Golden Globes announce more inclusive foreign-language list

Posted by · 5:43 pm · December 8th, 2009

Penelope Cruz in Broken EmbracesAny regular Oscar-watcher is familiar with the finicky rules and regulations that, year in and year out, keep some of the year’s most talked-about foreign-language titles from contending for the Oscar.

Happily, the Golden Globes have fewer restrictions — unlike AMPAS, they permit more than one film per country in the competition, and don’t rely on the official submissions of the countries themselves. The result is a larger, more inclusive field of contenders for the Best Foreign Language Film award, as demonstrated by this longlist of Globe contenders (courtesy of Screen International).

At 69 titles, it’s only 4 titles longer than the Academy’s list, but the real difference lies in the number of high-profile films in contention. For example, while France’s profilic industry is only represented by “A Prophet” for the Oscars, the Globes allow such titles as “Coco Before Chanel,” “The Girl on the Train” and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs” to join it in the race.

Other major titles on the Globe list that were denied Oscar consideration (controversially so, in some cases) include Spain’s “Broken Embraces,” Italy’s “Vincere,” Chile’s “The Maid,” China’s “City of Life and Death,” Israel’s “Lebanon,” Korea’s “Thirst,” Sweden’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and Algeria’s “London River,” whose proportion of English dialogue cost it a place in the Oscar race.

It’ll be interesting to see how many of these show up in the final five. As it stands, the longlist is a bothersome reminder of the still-prevalent flaws in the Academy’s system. Full list below.

About Elly (Iran)
Ajami (Israel)
Baaria (Italy)
Backyard (Mexico)
Broken Embraces (Spain)
Broken Promise (Slovak Republic)
Can Not Live Without You (Taiwan)
Cell 211 (Spain)
Chameleon (Hungary)
Chandni Chowk To China (India)
Chilango Chronicles (Mexico)
City Of Life And Death (China)
Coco Before Chanel (France)
The Dancer And The Thief (Spain)
Dawson, Island 10 (Chile)
A Day At The Museum (France)
Delhi-6 (India)
Donkey (Croatia)
Eden Is West (France)
For a Moment, Freedom (Austria/France)
I Galantuomini (Italy)
The Girl On The Train (France)
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sweden)
God’s Offices (France/Belgium)
Grandpa Is Dead (Philippines)
Grown Ups (France/Sweden)
Harishchandrachi Factory (India)
Hello Goodbye (France/Israel/Italy)
Hipsters (Russia)
I Killed My Mother (Canada)
I Saw The Sun (Turkey)
Il Grande Sogno (Italy)
John Rabe (Germany)
Lebanon (Israel)
Letters To Father Jacob (Finland)
London River (Algeria)
Louise-Michel (France/Belgium/Luxembourg)
Made In Hungaria (Hungary)
The Maid (Chile)
Max Manus (Norway)
Micmacs (France)
The Misfortunates (Belgium)
Mother (South Korea)
My Queen Karo (Belgium)
Nobody To Watch Over Me (Japan)
Police, Adjective (Romania)
Prank (Hungary)
Prince Of Tears (Hong Kong/Taiwan)
A Prophet (France)
Protektor (Czech Republic)
Queen To Play(France/Germany)
Refractaire (Draft Dodgers) (Luxembourg)
The Reverse (Poland)
The Road From Elephant Pass (Sri Lanka)
Rudo And Cursi (Mexico)
Samson & Delilah (Australia)
The Secret Of Her Eyes (Argentina)
Secrets Of State (France)
Someone I Loved (France/Belgium/Italy)
Southern District (Bolivia)
Terribly Happy (Denmark)
Thirst (South Korea)
Vincere (Italy)
The Waltz (Italy)
Ward No. 6 (Russia)
Welcome (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
Winter In Wartime (The Netherlands)
With A Little Help From Myself (France)

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17 responses so far

  • 1 12-08-2009 at 6:05 pm

    Me. said...

    Easily the best film of the year so far.

  • 2 12-08-2009 at 6:05 pm

    tim said...

    Just curious, is there a reason why White Ribbon isn’t being predicted for the top 5 for the Oscars? I haven’t seen it, but isn’t it being hailed as one of the top films of the year?

