Categories One-by-One: Best Foreign Language Film

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rain Bard
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Postby rain Bard » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:02 pm

Dogtooth's reputation in certain circles is so bad (it was roundly hated at the geriatric Palm Springs Film Festival, for example) that I wonder if even the prospect of having to sit through an official Academy screening of it might scare off some of the regular FLF voters, thus making the pool of ballots even smaller than usual. I don't know how well-enforced the policy requiring voters in this category to see all five flims is (for example, can one still cast a vote if he or she has walked out in the middle of one of the screenings?) but if it's strict, the Dogtooth factor may make it possible for any of the five nominees to pull off a win that would be impossible in another year.

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Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:12 pm

Dogtooth is IMO the best film nominated this year, and a fairly shocking nominee. It recalls an era of foreign filmmaking too subversive to even contemplate on this side of the ocean. The films that win must look like vacations. Dogtooth feels like hell.

And that's why Biutiful might be out. This is likely the worst film nominated this year. I can't imagine something like The Wolfman or Salt or Unstoppable being as insufferably pretentious as Innaritu's miserable film. What this film has going for it is Bardem's performance. This is more impacting than The White Ribbon's Best Cinematography nomination. Innaritu has never won an Oscar. He's one of the crossover "Three Amigos" and Bardem commands attention. If voters find him compelling, then they will vote Biutiful. But there hasn't been a film this relentlessly miserablist to win this award since what? I have honestly no idea.

Susanne Bier has as many Foreign-Language Film nominations as Innaritu. By all accounts, this film is Academy candy. Ed Gonzalez compares Bier's film to Edward Zwick, which is sounds to me like as safe a bet as any. He describes Incendies as the more haunting film, and I wonder if that is enough.

But is Outside the Law a better vacation film? Is it the one that looks the most like Journey of Hope or Mediterraneo?

Going by heresy, I predict In a Better World, knowing full well it can't be as great as Dogtooth or horrid as Biutiful.
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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:30 pm

I think Eric had it right at Slant: Dogtooth will finish fifth like no other film has ever finished fifth.

Biutiful is making decent money, relative to how un-good it is, and Inarritu has seemingly always had a level of Academy support. But even by the standards of this era it would be a weak choice, with little critical backing.

Since I haven't seen the other three, I'm blind-bidding. But what I hear is In a Better World, with Incendies the next most likely.

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Postby Reza » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:58 pm

I tried sitting through Dogtooth but didn't last more than 15 minutes. Will try again in a few days.

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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:14 pm

I haven't seen any of them, but In a Better World sounds like the kind of film the Academy is likely to go for.
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Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:29 pm

Biutiful, Mexico
Dogtooth, Greece
In a Better World, Denmark
Incendies, Canada
Outside the Law, Algeria

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