Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oscar Predictions: Best Foreign Film

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 14th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Wild Tales (Argentina), Tangerines (Estonia), Timbuktu (Mauritania), Ida (Poland), Leviathan (Russia)

This year’s contenders: The Brand New Testament (Belgium), Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), A War (Denmark), The Fencer (Finland), Mustang (France), Labyrinth of Lies (Germany), Son of Saul (Hungary), Viva (Iceland), Theeb (Jordan)

The rundown: This list was winnowed down from eighty submissions to nine finalists, five of which will ultimately be nominated. A few films many expected to be here didn’t make the cut, and Golden Globe nominee “The Club” from Chile isn’t on it. Of the four Globe nominees, Son of Saul and Mustang will both definitely be nominated. I’ve seen three others - The Fencer, Viva, and Theeb, and I’m not so sure about their chances. I don’t think I would include any of those three on my list. I think that Labyrinth of Lies will probably make the cut, and A War is a good bet too. I don’t know anything about Embrace of the Serpent, and The Brand New Testament, which looks pretty light, was a Golden Globe nominee, so it may make the cut too. I think we’ll have fewer surprises here than usual, though four of these films haven’t yet been released in the United States, so it’s hard to know.

One possible crazy scenario: The lock of all locks, Son of Saul, somehow doesn’t get in. It won’t happen though.

Forecasted winner: “Son of Saul”

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