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.
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.
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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)