Ernesto. And he meets María, who only has one name.
Oscar Chances: Argentina won this award a few years ago with the fantastic police drama The Secret in Their Eyes. Clandestine Childhood is a period film from debut director Benjamin Avila. It hasn’t received the level acclaim that The Secret of Their Eyes did, so it probably won’t make the cut.
Directed by Cate Shortland
Plot: In spring 1945, the German army collapses. As the Allied forces sweep across the Motherland, five children embark on a journey which will challenge every notion we have of family, love and friendship.
Oscar Chances: If there is one thing we can say with certainty about the Foreign Language branch of the Academy, it’s that they love World War II films. This production is set in Germany and in Germans, but has a mostly Australian crew, which makes it eligible. This has as strong a chance of getting nominated as any Australian film before.
View the Trailer
Have you seen any of these films? Which films do you predict will get nominated for the Oscar?