The Academy (AMPAS) has released the 9-film short list for their Best Foreign Language Film category. In the month of January, prior to the official nominations announcement, Phase 2 will invite special committees in Los Angeles, New York, and for the first time, London, to view each film and whittle down the list to the final five contenders.
The short list (in alphabetical order by country) is as follows:
- Argentina, Wild Tales
- Estonia, Tangerines
- Georgia, Corn Island
- Mauritania, Timbuktu
- Netherlands, Accused
- Poland, Ida
- Russia, Leviathan
- Sweden Force Majeure
- Venezuela, The Liberator
The films favored in the running are Russia’s Leviathan, Sweden’s Force Majeure, and Poland’s Ida, with all three nominated for Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and Critic’s Choice Awards, and Ida already a winner by the New York Film Critics Circle. Estonia’s Tangerines has also picked up a Globe nomination, and Argentina’s Wild Tales is on the list for the Critic’s Choice Awards.
These results conform to what we typically expect from this category, as calculated by the Academy Awards track record. In the past, the award has been bestowed primarily upon European films– fifty-four in total– whereas awards for Latin American, Asian, or African films can each be counted on one hand. It would therefore be exciting to see something like Timbuktu take home the prize, also seeing as it’s Mauritania’s first ever Oscar submission. Venezuela’s The Liberator is another interesting competitor, as it is a Simon Bolivar biopic, with the latter descriptor being an Oscar-bait trigger word. Corn Island is generally new to the awards discussion, but could still have traction as Georgia has been recently gaining more recognition for its cinema. The Dutch submission Accused is another long shot, however this is director Paula van der Oest’s (Zus & Zo) second appearance in the Foreign Film category.
One notable snub includes France’s Two Days, One Night for which Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) has been a wild card submission on many Best Actress Oscar prediction lists.
The final five nominations will be announced on January 15, 2015, with the winner revealed during the Academy Awards on February 22.