No Asian film made it to the list of final nominees in the best foreign language film category of the 83rd Oscar Awards this year as the Japanese film Confessions was eliminated with three others in the shortlist of nine possible nominees.
The Philippine entry Noy failed to make the shortlist earlier, extending the country’s failure to enter the prestigious nominees’ circle to 23 times, the same number of years a Philippine film entry was submitted.
The five final nominees 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.
In a Better World, directed by Susanne Bier. A film about the bonding of two Danish schoolboys, one of whom returns home from London and becomes the other’s boy protector from bullies. But when the former involves his friend in an act of revenge, their friendship is tested and ligves are put in danger.
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.
The four films in the shortlist which were dropped were:
Life Above All, directed by Oliver Schmitz.
Confessions, directed by Tetsuya Nakashima.
Even the Rain (Tambien la Lluvia), directed by Iciar Bollain.
Simple Simon, directed by Andreas Ohman.
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).
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