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by Bryce J. Renninger
December 20, 2013 1:05 PM
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Academy Narrows Foreign Language Oscar Race to 9 Contenders; Saudi Arabia and Iran Surprise Snubs

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has just announced the nine films that will contend for an Oscar nomination. Notable exceptions are previous winner Asghar Farhadi for his new film "The Past" (Iran), Berlinale standout "Gloria" (Chile), Canada's entry "Gabrielle," and our prognosticator Peter Knegt's top choice for the award, Haifaa Al-Mansour's "Wadjda," which was the #2 Best First Feature on our annual critics' poll

READ: Updated 2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Foreign Language Film

From here, the nine films still in the running will be watched by selected committees in New York and Los Angeles the week preceding the nominations announcement on January 16.

The nine films still in contention are:

Belgium, "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Felix van Groeningen, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," Danis Tanovic, director;

Cambodia, "The Missing Picture," Rithy Panh, director;

Denmark, "The Hunt," Thomas Vinterberg, director;

Germany, "Two Lives," Georg Maas, director;

Hong Kong, "The Grandmaster," Wong Kar-wai, director;

Hungary, "The Notebook," Janos Szasz, director;

Italy, "The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino, director;

Palestine, "Omar," Hany Abu-Assad, director.

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  • daniel | December 22, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    Paulina Garcia must be nominated at Oscar for Best Actress for Gloria where she is amazing.

  • Jason | December 21, 2013 8:03 PMReply

    I hope Academy gives a nomination to Paulin Garcia for Best Actress because her performance in Gloria is totally wonderful and superb!

  • jim fouratt | December 21, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    I suggest strongly that each of us do as much as we can to make sure people do know about THE PAST , GLORIA and WADJDA . All made my Best list this year and are deserving of being on this list .... As is the stateless film THE ATTACK, which is perhaps the best foreign film of the year

  • jim fouratt | December 21, 2013 7:22 PMReply

    I suggest strongly that each of us do as much to make sure people do know about the

  • Jan Lisa Huttner | December 21, 2013 11:38 AMReply

    To IMDb: Please add the name Judith Kaufman to this list ASAP. According to IMDb, she is the credited co-director of “Two Lives” (& the only woman on this year's BFLF list).

  • martha | December 21, 2013 10:19 AMReply


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  • Mitch | December 20, 2013 8:49 PMReply


  • Arslan Baig | December 20, 2013 7:18 PMReply

    Denmark's The Hunt is winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Mark my words!

  • Samantha | December 20, 2013 6:59 PMReply

    Paulina Garcia must be nominated at OSCAR for best Actress for her wonderful performance in Gloria.

  • LLOYD CHRISTMAS | December 20, 2013 6:33 PMReply

    The Broken Circle Breakdown was absolutely terrible. I truly don't understand the love for it. They threw in everything but the kitchen sink, including 9/11. Come on.

  • watchmeshine | December 20, 2013 4:55 PMReply

    The broken circle breakdown is my favorite. I really hope it get's the recognition it deserves!

  • Eris Akman | December 20, 2013 3:18 PMReply

    I think Asghar Farhadi's "The Past" is one of the best films of the year, let alone the foreign language film. I wonder why?

  • Melissa Leterrier | December 20, 2013 2:49 PMReply

    Are you kidding? Saudi Arabia's first female director didn't even get a nomination? Heartless, Academy!! Old, white, male, and heartless.

  • Jan Lisa Huttner | December 21, 2013 11:34 AM

    To HDBFLY: WADJDA is a terrific film (I've seen it twice already) AND it is written & directed by a woman AND she made it in Saudi Arabia under great obstacles AND yes it does matter (especially because the list is otherwise so phallocentric). Stop me if you've already heard this, HDBFLY: "Women hold up half the sky."

  • Hdbfly | December 21, 2013 7:53 AM

    So, it should nominated because a woman directed it? That's what you're saying. It might be good, but that doesn't matter. It's just because an woman in Saudi Arabia made it.

  • Ryan | December 20, 2013 2:29 PMReply

    This is ridiculous. The Past is one of the best films of the year, period. If they wanted to go obscure, they should've nominated Mother, I Love You.

    Interesting to note that there are no films from Sony Pictures Classics here. They normally have 2-3 films nominated in this category every year and I can't even recall the last time they had none.

  • alvaro | December 20, 2013 2:22 PMReply

    But Gloria is amazing!!! Paulina García must get the Oscar nod for Best Actress so

  • Rob Roy | December 20, 2013 1:30 PMReply

    The Great Beauty is riding high.

  • Carlos Aguilar | December 20, 2013 1:24 PMReply

    After watching and reviewing close to 50 of the submissions for SydneysBuzz here on IndieWire, I'm beyond baffled with some of the choices, and even more so with the snubs. They really want to spice things up.