List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

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Precious Doll
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Re: List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:28 am

I think the short-list of 9 is due to be released sometime this month. I'm going to try to predict and if I can get just 4 right I think I've done OK. I also feel like I am jinxing some of the films I'm predicting as this category is so unpredictable.

My predictions:

Denmark - Land of Mine
Egypt - Clash
Finland - The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki
France - Elle
Germany - Toni Erdmann
Greece - Chevalier
Israel - Sand Storm
Spain - Julieta
Sweden - A Man Called Ove
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:37 am

I've seen 8 of this year's Foreign Language Film entries (my reviews of them are in the Official Review Thread). Two of them are films you haven't seen, Precious Doll so I'll post my thoughts on their Oscar chances here. It's funny because even though I liked The Salesman, Apprentice and Neruda quite a bit more than you did, we agree with our least favorite: It's Only the End of the World. Anyway...

The Age of Shadows (South Korea) - It's about resistance fighters during the Japanese occupation of Korea. It is a historical (though the story itself is fiction) period piece but it actually plays more like a spy thriller complete with brutal, gory violence. It is slickly made but it will be deemed too violent and/or popcorn for the Academy.

Chances: Deserving but I'm not optimistic.

Ma' Rosa (The Philippines) - From my home country! Though he's been a fixture of international film festivals, this is actually the first time we submitted a Brillante Mendoza film. This won Best Actress in Cannes for Jaclyn Jose and one can see why she won. Her performance in the last scene of the film was definitely haunting. But overall, this isn't Mendoza's best work. I don't think it's even the best Filipino film this year (my pick would've been Lav Diaz's The Woman Who Left but that's way out of the Academy's wheelhouse). I'm still rooting for it though.

Chances: This will need a committee help but again, I'm not optimistic.

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Re: List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Reza » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:48 am

Oscars: Pakistan Selects 'Mah e Mir' for Foreign-Language Category
5:13 AM PDT 9/22/2016 by Nyay Bhushan


Courtesy of Miraqsm Media
'Mah e Mir'

The film follows a modern-day poet who draws parallels with the life of the famous 18th century poet Mir Taqi Mir.
Pakistan has submitted Mah e Mir as its entry for the 89th Academy Awards' best foreign-language film category.

Directed by Anjum Shahzad, the film revolves around a contemporary poet who draws parallels with the events in the life of famous 18th century poet Mir Taqi Mir.

Mah e Mir stars actors Fahad Mustafa, Alyy Khan and Manzar Sehbai, along with actresses Iman Ali and Sanam Saeed.

After more than a 50-year absence, Pakistan re-entered the Oscar race in 2013 with illegal immigration comedy Zinda Bhaag. Last year, the country chose Jamshed Mahmood Raza's Moor as its Oscar submission.

While the country has never received a foreign-language film nomination, Pakistan has picked up two Oscars in the documentary category, both by the same filmmaker. Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy first won a trophy with co-director Daniel Junge for Saving Face in 2012, followed by another win last year in the short documentary category with A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

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Re: List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:52 am

Predicting what is going to make the short-list for the foreign language potential candidates announced in January 2017 is virtually impossible. It's such an unpredictable category and this year there is no clear winner. Toni Erdmann is the best reviewed of the eligible films submitted but it's way out of the Academy's comfort zone. It will be really interesting to see what makes the shortlist this year.

Anyway, I'll go through the 24 films I have seen and give what I think are their respective chances. I am also including my rating for each film if anything to show that just because I think something is good or bad has little to do with what I think are it's chances.

I am also placing them in my order of merit. Here goes…

Elle (France) 10/10

The film has pretty much failed at the box-office in most places where it has opened and that is not a good sign. It's rated very highly on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic so it does have that going for it not to mention Huppert's presence in L.A. (at the moment or recently anyway). That it is not typical Academy friendly material is not such a big negative against it in this category. Remember that Dogtooth made the final five and that is even more out of the Academy's orbit. Paul Verhoeven as director is a bonus and it has been over 40 years since any of his Dutch films were nominated in this category - Turkish Delight.

Verdict: Only with the committee's help will this make the shortlist.

Toni Erdmann (Germany) 9/10

There has never been anything made quite like this film. A 162 minute German comedy that is very funny, doesn't waste a minute and is topped off by a beautiful touching ending. It's coming on 6 months since I first saw the film it and it's stayed with me like few films do these. It's only Maren Ade's third film and her most accessible to date and though seemingly recklessly directed its ground by the two performances of the leads which are pitch perfect. The audience I saw it with appeared to enjoy it emmensley.

Verdict: Strong candidate because of it's standing as the best reviewed submitted film but will need the committee's help to make the shortlist.

