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2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Foreign Language Film

President Donald Trump's Muslim ban makes Asghar Farhadi's "The Salesman" the frontrunner for the Oscar. (Updated 2/22/2017.)

"The Salesman"

“The Salesman”


The final five nominees were selected by committees in London, New York and Los Angeles from the shortlist of nine selected from 85 eligible submissions.

READ MORE: ‘Lion’ Trailer: Inspirational True Story Is The Weinstein Company’s Major Oscar Hopeful

Among the nominees are two Cannes entries: Germany’s European Film Awards winner from Maren Ade, the brilliant three-hour father-daughter dramedy “Toni Erdmann” (SPC), was overlooked by the jury at Cannes, while Iranian Asghar Farhadi, who won the Oscar for “A Separation,” won Cannes’ Best Actor and Screenplay prizes for “The Salesman,” and now has frontrunner Oscar status due to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. Farhadi declared that he would not even try to cross the U.S. border to attend the Oscars, and many Academy voters are furious with Trump.

Whether more voters will be driven to watch the film or vote politically, this could push the film to a win.

Debuting in Venice was Pacific island Romeo & Juliet tale “Tanna,” enacted by the aboriginal Yakel tribe, directed by Martin Butler and Bentley Dean.

“A Man Called Ove”

Also making the cut were two Scandinavian films: Denmark’s post-World War II expose “Land of Mine” (Sony Pictures Classics) from Martin Zandvliet and Swedish crowdpleaser “A Man Called Ove” (Music Box) by Hannes Holm, which also is in the running for Best Hair & Makeup.

Contenders (in order of likelihood to win):
1. “The Salesman” (Iran)
2. “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)
3. “Land of Mine” (Denmark)
4. “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)
5. “Tanna” (Australia)

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Thanks!! Love the foreign category.

Evandro Furtado

You know, I am from Brazil and what they’re doing to Aquarius is terrible. I haven’t seen the movie yet but the trailer seems really interesting. The fact is, not only we have this political controversy but also the film talks about things that may hurt the real state market, so we just have to do the math.


I’m surprised they didn’t consider Paul Voerhoven’s “Elle.” It seemed like a solid contender.


    That’s because France doesn’t announce its submission until September 26th. ‘Elle’ is one of four films on the shortlist.


Watched “Toni Erdmann” yesterday – hilarious, beautiful in its very own way. Really hope it’s going to make it!


Romanian movies are so underrated.


    So true. But this year made a big mistake for not choosing Mungiu. Mungiu was a front-runner, even to get the oscar, not only for the shortlist.


    Mungiu’ Graduation and Puiu’s Sieranevada – both are stunning!


You should watch serbian movie “Train Driver’s Diary” It’s really good.


I do hope Philippines’ entry will be The Woman who left, which recently won Golden Lion at Venice Film Fest


    Unfortunately, is isn’t in the Philippino shortlist. It is the other Lav Diaz film that lasts 8 hours!!! I hope for Brillante Mendoza who is so well-timed.


      Seems odd to pick his 8 hour film when The Woman Who Left getting better reviews. And lets be honest, votes arent likely to sit through a 8 hour film half as much as they would and 3 and a half hour movie


        It is ‘actually Ma Rosa by Brilliante Mendoza which is equally amazing.


          I hope Philippines will place this year (at least as a shortlist). Ita has been unfairly overlooked more than once (Our country, Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Padilla story and an Eddie Romero film with a big title).


