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Academy announces its foreign language short list


Theatrical poster for Un Prophète. 

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science released its short list for the Foreign Language film category today. Below are the movies on the list with countries listed and directors in parenthesis.

  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Juan Jose Campanella), Argentina
  • Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton), Australia
  •  The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner (Stephan Komandarev), Bulgaria
  •  Un Prophète (Jacques Audiard), France
  • The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke), Germany
  • Ajami (Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani), Israel
  • Kelin (Ermek Tursunov), Kazakhstan
  • Winter in Wartime (Martin Koolhoven), The Netherlands
  • The Milk of Sorrow (Claudia Llosa), Peru

This list will be narrowed from its current 9 to 5 films when the Academy announces the rest of the nominations Feb. 2. The awards ceremony will air March 7.

Oscar predictions? This is always a lot harder than most critics would have you believe. Nothing makes that more clear than last year's win by the Japanese film Departures which came out of nowhere to win the Foreign Language Oscar. The Golden Globes might be a good predictor but its usefulness should be not overstated. The German film The White Ribbon picked up the top foreign award at the Globes but it was competing against several films like the Spanish Broken Embraces and La Nana from Chile which were not submitted by their country for Oscar consideration, meaning that the stakes are completely different. What is becoming clear, however, is that the Academy is becoming increasingly willing to include non-Western nations in their nominations. It's also a safe bet that Haneke's The White Ribbon, which has garnered a significant amount of critical praise, as well as the French Un Prophète, will be in the top 5.

Hey, where's my movie? There are always disappointments every year. Successful Korean director Joon-Ho Bong's (Memories of a Murder, The Host) Mother did not make the short list, nor did the Romanian film Police, Adjective. While there are always disappointments, it is also important to keep in mind that each country's film commission may only select one movie per year to be submitted to the Academy. In other words, some really fantastic films never even had a shot at this award.

Any Oscar predictions? Post below!


  • Hank 5 years ago

    Make a copy of these titles, join Netflix, and put them in your list for next year. I did this for last year's Best Foreign Films and I am enjoying the films and rain this week.
    Anyone a fan of Vietnamese films, such as "After the Fall"?
    UCI has a Vietnamese Film Festival every year. Check it out.

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