The Academy’s foreign language category boasts a number of unique rules that make for interesting discussion topics among those who follow this race. In addition to the politics of having each country submit just one film (and often, the wrong one), there is a double process for choosing the short list, with the branch membership choosing six films and a super committee empowered to pick three additional titles. The reason for this is that the branch has often ignored critically acclaimed works, so they added the super committee to “save” the more artistic titles.
What interests me about this is that the Academy as a whole seems to suffer from this problem. When the general membership wasn’t choosing the “right” films, the board of governors changed the rules for best picture, first to a slate of ten, and now to the 5% rule. One can only wonder what might have happened if they had chosen the super committee route instead!
Back to the foreign language race, there is a game that is sometimes played here called “guess the super committee choices.” This year, I think it is pretty clear that Taiwan’s entry, Seediq Bale, was one of the films that was saved. It has a running time of four hours and twenty-five minutes! I look forward to hearing which films you think came from the super committee in the comments.
As for the short list announced this morning, I correctly predicted 4 of them (44%), with all 9 (100%) appearing on my past long lists. You can see how I am doing in the other categories on my Track Record Page. For anyone wondering why the short list is announced so late (just one week before the actual nominees!), the reason is that branch members must come to a special screening this weekend to watch all 9 films (3 per day) in order to vote. Surely this will help endear voters to Seediq Bale’s runtime even more than usual.
Here are today’s rankings for the 84th Oscar Foreign Language race, with previous ranking shown in parenthesis after each entry. My friend over at Bonjour Tristesse gets to see most of these movies before I do, so I will be posting links to their reviews as they come in for those who are interested in learning more about these films.
1. Asghar Farhadi for A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader Az Simin) (Iran) (Predicted Winner) (previous rank 1)
2. Agnieszka Holland for In Darkness (W. Ciemnosci) (Poland) (previous rank 2)
3. Wim Wenders for Pina (Pina: Tanzt Tanzt Sonst Sind Wir Verloren) (Germany) (previous rank 3)
4. Philippe Falardeau for Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) (previous rank 18)
5. Joseph Cedar for Footnote (Hearat Shulayim) (Israel) (previous rank 7)
6. Michael R. Roskam for Bullhead (Rundskop) (Belgium) (previous rank 45)
7. Roschdy Zem for Omar Killed Me (Omar M’a Tuer) (Morocco) (previous rank 25)
8. Ole Christian Madsen for SuperClasico (Denmark) (previous rank 24)
9. Wei Te-Sheng for Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Saideke Balai) (Taiwan) (previously ranked 40)
As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!
See Foreign Language predictions for other years HERE.
See predictions for other categories at the 84th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th, 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th