These 35 countries have many possibilities to debut because this year they have very good features:
Senegal “Le chaval blanc”
Mali the documentary “O Ka” from the great Souleymanne Cisse
Niger “Rain the color of blue with a little red in it”
Gabon the documentary “The African who wanted to fly”
Guinea “La lune est tombee”
Rwanda “Umutoma”
Nigeria “Taxi driver:Oko Ashewo”
Zimbabwe one of their few non English speaking films “Something nice from London”
Uganda “The boda boda thieves”
Angola “Dias santana”
Mozambique “The train of salt and sugar”
Cape Verde their first LGBT documentary “Tchindas”
Eritrea “Zeyregefet Embda”
Lesotho the documentary “Coming of age”
Sudan the documentary “Madina’s dream”
Western Sahara the documentary “Life is waiting:referendum and resistance in Western Sahara”
Syria “Me, you, mother & father” from the great Abdellatif Abdelhamid
Bahrain “Bits of what I have”
Qatar “La nuit et l’enfant”
Yemen the documentary “Socotra, the land of Djinns”
United Arab Emirates their first sci-fi film “The worthy”
Maldives “Vishka”
East Timor the documentary “The pulsa salesman”
Laos their first LGBT film “Noy”
Burma (Myanmar) their first LGBT film “The gemini”
Macau “Macau stories 3: City Maze”
Uzbekistan “Xazonrezgi”
Honduras “El Paletero”
El Salvador their first horror film “Matlatl”
Haiti “Ayti mon amour”
Martinique their first animation “Battledream chronicle”
Cyprus “Family member”
San Marino the documentary “Mancini, the motorcycle wizard”
Andorra “73′”
Papua New Guinea the documentary “What lies that way”


    I forgot one country:
    Benin the documentary “Gangbe!”


    DUSTIN, did you watch film “Hazonrezgi” from Uzbekistan?


      o, but I searched each (never sent) countries’ films of 2015 and 2016 to see if they have a strong film and thus have possibilities to debut. From Uzbekistan of 2015-16 this seemed the most interesting. I thought they would have debuted. Until now Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the only central asian films never sent. The only film I’ve seen from Uzbekistan is Teenager which was interesting and I guess one of the best representatives of Uzbek cinema. Have you seen Xazonrezgi? Is it good?


I forgot another one country:
Reunion the documentary “Maloya, j’ecris ton nom”


    *Another mistake: from Reunion it’s another film of the same director “Sac la mort” and not the documentary I mentioned before.


The movie ‘salesman’ based on a screenplay by Arthur Miller by Asghar Farhadi from Iran is missing! It also won the best film and leading actor in the Cannes this year.


    It’s on the Iranian shortlist with seven other films.


    The salesman is not an adaptation from arthur miller’s play.


Romania for not choosing Mungiu, Belgium for not choosing Dardenne brothers (but instead a film called Ardenne -such an irony-), Brazil for not choosing Aquarius (shame for the political controversy over the film), Colombia for not choosing “Between sea and land” and South Korea for not choosing (again!) Park Chan Wook, I believe they ruined all their chances. Although, South Korea still has many possibilities because Kim Ji Woon is a very good director.


Headshot from indonesia. We are the best filmmaker in the whole wide world indonesia produce the best films ever compare to shitty korean, japanese, philipino and chinese films


The Academy should seriously expand this category to up to 10 nominees. So many great ones that deserve attention just with a nomination.


I’ve noticed that this category is mainly Euro-centric and especially west Central European (France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium) or the two usual countries from Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark), or the two usual countries from Mediterranean (Italy, Spain). I can’t believe how many times France was nominated and mainly how many times Netherlands had won and shortlisted with academic safe choices (even Switzerland had won twice with the usual favoured topics of the academy). The biggest upset through the years are Portugal, Egypt, South Korea and Philippines who form the countries with the biggest unplaced submissions -in this order- and not even shortlisted. Especially for “Morning Undersea” (Portugal), Chahine’s “Cairo station” (Egypt), Ki Dook’s “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring” (South Korea) and Brocka’s “This Is My Country” (Philippines). I also believe that these countries should have placed at least once, at least as a shortlist: Indonesia (“Tjoet Nja’ Dhien”), Singapore (“Ilo Ilo”), Thailand (“How to win at Checkers”), Lebanon (“Under the bombs”), Iraq (“Son of Babylon”), Mongolia (“Story of the weeping camel”), Bangladesh (“Clay bird”), Afghanistan (“Patience stone”), Bolivia (“Sexual Dependency”), Costa Rica (“Red princesses”), Guatemala (“Silence of Neto”), Albania (“Amnesty”), Serbia & Montenegro or Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I’m referring to the period after the split of Yugoslavia but before the split of Montenegro -1992 to 2005-(Kusturica’s “Underground”), Chad (“Grigris”), Kenya (“Nairobi Half life”) and Saudi Arabia (“Wajma”). I know that the last two countries sent only once but these choices were great. I hope that this year they will restore these imjustices.


