Oct 08
NOY AT THE OSCARS by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Oct 8, 2010

Noy, the country’s official entry to the best foreign language film category of the 83rd Oscar Awards, will be vying against at least 55 other films where thirteen are regarded as heavyweight favorites, according to Oscar Awards website predictions.

If we consider these website write-ups, it seems that it will really be an uphill climb for Noy and the first ever nomination for the Philippines.

The country had submitted a film entry 22 times and never got lucky to merit inclusion in the final five nominees for this category.

Before we go into a backgrounder on the 22 times we tried but failed, let us first scan the statistics about this particular category. According to Wikipedia, out of the 62 awards handed out by the AMPAS since 1947 to foreign language films, 51 have gone to European films, five to Asian films, three to African films and three to films from the Americas.

The country by country tally shows that Italy won the award 13 times; France, 12; Spain and Japan, 4 times each; Sweden, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia, 3 times each; and Denmark, Germany, Argentina and Switzerland, 2 times each.

There are 11 countries with at least one award tucked under its belt, namely; Germany,Hungary, Russia, Algeria, Canada, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Austria, South Africa, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Ivory Coast.

The Asian winners are Japan with 4 and Taiwan with one award. The Japanese films include Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1951); Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell (1954); Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai, the Legend of Musashi (1955); and Yojiro Takita’s Departures (2008).

Notice the more than half-century draught for Japan.

The lone winning film from Taiwan is Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).

Among non-winners, Israel has the most number of nominations with 9. Poland has 8; Mexico, 7; Yugoslavia, 6 and Belgium, 5.

Nominations for Asian films are as follows: Japan, 12; Taiwan, 3; India, 3; China, 2; Hong Kong, 2; Nepal, 1; and Vietnam, 1.

For the 2010 best foreign language film awards of the Oscars, early buzz points to 13 films which have an inside track into the nominations. Capsule reviews of the films are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Algeria
Outside the Law, directed by Rachid Bouchareb. A film about an Algerian family, separated for years, who is reunited in Paris against
the backdrop of Algeria’s struggle for independence post World War II.

Canada
Incendies, directed by Denis Villeneuve. A film about a pair of twins travelling to the Middle East to piece together the missing jigsaws of their mother’s final days. It won the best Canadian film award in the Toronto International Film Festival.

France
Of Gods and Men, directed by Xavier Beauvois. A film based on the true story of seven French monks who have lived harmoniously with the Muslim population but were allegedly executed during the Algerian War. It was the Grand Prix runner-up at the last Cannes Film Festival.

Germany
When We Leave, directed by Feo Aladag. A film about a Turkish woman who is at odds with her family while pursuing an independent life in Germany. It’s lead actress, Sibel Kekilli, won the best actress award at the recent German Oscars.

Greece
Dogtooth, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. A film about teenaged siblings who are totally living in isolation at their family’s country estate. It gar-nered jury prizes in six film festivals.

India
Peepli, Directed by Anusha Rizvi. A film about the media frenzy caused by a wave of farmer suicides in rural India.

Iraq
Son of Babylon, directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji. A film about a little boy and his grandmother as they search for the boy’s missing father following the downfall of Saddam Hussein. It won the Amnesty and Peace prize at the last Berlin International Film Festival.

Mexico
Biutiful, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. A film about a cancer-stricken man (Javier Bardem) who is still beset by problems with his wife, father, criminals, neighbors, immigrants and children. Bardem won the best actor award in Cannes.

Netherlands
Tirza, directed by Rudolph van den Berg. A film about a father who travels to Namibia to trace the whereabouts of his kidnapped daughter.

Romania
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle, directed by Florin Serban. A film about a prisoner about to be paroled who falls in love with a prison intern. It won the Silver Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Russia
The Edge, directed by Aleksei Uchitel. A film about the aftermath of World War II as a Russian tank-man who fancies train racing and locomotives tries to adjust to the restoration of peace.

South Africa
Life Above All, directed by Oliver Schmitz. A film about a 12-year-old village girl and the AIDs drama that swirls around her rural hamlet. It received a good review from film critic Roger Ebert at Cannes.

Thailand
Uncle Boonmee Who Can, directed by Apichapong Weerathesakul. A film about the main character, Uncle Boonmee, who recounts his many past lives from his deathbed. It won the Golden Palm award at Cannes.

These are the films that our entry Noy will be going up against. Let us just hope that Noy can stand up to these challenges.

(Next week: Our previous entries and the winning films that outlasted them)


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