From 65 to 9 -- Academy Unveils Best Foreign Film Oscar Shortlist 


First, the list was 65, now, it's been whittled down to 9! We have to wait until Feb. 2nd when the final 5 nominees will be announced at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. I'm pretty bummed that "Grandpa is Dead," the Philippine (my homeland!) cinema entry was ignored...oh well, there's always a next time.

Here's the list of the 9 movies for the Best Foreign Film Oscar shortlist:

ARGENTINA
El secreto de sus ojos
(Juan Jose Campanella)
Synopsis: An ambitious, complex work that combines two generation-spanning love stories, a noirish thriller, some witty comedy and a sharp political critique.
Prodco: Haddock Films

AUSTRALIA
Samson and Delilah
(Warwick Thornton)
Synopsis: Romantic drama that details the chaotic existence endured by two Aboriginal teens on an Outback reserve, directed by a first-timer.
Awards: Cannes (Camera d'Or); Australian Writers Guild (original film, script); Art Film Festival, Slovakia (director);
St. Tropez (film, actor, actress)
Sales: Elle Driver

BULGARIA
The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner
(Stephan Komandarev)
Synopsis: A boy suffering from amnesia after a car accident is cured by his grandfather, who uses backgammon to gradually reestablish his identity.
Awards: Bergen Intl. Film Fest (Grand Prix); Sofia (Bulgarian film, audience award); Warsaw (special jury award); Zurich (audience award)
Sales: RFF

FRANCE
A Prophet
(Jacques Audiard)
Synopsis: An illiterate young Arab-Corsican man is condemned to six years in prison, where he works his way up the ranks while secretly planning his own future.
Awards: Cannes (Grand Prix); London Film Festival (film)
Distrib: Sony Pictures Classics

GERMANY
The White Ribbon
(Michael Haneke)
Synopsis: Drama about unsettling events affecting a small village in northern Germany on the eve of World War I for which the local children may be responsible.
Awards: Cannes (Palme d'Or, Fipresci)
Distrib: Sony Pictures Classics

ISRAEL
Ajami
(Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani)
Synopsis: Gritty crime drama (named after a Jaffa neighborhood) about a revenge killing with tragic results was co-directed by Israeli Shani and Palestinian Copti.
Awards: Ophir Awards, Israeli Film Academy (film, director, screenplay, music, editing); Flanders Intl. Film Festival (Young Jury Xplore award)
Distrib: Kino

KAZAKHSTAN
Kelin
(Ermek Tursunov)
Synopsis: Two suitors fight to the death for the hand of a young woman in this dialogue-free drama set in the second century A.D.
Awards:
Sales: Helix Films

THE NETHERLANDS
Winter in Wartime
(Martin Koolhoven)
Synopsis: A young boy secretly helps a downed Brit pilot escape the occupying Nazis while his town mayor father is happy to keep the status quo with the Germans.
Awards: Netherlands Film Festival (actor, supporting actor, production design); Rome Intl. Film Festival (Silver Marc'Aurelio); Rembrandt Awards (film, actor, actress); PZC Audience Award.
Sales: Isabella Films

PERU
The Milk of Sorrow
(Claudia Llosa)
Synopsis: A woman, the product of rape during Peru's decades of political violence, is determined to bury her dead mother in her native village.
Awards: Berlin (Golden Bear)
Sales: Wanda Vision

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