Noy, the country’s official entry to the best foreign language film category of the 83rd Oscar Awards this year, failed to make the short list of nine films competing for the final five nominations.
The AMPAS announced the short list on January 20. As early as October last year, we have indicated that it seems it will really be an uphill climb for Noy and the first ever nomination for the Philippines.
The country had now submitted a film entry 23 times and never got lucky to merit inclusion in the final five nominees for this category.
For this year’s best foreign language film awards of the Oscars, early buzz pointed to 13 films which have an inside track into the nominations. When the final short list was announced, five of these 13 films really made it but four other films in the short list were considered surprises.
The five expected semi-finalists are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The four other films in the short list are:
In a Better World, directed by Susanne Bier.
Confessions, directed by Tetsuya Nakashima.
Even the Rain (Tambien la Lluvia), directed by Iciar Bollain.
Simple Simon, directed by Andreas Ohman.
Among the favorites “snubbed” in the short list include, among others:
France’s 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.
Thailand’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall is Past Lives, 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.
Iraq’s 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.
Romania’s 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.
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 drought 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.
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/