The 86th Academy Award nominations won't be announced for another five months or so, but we're already getting in the Oscar spirit as submissions for the 2013 foreign film category have begun to trickle in. After recently highlighting 11 Best Picture Oscar Winners and 24 Oscar Nominated Documentaries streaming on Netflix, we decided that award winning foreign language films warranted a list of their own.
It's worth noting that there was no separate category for foreign language films until 1956, when the Best Foreign Language Film Award was created for non-English films. Before then, the Academy presented Special/Honorary Awards to the best foreign language films released in the United States. There were no nominees and only one "winner" and the award was not always presented. We included the foreign films which won Honorary Awards in our list below. You'll also notice that there are no foreign language Oscar winners from the 1950s or 1970s since they aren't available via streaming (some are available on DVD). Italy is well represented in the list, with two films from Vittorio De Sica, as films by Federico Fellini, Giuseppe Tornatore and Roberto Benigni.
The films are listed in chronological order (from newest to oldest). The date listed is the year they won the Oscar. If you haven't had the chance to see these films, go ahead and stream them on Netflix now.
Here are 11 Best Foreign Language Oscar winners now streaming on Netflix:
Departures, (2008, Yojiro Takita)
The Sea Inside (2004, Alejandro Amenabar)
Nowhere in Africa (2002, Caroline Link)
Life is Beautiful (1998, Roberto Benigni)
Kolya (1996, Jan Sverak)
Journey of Hope (1990, Xavier Koller)
Cinema Paradiso (1989, Giuseppe Tornatore)
The Official Story (1985, Luis Puenzo)
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964, Vittorio De Sica)
8 1/2 (1963, Federico Fellini)
The Bicycle Thief (1949, Vittorio De Sica)