Monday, April 12, 2021

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best International Feature

The competition: Another Round (Denmark), Better Days (Hong Kong), Collective (Romania), The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia), Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Previous winners: Parasite (South Korea), Roma (Mexico), A Fantastic Woman (Chile), The Salesman (Iran), Son of Saul (Hungary), Ida (Poland), The Great Beauty (Italy), Amour (Austria)
My winner: Coming soon!
The facts: This is the third consecutive year that a nominee here also contends for Best Director, with Thomas Vinterberg (who I interviewed here) up for the honor for “Another Round.” Two of the past three directors to attain that honor won both this and that prize, though both “Roma” and “Parasite” were also nominated for Best Picture. Vinterberg is back after helming “The Hunt” in 2013, and this marks the thirteenth nomination for Denmark, which has been victorious three times: in 1987 for “Babette’s Feast,” in 1988 for “Pelle the Conqueror,” and in 2010 for “In a Better World.” Hong Kong has two previous nominations, both from the early 1990s. This is Romania’s first-ever nomination, and the second consecutive year that a film in this category has also been recognized as a nominee for Best Documentary. “Collective” is the fourth-ever documentary nominated in this category (thanks to Juan Carlos over at The Film Experience for a thorough historical analysis of this). This is also the first-ever nomination for Tunisia. Bosnia and Herzegovina returns with its second nomination after one previous bid, in 2001 for “No Man’s Land,” which also earned it a win. As far as I can tell, this is the first time since 2006 that two female directors are nominated, Kaouther Ben Hania for “The Man Who Sold His Skin” and Jasmila Žbanić for “Quo Vadis, Aida?” As tends to be the case, this slate is largely untested in regards to competing with each other. Only “Another Round” was nominated at the Golden Globes, while it beat “Quo Vadis, Aida?” at BAFTA.
Who should win: This is a very good list. I personally liked “The Man Who Sold His Skin” quite a bit, but I would be fine with “Another Round” or “Quo Vadis, Aida?” winning too. “Collective” is also a very good choice, and though it wouldn’t be my pick, “Better Days” is also a strong film.
Who will win: I’m tempted to predict that “Quo Vadis, Aida?” triumphs, but I think Another Round will have little trouble winning this.