    “Letters from War” is on of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, it is definitely the best portuguese film this year, no upset.


      I hope Portugal will place this year (at least as a shortlist) because it holds (unfairly) the biggest number of non placing submissions.


Italy?…..Perfect Strangers


Man, can an Asian film please get nominated. So many great films come out of there and honestly always past up for European films. Age of Shadows is a strong contender but with this category they seem to go for restrained films. Sahdows aesthetic and time period seems like if it was a Hollywood movie could get nominations like Bridge of Spies but with more action.


I was stunned to see that Andrzej Wajda’s Afterimage is missing on your list. The movie is absolutely a masterpiece, and a warning for our times!!!


It’s outrageous that Russia didn’t choose the innovative “The student”. WW2 themed films are always favoured here and conemporary materpieces are left in the ice.


The UK adds itself to the conversation with the Persian-language horror movie ‘Under the Shadow’.


“visaranai” indian film. indian police true face.


    One of the best films of the bunch. This year India has many possibilities not only for a nomination but also for the Oscar.


      Yeah Visaranai is a brilliant choice

Iván el Conquistador

I hope Julieta doesn’t win. Rooting for Elle! I mean, Verhoeven has done a lot for Hollywood by creating blockbusters and cult classics like Robocop or Total Recall, may his talent be recognized once and for all.


    Almodovar doesn’t have a chance this. I love most of his works and this one was one of his weakest films. As for Verhoeven hasn’t been chosen yet. I still believe though, Chile, India, Iran or UK will farely take the Oscar.

Thomas Gibson

Denmark – “Land of Mine” Stunning movie!


Now that Jordan chose the Palestinian 3000 nights (because if the main country doesn’t all the co-producing countries can do it as well), I wonder which will Palestine choose. I guess Idol. Christ, Asia rules this year: Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, India, Nepal,Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea promising innovatice films. I hope this continent that is the most overlooked will shine this year.


    Too bad Thailand didn’t pick the best choice Pimpaka Towira’s The Island Funeral, or even for the exotic quality they also have Boonsong Nakphoo’s Wandering (which also deals with buddhism.)


      I didn’t know these films at all. However, I admire the choice of Thailand for sending a horror film and mainly a controversial one. By the way, last year Thailand was unfairly overlooked with “How to win at Checkers” (not even a shortlist?).


It reached 79 countries! I wonder what China, Argentina, Palestine, Kazakhstan and Cambodia will do? These 5 countries sent every year, recently. Also, not a single debut this year? I thought Honduras and El Salvador ,which are the only latin countries never sent, would have debuted. Let’s see till October 3rd.


    Palestine submitted The Idol.


      Yes, so now only Argentina, China and Cambodia left from these countries I’m referring to. I hope Cambodia will send Diamond Island which seems so interesting and contemporary film but I’m afraid they may not send any film at all.


I watched From Afar and absolutely loved it. I really hope it makes the final 9.


