Dec 04
THE TOP 15 COUNTRIES VYING FOR OSCAR NOMINATIONS by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Tue, Dec 4, 2012

A shortlist of nine possible nominees for the best foreign language film category of the 85th Oscar Awards will be forthcoming after December 17 with the completion of the initial screening of 71 foreign language films submitted to the Academy.

Three committees—divided into sections of Red, White and Blue—have been tasked to view one-third of the submitted entries. The films will be graded and scores tallied to come up with the six highest scoring films which will move on to the next phase together with three films chosen by the Foreign Language Executive group.

These nine films, in effect, comprise the shortlist of 9 films which will be previewed before the final five nominations are announced with the nominations in the other categories on January 10 next year.

Let us now run through the possible top 15 films vying for inclusion, first, in the shortlist of 9, and then, in the final 5. Let us review how the films’ country of origin have actually fared in this category.

Hereunder is the top 15 that Awards Circuit compiled for its predictions (ranked according to perceived seeding):

1. Austria (Amour, directed by Michael Haneke).
The Hollywood Reporter also placed it in its Top 5. Austria has already one a best foreign language film trophy in 2007 for The Counterfeiters by Stefan Ruzowitzky. The country also garnered three nominations.

2. France (The Intouchables, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache).
The Hollywood Reporter also placed it in its Top 5. In the history of the Oscar awards, France already won 12 such trophies and boasts of 36 nominations but its last win was in 1992 for Indochine by Regis Wargnier. Italy surpasses France with 13 trophies but has only 27 previous nominations.

3. Denmark (A Royal Affair, directed by Nikolaj Arcel).
The Hollywood Reporter also placed it in its Top 5. Denmark already won three trophies (the last in 2010 for In a Better World by Susanne Bier). It also has 8 previous nominations.

4. Romania (Beyond the Hills, directed by Cristian Mungiuf).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. No win/no nomination

5. Philippines (Bwakaw, directed by Juan Robles Lana.
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. No win/no nomination

6. Germany (Barbara, directed by Christian Petzold).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. Germany already boasts of two wins in this category—in 2006 for The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and in 2002 for Nowhere in Africa by Caroline Link. It also has nine previous nominations.

7. Chile (No, directed by Pablo Larrain).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. No win/no nomination

8. Israel (Fill the Void, directed by Rama Burshtein).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Top 5. Though it has not win a trophy in this category, Israel has already complied a list of 10 nominations.

9. Australia (Lore, directed by Cate Shortland).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. No win/no nomination

10. Canada (War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. Canada already owns a lone Oscar trophy which it garnered in 2003 for The Barbarian Invasions by Denys Arcand, with six previous nominations to boot.

11. Norway (KonTiki, directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning).
Though not yet a winner, Norway already has 4 previous nominations.

12. Iceland (The Deep, directed by Balthasar Komakur).
Iceland has been nominated once in this category.

13. Morocco (Death for Sale, directed by Faouzi Bensaidi).
No win/no nomination

14. South Korea (Pieta, directed by Kim Ki-duk).
The Hollywood Reporter listed it in its Next 10. No win/no nomination

15. Mexico (After Lucia, directed by Michel Franco).
Though still winless, Mexico has vied before with 8 nominations.

As we can see in this list of 15, there are five previous winners (France, Denmark, Germany, Canada and Austria). Of the ten countries who have not yet won an Oscar trophy, six have not been nominated even for once. These are Chile, Australia, Romania, South Korea, Philippines and Morocco.

In two weeks perhaps, we can find out which country can break the jinx.


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