The process of picking the nominees for best foreign-language film are very complicated, perhaps unnecessarily so. However, it’s a real challenge to narrow the field of 85 official submissions to just nine.
So which films have been screening well enough to make the first six voted on by the regular Oscar members? We’ve created a gallery of what I think are the top nine, as gleaned from various sources about what screened well (and what didn’t).
Also popular (but not represented in the gallery) are two films eligible in other categories: the Golden Globes-nominated stop-motion animated “My Life as a Zucchini” (Switzerland), and Gianfranco Rosi’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “Fire at Sea” (Italy), which is a strong documentary contender.
There’s also aborigine island drama “Tanna” (Australia) and Attila Till’s “Kill on Wheels” (Hungary), along with Cannes prize winners “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Finland), a cheerful sports romance directed by Juho Kuosmanen (Un Certain Regard winner), Xavier Dolan’s grand-jury-prize winner “It’s Only the End of the World” (Canada), and “Ma’ Rosa” (Philippines), which won Best Actress.