I’ve seen 5 of those so far. The best of those is Toni Erdmann from Germany. Loved the peculiar mix of comedy and inconvenience, warmth and at the sadness and loneliness of today’s people in the modern corporate world. But other people, both family and friends/colleagues are the salvation.
Second best is Denmark’s Land of mine. Roland Moller is going to be a world wide star soon. What a harsh thing to make the german kids to dig out the mines, the compatriot soldiers left behind. Awful and horrifying even only as a thought, but this is us – people…
Third best is Sweden’s A man called Ove. Another mix of warmth, comedy and sadness.
These three I see have a rightful chance to even get into to among the 9.
I did like Almodovar’s Julieta too, but it’s not as good as most of his previous work. And since I can very much relate to the relationship between the mother and the daughter, I think not many have been in that situation. But it is a lesson for any parent.
Japan’s Haha to Kuraseba was not my coup of tea. Although sounded really interesting as a storyline, but turned out to be quite simple and didn’t evoke strong enough emotions. I really doubt it has any chance to get into TOP9.
I’m really looking forward to entries from Austria, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and Venezuela. And more that other countries yet to release their information, I wonder which film Argentina, China and Ireland are choosing.


    I guess Ireland won’t send any film this year, because not every year they have a non English speaking film.


The Distinguished Citizen from Argentina!


If today is the deadline, I guess China didn’t send any film (one of the very few years doing so). Excluding “The student” (Russia), “Handmaiden” (South Korea), “Between sea and land” (Colombia), “Flower of Aleppo” (Tunisia), “Graduation” (Romania), “The unknown girl” (Belgium) and “Aquarius” (Brazil), that unfairly weren’t the official choices of their countries, here is my top 9 (in order): 1. Chile (finally Chile should get the Oscar. Larrain was unfairly overlooked the last year and this injustice should be restored) , 2. India (social drama of a universal topic such as police brutality against the Bollywood typical choices), 3. Iran (Farhadi at his best), 4. UK (horror genre has only been nominated once -“Kwaidan” Japan 1965- and this film should be treated equally and not overlooked because of its genre that had happened many times in the past with awesome films, such as Orphanage and Cronos), 5. Jordan (like UK that chose Iran, Jordan chose Palestine because if the main country doesn’t choose it, the co-producing countries can do it as well. Sociopolitical female prison themed film at its best). 6. Dominican Republic (Dictatorship years in the island of Hispaniola and the relations of Dominicans and Haitians. A film of hard times, historically accurate, with no buzz and low score and I don’t know why, I guess, because of politics). 7. Nepal (civil war and so many other things through the eyes of two kids. One of the best Nepalese film ever. Nepal has many possibilities to place for 2nd time). 8. Philippines (Brillante Mendoza at his best. Philippines has the 4th worst record of not placing. Such an injustice). 9. Canada (Xavier Dollan was overlooked twice, finally he should be praised with another beautiful film).
Moreover, the three countries which form the worst record of not placing (in order): Portugal (a black and white artistic war film), Egypt (sociopolitical claustophobic allegory), South Korea (Kim Ji Woon at his best), some day have to place. It’s such an injustice. Also, the feel good Iraqi film with dwarfs in the lead (finally a film against all the stereotypes of the leading roles), Uruguay (dictatorship years like Dominican Republic’s film and political prisoners in female prisons like Jordan’s film), Croatia (with a dark family secret of the past), Afghanistan (immigration in an emergency direction) and Indonesia (political exiled of 1965 are rarely depicted in Indonesian cinema and in such a dramedy beautiful manner). I hope this Euro-centric award that most of the time favour WW2 themed films and many times consider more of the country factor than the quality of the film, will play more diverse and praise other topics and other countries as well.


    Hey Dustin! Wow your knowledge towards foreign movies is amazing! I’m indonesian and actually watched ‘Letter to Prague’. It is a very feel-good type movie and wonderfully shot and delicately act. but I’m really curious, how do you watched the movie?


      Thank you so much. It would have been outrageous to find all these 85 countries. Indonesia seems so promising and a rare subject in Indonesian cinema and unfortunately Ι haven’t found it. I know this award is Euro-centric and the factor country plays so high where it shouldn’t. In my opinion, (trailers, reviews, innovative plot etc.) Chile, India, Iran, UK, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Philippines, Canada, Yemen, Iraq, Uruguay, Croatia, South Korea, Indonesia, Egypt and Portugal seem most promising films with innovative plot and daring subjects. I choose films no countries. Until now from Indonesia Gie is the best film I’ve seen (but I have only seen 3-the other 2 are horrors-). Unfortunately, I haven’t found the auteur Usmar Ismail or Djoet Nja Dien. I love world cinema (I’ve seen films from 186 countries) that’s why this award is my favorite.


