Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oscar Predictions: Best Foreign Film

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 10th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Bullhead, Footnote, In Darkness, Monsieur Lazhar, A Separation

This year’s contenders: Amour (Austria), Beyond the Hills (Romania), The Deep (Iceland), The Intouchables (France), Kon-Tiki (Norway), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), Sister (Switzerland), War Witch (Canada)

The rundown: This list was winnowed down from seventy-one submissions to nine finalists, five of which will ultimately be nominated. That doesn’t make guessing too hard, though I’m sad to say that my busy December of movies included exactly zero of these films. I had the chance to see “Amour” yesterday and hope to catch a few of the others in the next few weeks. Among the nine finalists are the four eligible Golden Globe nominees (“Rust and Bone” was the fifth, also from France). The clear frontrunners at this point are Amour and The Intouchables, and I see no reason why A Royal Affair and Kon-Tiki might not be nominated. No seems like a strong contender as well. I’m not sure what to make of the Oscar chances for Beyond the Hills, which is directed by Cristian Mungiu, who helmed “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days,” which was famously snubbed from this shortlist five years ago. It’s strange to see one of his works recognized now, and it’s also worth noting that Romania has never been nominated in this category.

One possible crazy scenario: Sure things like “Volver” have been passed over in the past, and having the highly-acclaimed “Amour” earn a Best Actress nomination without a corresponding Best Foreign Film bid would be truly shocking.

Forecasted winner: “The Intouchables” or “Amour”

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