A little over a year after jailing and banning their most famous filmmaker from making movies, Iran might win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It would be a first for the nation whose government seems to strongly dislike creativity and freedom of speech, but its entry this year, A Separation, almost seems like a sure thing. Come February, writer/director Asghar Farhadi and Iran might be standing on the winner’s podium.
But it’s not a done deal yet. A Separation and 8 other films were announced last week as part of the Oscar shortlist – just one step away from becoming an official nominee. They include a Danish comedy set in Argentina, a masculine drama about the underground world of illegal bovine growth hormones in Belgium, and something marvelous from Wim Wenders. It’s, to say the least, a varied group. Except that almost all of them are dramas from writer/directors. So, yeah. Subject matter-wise though, it’s a full spectrum.
The final 5 will be announced tomorrow morning, but here first are the trailers from each of the 9 shortlisted movies from far off lands (like Canada):
Of the shortlist, only Taiwan, Denmark, Canada and Germany have ever won before (Denmark leads that group with 3 wins); Morocco has never even been nominated; and Israel leads with most nominations without a win (9). Despite a noteworthy career, this is also Wim Wenders’s first nomination in this category. His only other Oscar nomination was for Best Documentary in 2000 with Buena Vista Social Club.
It’s also important to note that this is another year without France or Italy in the running. France has an ebb and flow to its nominations and wins, but even though Italy leads with the most wins ever (13), it hasn’t won since 1998’s Life is Beautiful, and it’s only had one nominee (Don’t Tell) since then.
The lesson from this year’s shortlist? World cinema, or at least the United States’ relationship to it, is changing, and new players are emerging to deliver some incredible movies.
Links provided by Zergnet, which sounds like a villain but is really quite helpful.
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