Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful,” Susanne Bier’s Golden Globe winner “In a Better World,” and, in a bit of a surprise, Yorgos Lanthimos’s critically acclaimed but rather challenging “Dogtooth,” were among the films shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for the 2011 Foreign Language Film category. The list – which has historically proven quite controversial – most notably snubbed were Cannes winners France’s “Of Gods and Men” and Thailand’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.”
Sixty-five films had originally qualified in the category. Check out a full list of the qualifying films here.
The nominations for 2011 are again being determined in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 65 eligible films between mid-October and January 16. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will this weekend viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.
The shortlisted films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Algeria, “Hors la Loi” (“Outside the Law”), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve, director;
Denmark, “In a Better World,” Susanne Bier, director;
Greece, “Dogtooth,” Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
Japan, “Confessions,” Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
Mexico, “Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
South Africa, “Life, above All,” Oliver Schmitz, director;
Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”), Iciar Bollain, director;
Sweden, “Simple Simon,” Andreas Ohman, director.
The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Check out indieWIRE‘s predictions here