Ecuador, Costa Rica and Malaysia have just sent films for consideration. Malaysia with a film about autistic child seems a great contender. Asia rules this year. What about China? No participation?

Jesus Iturbe

From Afar (Desde Allá) is excellent. Superb performance by Alfredo Castro, a thrilling story with a tense atmosphere. This Venezuelan film allows us to have a troubling, profound view of human relationships when lack of affection and traumas rule.


Xuan Zang for China! 86 countries!!!!


please watch interrogation from india


The deadline for submission is October 3, three days ago. Don’t suppose you could update this to be a complete list of all submissions in this category.


“visaranai” from india a right movie to bag the awards , it has a worthy stuff which shows the selfishness of every human around us….#:-)


Didn’t “Fire at Sea” win the Golden Bear in Berlin, rather than the Golden Lion in Venice?


interrogation and visaranai is the same movie.


Yes, FIRE AT SEA won the Golden Bear at Berlin, NOT the Golden Lion at Venice. It’s the previous film by the same director that won the Golden Lion.


Did you watch Cuban Chosen? I think is better than several front runners


Austrian was disqualified because it was considered mainly German production whereas Cameroon submitted a full Indian film (it was just a co-producing country, no actors, locations, directors etc from Cameroon). I don’t know what to say! Politics, politics, politics!!


The Philippines’ entry ‘Ma Rosa is a very finely relevant movie. The lead actress won the Cannes Film best actress award. A first in


Malaysia have submitted Redha (the movie title) as our representative this year but I can’t see it on the list. Any clarification on that matter?


    I guess, this site hasn’t been updated. Of course Redha is an official submission of Malaysia and in my opinion, a strong contender.


Finally we have the official. 89 entries but 85 accepted. Austria finally it was accepted as an official submission but Afghanistan, Armenia, Tunisia and Cameroon were disqualified. As for Cameroon it was fair because it was an Hindi film but what about Afghanistan and Armenia? I guess they considered Afghanistan more as an Iranian film and Armenia more as a Russian film (because of the fund), but why they accepted Australia which is the first Vanuatu film, UK which is Iranian and Jordan which is Palestinian? The same happened the previous year with France which was Turkish, Finland which was Estonian, Ireland which was Cuban, Montenegro which was Croatian, Australia which was Bhutanese and Switzerland which was Iraqi and some many other times in the past (even France had won with a Brazilian film in 1959). If the law is the co-producing countries can send as well they should treat to each country and film equally. Afghanistan was an emegency film about immigration. Moreover, Tunisia was the most unlucky country. At first they send the best choice “Flower of Aleppo”, then changed it with “as I open my eyes” and later it was disqualified as well and I don’t know the reason. This year Tunisia rocked (they won Golden Athena with Hedi) with these three films and it’s such an injustice. At last but not least, Cambodia sent an americanised ,aesthetically, film which is more English speaking than Khmer(!!!!) instead of the contemporary beatiful film “Diamond Island” whereas Yemen debuted (the only debut) with a stunning film. Asia rules this year, by far!


I hope the five nominations came from non european countrys. Latin America and Asia deserve it.


    True! From Europe only UK (which is Iranian), Croatia and Portugal are promising and great choices to place. Even one of my favourite directors, Almodovar made one of his weakest films, I couldn’t believe in my eyes when I saw it. But, the 4 big production countries France, Italy, Germany, Spain always play so high because of this, also WW2 themed films are always favoured and thus Denmark, Fyrom-Macedonia, Russia, Austria are front-runners, after recent Waida’s death Poland is on the lead and cynical guy becoming good topic from Sweden has many possibilities as well. So, I’m afraid the Euro-cenric theme is gonna be present this year as well. I hope they won’t choose by these factors and just the quality of the film. You forgot Africa which deserves to place with Egypt.


