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Academy Announces Foreign Oscar Shortlist; ‘Amour,’ ‘Intouchables’ In; ‘Barbara’ Out

Academy Announces Foreign Oscar Shortlist; 'Amour,' 'Intouchables' In; 'Barbara' Out

Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards, in what might be the least controversial foreign film shortlist ever.

Among the chosen nine were the expected likes of France’s “The Intouchables,” Austria’s “Amour” and Denmark’s “A Royal Affair.”  Seventy-one films had originally qualified in the category.

The most glaring omissions were probably Germany’s “Barbara,” Australia’s “Lore” and Belgium’s “Our Children,” each of which were considered good possibilities for the list. Though there was no snub on the level of, say, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.” And the director of that film — Cristian Mungiu — finally did make the shortlist thanks to the somewhat unexpected inclusion of Romania’s “Beyond The Hills.”

All nine countries save Canada and Chile were notably from Europe, with no Asian or African representation. Nordic countries did especially well, with Norway, Denmark and Iceland (for Baltasar Kormakur’s “The Deep,” another surprise) all on the list.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

     Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director;
     Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director;
     Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director;
     Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director;
     France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors;
     Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director;
     Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors;
     Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director;
     Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director.

As per the Academy: “Foreign Language Film nominations for 2012 are again being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 71 eligible films between mid-October and December 17. 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 spend Friday, January 4, through Sunday, January 6, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.”

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

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