Sieranevada (Romania) 8/10

This is an engrossing and intellectually stimulating 173 minutes drama (not without some humor) with a large array of characters that requires a great deal of concentration to keep up with who relates to who and in what way. I did notice several months ago that everyone on the web was predicting Graduation directed by Cristian Mungiu to be the Romanian entry. I must say that the Romanian selection committee went with the better film though Sieranevada is the far more demanding and tougher of the two films. However, that is going to precisely the problem for this film getting selected here. When I saw it at a packed cinema that seats about 500 people at around the one hour mark people started walking out in droves - not a good sign. Funnily enough Graduation won the screenplay award at Cannes when this would have been the perfect choice.

Verdict: DOA. There are other more high-profile highly regarded films that the committee will embrace and there is no way it is getting in without their help which is won't be getting.

Land of Mine (Denmark) 7/10

This is exactly the sort of film that one views and thinks is a shoo-in for a nomination only not to even make the shortlist. It’s a post WW2 drama based historical facts of young Germans POWS (a lot of them just teenagers) forced to defuse the 2 million landmines planted along the Danish shores by the Nazis during the war. Whilst predictable to a large degree (one can guess the fate of some of the characters within 10 minutes of the film) it is nevertheless engrossing and at times edge of your seat stuff. It’s very typical of the ‘prestige’ European period pieces that English speaking audiences lap up.

Verdict: Good chance.

Letters From War (Portugal) 7/10

Beautifully realised black & white production directed by a protégé of Miguel Gomes (Tabu, the Arabian Knights trilogy). If you are familiar with Gomes work you can really see the influence on director Ivo Ferreira. However, this is art house cinema with a capital A and it has no hope with the Academy.

Verdict: DOA.

A Flickering Truth (New Zealand) 7/10

A fascinating documentary on the efforts to find and restore film footage, including features films and newsreels in Afghanistan, much of which has been destroyed by the Taliban. It’s also a study of Afghan history prior to the Russian invasion and everything that has engulfed the country since. Certainly wetted my appetite to have the opportunity in the future to see the films from which clips are shown. A film titled Sin from 1978 looked particularly interesting.

Verdict: It’s a documentary so its chances are virtually DOA but I’d like to think that it has a chance.

Chevalier (Greece) 7/10

The most accessible film to date from the Greek ‘Weird Wave’, as it called, that I have seen to date. A comedy/drama directed by a woman, Athina Rachel Tsangari (she made Attenberg) that is an examination of macho competitiveness with egos competing amongst a group of men on a luxury yacht. Very amusing stuff and something of a odd-ball crowd pleaser.

Verdict: Good chance.

Fire at Sea (Italy) 7/10

This Italian documentary won the Golden Bear at Berlin earlier this year from a jury headed by Meryl Streep who has been banging the drums of praises for the film every since. It’s not undeserved either. Whilst the film is primarily about the lives of inhabitants of the Italian island of Lampedusa it is also indirectly about the humanitarian crisis facing Europe with the flow of refugees from Africa. It’s an observation piece much like director Gianfranco Rosi’s earlier documentary which won the Golden Lion Venice in 2013, Sacro GRA was in it’s depiction some of the inhabitants of the ‘Great Ring Road’ which encircles Rome.

Verdict: It’s a documentary so its chances are virtually DOA but I’d like to think that it has a chance.

From Afar (Venezuela) 6/10

This winner of the Golden Lion at last years Venice Film Festival is not Academy friendly. From Afar is the first feature film from Lorenzo Vigas and he shows a great deal of promise. Pablo Larrain regular Alfredo Castro is a man with an attraction to younger teenage age boys. Best to say nothing else so as not to ruin the surprises that mount as the progresses. The film is lean and short which perfectly suits its narrative.

Verdict: DOA – subject matter
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland) 6/10
A real sleeper that went down very well at Cannes. Whilst on the surface it is a boxing film it is in fact first and foremost a love story and a very beautiful one at that. Filmed in beautiful black and white with a feel and energy for period it depicts so lovingly. Disclosure: I was dead tired when watching this film having had a delicious rich lunch and a bottle of red wine beforehand. I really want to view this again.

Verdict: Good chance.

Julieta (Spain) 6/10

This is beautifully made (as are most of Almodovar’s films so no surprises there), has an intriguing storyline the maintains interest but something is amiss. I put it down to the characters – they were not engaging above a superficial level and as a result the film never really soars. Also interesting was when I saw the film in a cinema that sits 2,000 people which was nearly full the entire audience gasped in disappointment when the film ended – you’ll have to see the film to see why. It could be viewed as a feeling of being ripped of by the story telling but I think it can be seen as a very clever way to end a film as well. Worth noting that this film has resorted Almodovar’s reputation to some degree after The Skin I Live In and I’m So Excited which were seen as very minor works. Julieta is not major Almodovar but nor is it bad Almodovar either.