      I forgot Norway which is also WW2 themed film and thus big favourite and two directors that Academy loves: from Netherlands Paula van der Oest who has placed 2 out 2 times and Danis Tanovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina who has placed 2 out of 3. I hope they won’t choose by these factors but by the film itself and I still believe UK, Croatia and Portugal along with Slovak Republic and Albania are the best choices from Europe against the academic common safe choices. Indeed, this year Asia rules with American continent strong as well and Africa with Egypt.


    I think that no film should be ruled out, regardless of it’s origin. For example “Toni Erdmann”, the German entry this year is a really good film (out of the 8 i’ve seen this far, it is the best). Slovak republic’s “Eva Nova” was just a usual social realism, a bit “too” usual, but I did like it. I sort of felt for the (former) alcoholic (actress) mother, but at the same time knowing what it means to be in that kind of a situation like the son was, it’s hard to forgive and believe that a person can change. At the same time the dimension, that the son maybe had the alcoholic gene in himself also. That made the film very real. But I do think that even Almodovar’s film was better and I don’t think Almodovar deserves a spot among 9 this year. I will be seeing Mexican, Venezuelan, Indian and Australian entries next. So let’s see how the non-european films measure up. So far my list of the films I’ve seen (starting with the best): 1. Germany, 2. Denmark, 3. Sweden 4. France, 5. Greece, 6. Spain, 7. Slovakia, 8. Japan. France’s “Elle” was kind of surprising in a way, but at the same time, if you think for example Haneke’s (also with Huppert) “Piano teacher”, that was just as sexually twisted. “Elle” was a little lighter, with some comedic nuances and thus maybe even more twisted as a film. And I loved how Huppert acted withing acting – she is phenomenal and desirves an oscar (and also the writing), more than the film itself. But that’s just my taste. Nothing to do with where the film is from, just which story I liked more or which film engaged me more or which one evoked more emotions. PS. I’m happy, that Korea didn’t choose “Handmaiden”, since the book it’s based on was so much better and the film was just a pale shadow of Sarah Waters’ “Fingersmith”. I hope the “The age of shadows” is better and Korea has a chance with it. Wonder if any of the festivals will be playing it in my corner of the world…

steven anthony

as Indonesian, I hope “Letter from Prague” will be one of the nominees, because the story told about an Indonesian, but he isn’t treated as an Indonesian generally. well, the strongest candidates coming to Toni Erdmann (Sweden), Elle (France), Neruda (Chile), and The Salesman (Iran)

steven anthony

sorry, Toni Erdmann from Germany.

Brenda Lee

I’m all for Japan’s “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son” movie…

Bryna Weiss

I tried signing up for your newsletter and screenings info, but it said there was an error. Can’t figure out what is wrong.
Can you help?

Bryna Weiss

Not letting me sign up. Don’t know why. Help?

Ally Hacan

Hey Pakistan’s submission Mah-e-Mir should also be in the front runner list……


Not sure if the author of this article really have seen these films but they are somehow underwhelming:

“From Afar” (“Desde Alla”) (Venezuela)
“Chevalier” (Greece)
“Fire at Sea” (Italy)
“Julieta” (Spain)
“Desierto” (Mexico)

There are few foreign films that immensely move and touch me:
“Land of Mine” (Denmark)
“Visaranai” (India)
“Elle” (France)

Prakash A

Do watch “Interrogation” (India).. You will bet on this movie closing your eyes..

Lokesh Narayan

Interrogation(India) is the best movie to watch!! Do watch


Along with Tunisia with two choices disqualified, for no reason, (Flower of Aleppo, As I open my eyes) and another festival beautiful film Hedi, Armenia is another unlucky country. Three films are eligible in the Golden Globes foreign film submissions (Earthquake, The last inhabitant and Hot country, cold winter) and thus can gain a golden globe nomination whereas Armenia isn’t represented at the Oscars at all (Earthquake was disqualified for no reason).

