Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Oscar Nominees: Best Foreign Film

My predictions: 4/5
My ballot: Come back in February!
The nominees: Capernaum (Lebanon), Cold War (Poland), Never Look Away (Germany), Roma (Mexico), Shoplifters (Japan)

I’m more invested in this race than I’ve ever been before, and while I’m not surprised by this lineup, I’m a bit disappointed since I would have loved to see “Burning” included. This list includes the four finalists nominated at the Golden Globes and the one film that was snubbed there, Cold War, which also merited a Best Cinematography nomination and a much more surprising Best Director bid. This may well be the most participatory foreign field ever, and certainly the most active in twenty years when two of 1998’s nominees scored major bids. Never Look Away got an unexpected but well-deserved nomination for Best Cinematography, where it joined Roma, the nominations co-leader, which scored a total of ten nominations. Shoplifters is here, which is good, along with Lebanon for its second consecutive nomination: the marvelous Capernaum. I’ll go through statistics and likelihoods when I do my winner predictions, though I will note that the scenario that pits Germany against Mexico where the former prevailed over the much more nominated latter in 2006 has in fact occurred.

My current bet to win: Even if both “Cold War” and “Never Look Away” got a bump today, it’s not wise to bet against Roma.

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