Verdict: Could very well sneak in depending on how much Admodovar goodwill remains

Under the Shadow (United Kingdom) 6/10

Here is something of a first, an Iranian entry. I assume it’s the UK’s entry due to funding and British involvement. The film is set during the war in the 1980’s between Iran & Iraq and this setting is the backdrop for a rather effective horror film.

Verdict: DOA – the horror film element will work against this.

Neruda (Chile) 6/10

Pablo Larrain is becoming something of a regular for the Chilean selectors though this is one of his lesser films. His No was nominated a few years ago and his best film to date The Club was Chile’s entry last year. This is very easy to watch and the scenes with Luis Gnecco are the best in the film. Most of Gael Garcia Bernal sections of the film felt like something out of the keystone cops. The film does have a few problems with tone. One of the pleasures and disappointments with the film for me is that Larrain’s wonderful stable of actors who are usually centre stage in his films have only very brief appearances in this one (doubt any will turn up in Jackie).

Verdict: I simply have no idea with this one.

Port of Call (Hong Kong) 5/10

This genre film has some interesting elements but as a whole feels half baked. Won a slew of awards in Hong Kong but being a murder mystery/genre film it’s not going to go down well with the Academy.

Verdict: DOA.

Sand Storm (Israel) 5/10

I felt a sense a ‘seen it all before’ with this film but it was very well received at Cannes where it got stellar reviews.

Verdict: Good chance – the academy has shown favour in recent years from a number of countries in the Middle East and this one certainly fits the bill

The Salesman (Iran) 5/10

Sghar Farhadi’s latest film starts off very well and as it progresses becomes more ludicrous with a badly judged pay-off. The most interesting aspect of the film for me was Shahab Hosseini playing a role 180 degrees from anything else I’ve seen him do before (though I do need to watch About Elly again). I am starting to think that Farhadi is getting acclaimed based on A Separation and his earlier films which are better than his post Separation films. Something else of interest is that Sony Classics picked up the U.S. (and some other territories) rights to this, Elle & Julieta. It will be interesting to see how well all three fare at the U.S. box office as none of them are in the league of Amour or A Separation.

Verdict: Will need the committee’s help. That it won 2 prizes at Cannes is a help to some degree but it’s worth remembering that The Past won a prize at Cannes and didn’t receive a much expected place on the finalist list. I do expect the same fate for The Salesman.

The remainder:

Lost in Munich (Czech Republic) 4/10

Verdict: DOA.

Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 4/10

Verdict: DOA.

Apprentice (Singapore) 4/10

Verdict: Dark horse as it deals with the death penalty

Tanna (Australia) 4/10

Verdict: Dark horse as it is something of a novelty given it’s setting

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Austria) 4/10

Verdict: DOA.

Hang in There, Kids (Taiwan) 4/10

Verdict: DOA.

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son (Japan) 2

Verdict: DOA.

It’s Only the End of the World (Canada) 1/10

Probably the worst film I have seen this year. The Cannes jury headed by George Miller gave this the Grand Prix (second prize). It’s also opened at No. 1 at the box office in France recently.

Verdict: Will need the committees help but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it slip in.

Also worthy noting the films that I haven’t seen but want to see regardless if they make to a nomination or not:

The Distinguished Citizen (Agrentina)
The Ardennes (Belgium)
Clash (Egypt)
Mother (Estonia)
Sparrows (Iceland)
The King’s Choice (Norway)
Ma’ Rosa (Philippines)
Aferimage (Poland)
Paradise (Russia)
Eva Nova (Slovakia)
The Age of Shadows (South Korea)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)
Last edited by Precious Doll on Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:34 pm

Toni Erdmann is now officially Germany's entry.

As for the Philippines, I think it's between three films. Two Lav Diaz films, A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery and The Woman Who Left. The former has the advantage of being around the longest and already winning an award in Berlin (and Meryl Streep is said to have loved it.) The latter is just beginning its festival rounds and has the advantage of being shorter and therefore more accessible. It's about 3 hours plus long. That's short for a Lav Diaz film since Lullaby is at a butt-numbing 8 hours.

The other possible entry is Brillante Mendoza's Ma' Rosa which won Best Actress at Cannes. Oddly enough, despite being well-known in the world cinema festival circuit, my country has NEVER submitted a Brillante Mendoza film for the Oscars. This could change now. The high profile Cannes win helps so this is also a strong possibility.

There are a couple of long shots. Pamilya Ordinaryo (directed by someone I actually know personally, Eduardo Roy Jr.) and Mercury is Mine were the two standout films at the recently concluded CIneMalaya Film Festival, sort of like the Sundance of the Philippines. But neither one seem like it could be a strong candidate. There's another film festival coming, the CinemaOne Film Festival and sometimes an entry can emerge from that one as well.

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List of submissions to the 89th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:23 pm

Wikipedia have recently added a page for Foreign Language Film submissions.

First one up is Switzerland with My Life as Courgette.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... guage_Film
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.


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