Jerald Fernando

Interrogation would be a great choice for the topic of human rights violation.


Biggest Snubs Elle and neruda . it’s embarrassing . Elle has same subject like salesman and elle is more powerful movie . it’s political !? a man called Ove is good movie happy for it.


I’m reposting my comment here as well: One of the most conservative and safe choices ever, the voting system of this category should be changed. Euro-centric all the way, WW2 themed films (Denmark, Norway, Russia), feel good drama/comedy with a cynical guy becoming good-hearted such as in As good as it gets (Sweden) are typical Academic choices. Even if Australia (which is the first Vanuatu film but represented the co-producing country instead) and the Swiss anime are good choices, can’t compared to other films of this year from the rest of the world. I’m only happy with the stunning Iranian, with Canada (especially considering that Dolan has been overlooked twice before, even for Mommy) and for Germany.
As for the other countries that could be in instead of the other 6 I mentioned above: Asia ruled this year. Arabic world had 3 innovative films: Jordan (which was Palestine about female Palestine prisoners and others in Israel), Iraq (feel good movie about dwarfs, such a rare subject) and the debuting Yemen (real life story about woman’s role in Middle East society). Also from this continent Nepal (with a stunning film about two kids in hard times, one of the best of Nepalese cinema), India (with an anti-Bollywood themed film about police violence that was completely robbed-one of the most unfair omissions), Indonesia (about a black history of the country, of the communists exiled after the 1965 massacre of 1,000,000 communist indonesians-the 2 danish documentaries about this period achieved the nomination in their category why not the fiction one as well?-) and two countries that have big number of not placing: South Korea (about Korea under Japanese occupation from the auteur Kim Jo Woon) and Philippines (a social realism drama of the auteur Brillande Mendoza). Both films played very high.
As for the rest of the world, Portugal (with an anti-war film) and Egypt (with a sociopolitical claustophobic one) that form the two countries with the biggest number of non placing respectively (not even as a shortlist), they could have been great contenders. Also, Uruguay (with female prisoners like Jordan, but under dictatorship’s years), Dominican Republic (American dictatorship through the latin countries as well and a depiction of Dominicans and Haitians), Slovak Republic (with an actress mother and her son relationship), Croatia (with family secrets and lies of the past), UK (this great psychological horror which was Iranian but had a big obstacle, that of horror that Academy always ignore-such as the Orphanage before-), Finland (the best Scandinavian risky choice but they went with the safe ones-Denmark, Sweden, Norway-). But nothing can compared with the snub of Chile. The best film of the bunch from a director that was overlooked shockingly the year before (again Golden Globe nominated El club) and some years before with Tony Manero (nominated only once with No), was sacrificed due to the fact that this category doesn’t want too many front-runners inside because they wanna have a clear winner (Toni Erdmann was locked, so I was sure that one from the two masterpieces -Chile or Iran- would have been sacrificed). As far as France, Spain and Venezuela are concerned I wouldn’t have put them either. My favorite Almodovar, made one of his weakest films whereas France and Venezuela had great topics with not so good development (France too many subjects in an unequal conclusion and Venezuela not depth- although to be really honest I would have preferred these two daring subjects against the safe choices from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Russia). Hupert has big chances though, (don’t forget Cotillard with the Dardenne brothers’ one that didn’t place but she did) and I hope she’ll take the Oscar. This category should change the voting system and distinguish other countries and topics as well.

Tristán White

Having just watched Germany’s “Toni Erdmann”, I think we have an early contender. What a beautiful, moving and hilarious masterpiece. Love it! Fingers crossed.


I really hope that Toni is gonna make it! Never seen something like this before. But I guess The Salesman will make it, because of the current political situation… In my opinion the wrong attitude


I really hope that Toni is gonna make it! Never seen something like this before. But I guess The Salesman will make it, because of the current political situation… In my opinion the wrong attitude

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