Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Foreign Film

The competition: The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), The Missing Picture (Cambodia), The Great Beauty (Italy), The Hunt (Denmark), Omar (Palestine)

Previous winners: Amour (Austria), A Separation (Iran), In a Better World (Denmark), The Secret in their Eyes (Argentina), Departures (Japan), The Counterfeiters (Austria)
My winner: Blue is the Warmest Color
The facts: Italy holds the record for most wins in this category, with 13 trophies out of 28 nominations. Denmark has won three times out of nine tries. Belgium is 0 for 6, and this is the first nomination for Cambodia. This is technically the first nomination for Palestine, though the Palestinian Territories were credited with director Hany Abu-Assad’s first film, “Paradise Now,” a nominee in 2005. The other four directors are all first-time nominees.

Who should win: I’m still waiting to see “The Missing Picture,” which comes out in a few weeks. I wasn’t a fan of “Omar,” which I felt took a far too political standpoint that negated its dramatic effectiveness. Golden Globe winner “The Great Beauty” certainly has a particular cosmetic and visual allure, and I wouldn’t be too broken up if it won. “The Broken Circle Breakdown” is certainly the most individualistic and compelling. I think the best of the bunch is “The Hunt,” a solid and haunting drama with a strong plot and lead performance from Mads Mikkelsen.
Who will win: The frontrunner is The Great Beauty, thanks in part to its Golden Globe win, and I don’t see any of these films have enough clout to overtake it.

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