Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The 83rd Academy Awards are nearly here, and that means another foreign language film will soon be striking Oscar gold for its home country.
Given each year to a film produced outside of the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track, the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film recognizes excellence in world cinema.
The Ins and Outs of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
Unlike those other Academy Awards, the one for Best Foreign Language Film is awarded to an entire country, not an individual. Each nation may submit one film it considers its best. English-subtitled versions of those films are then screened by members of the Foreign Language Film Award Committee –- say that 3 times fast! — who choose the five official nominees.
For those of you who like to keep count, Italy holds the current title for most foreign film Oscars with 13, though France is right behind with 12. Spain and Japan are deadlocked for a distant third place with 4 apiece.
Which of the nominated nations has the movie-making moxie worthy of Academy acclaim? Come February 27, 2011, we’ll know who walks away with this year’s “statuetta d’oro piccola” (that’s “little gold statue” in Italian).
And the Nominees Are . . .
A dying hustler (Javier Bardem, also nominated for best actor) in Barcelona attempts to reconcile his past while securing a future for his children. The title refers to the way native Spanish speakers would spell the word “beautiful” based on its English pronunciation. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
An exploration of the need for control and what it can lead to, the film is about a domineering father and his wife who raise their three children within the confines of their villa, never allowing them contact with the outside world. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.
“Outside the Law,” Algeria
Known as “Hors-la-loi” in Algeria, the film tells the story of three brothers swept up in the nation’s fight for independence. Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, the film has created controversy in France, which objects to its depiction of the war that led to Algeria’s independence.
“In a Better World,” Denmark
Originally titled “Hævnen,” which translates from Danish to “The Revenge,” the film follows the fates of two families and how they become intertwined as their sons develop a dangerous friendship. Directed by Susanne Bier.
This French and Arabic language film from Quebec relates the tale of two adult twins who travel to the Middle East in order to explore their mother’s mysterious and war-ravaged past. Directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Have any of you foreign film fans seen any of these flicks? Tell us which country you think will take home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011.
Update: The results are in! Find out which of the nominees won the 2011 Foreign Language Film award!