  • 3 12-08-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Tim: I won’t answer for Kris, but I’ll say that I’m not predicting “The White Ribbon” because it strikes me as too cold, too severe and too remote (too Haneke, basically) for the Academy — which tends to prefer warmer, more humanistic works in this category.

    Yes, it’s highly acclaimed — but the recent, high-profile snubs of “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” and “Gomorrah” (to name but two) prove that voters don’t place much stock in that.

    Of course, exceptions exist, and I could well be wrong. I’d like to be.

  • 4 12-08-2009 at 6:18 pm

    Michael said...

    In my own little magical world of unreality I am hoping for A Prophet to duke it out to the death with The White Ribbon for the Oscar for foreign Language film, and I would be happy with either film walking away with it. Of course that isn’t likely to happen but that would make me really happy if it did. Also, does anyone know who actually wins the award for foreign language film – does it go to just the producers or does it also go to the director? I can’t really remember…

  • 5 12-08-2009 at 6:20 pm

    tim said...

    Thanks Guy, makes sense. One more question, was Let the Right One In not nominated for some reason last year or was it just snubbed? I just saw it and loved it.

  • 6 12-08-2009 at 6:23 pm

    Michael said...

    sorry to move the discussion away from the golden globes – that is a pretty awesome list for cinemaphiles to pick and choose what foreign films they need to add on their queue/pray get released in their area b/c as Guy mentioned it includes multiple movies from the same country. I know the Golden Globes can sometimes nominate 6 and even 7 films in the Best Drama and/or Best Comedy category but does anyone know if their ever increase the number of foreign films nominated as well? I may be alone in this but I sometimes with the foreign language film oscar category had more slots than just 5, if only to recognize further achievements in foreign film.

  • 7 12-08-2009 at 6:25 pm

    Michael said...

    *woah spelling errors like crazy: my last sentence above should read “I may be alone in saying this but I sometimes wish the Oscars nominated more than five films in the Best Foreign Language film to allow more variety and recognition of more countries and films.

  • 8 12-08-2009 at 6:30 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Michael: The Oscar rules in that regard are a little strange — while Best Picture goes to the producer/s, Best Foreign Language Film isn’t awarded to a specific individual — the director (not the producers) gets to accept the award on behalf of the film itself, though the award isn’t technically his. It’s an oddity.

    As for the Globes, 6-7 nominees are named in a category only when there have been ties in the voting — it could feasibly happen in Best Foreign Language Film, but I don’t think it ever has.

    Tim: “Let the Right One In” wasn’t snubbed — it wasn’t selected by Sweden last year as it wasn’t released by the required deadline.

  • 9 12-08-2009 at 6:36 pm

    Michael said...

    wow, thanks Guy for clearing those things up. I always wondered about who got to keep the oscar for foreign film and it does sound pretty silly as you mentioned. I guess the important thing is the film to get the award b/c it can always be traced back to the director and all but I know I would want to keep the award on my mantle to show it off if I won.

  • 10 12-08-2009 at 7:07 pm

    Ed said...

    Where is “Sin Nombre” being placed at the Globes? Anybody know?

  • 11 12-08-2009 at 7:14 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    according to the predictions on the right

    up in the air-6 nominations
    avatar- 7 nominations
    lovely bones- 3 nominations
    an education- 5 nominations
    invictus- 2 nominations
    precious- 5 nominations
    nine- 9 nominations
    up- 5 nominations
    a serious man- 3 nominations
    the hurt locker- 8 nominations
    inglourious basterds- 6 nominations

    no sweeper yeat- it seems only lovely bones, nine, basterds, or avatar even have a chance at sweeping, Im just wondering what movie will have to leave your top 10 for basterds to fit in

  • 12 12-08-2009 at 7:32 pm

    tintin said...

    The Secret Of Her Eyes is really good!

  • 13 12-08-2009 at 9:05 pm

    Kate said...

    Rudo y Cursi!!!!!

  • 14 12-09-2009 at 12:58 am

    Glenn said...

    What a fantastic looking list of movies! Apart from the ones I’ve already seen they’ve chosen some really exciting sounding titles. Although I’m not even going to ask how “Samson & Delilah” qualifies. I imagine it’s got something to do with festivals.

  • 15 12-09-2009 at 2:52 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    MicMacs is fun but no contender. Neither is Chanel. Seems like the French made the right choice with A Prophet.

  • 16 12-09-2009 at 6:56 pm

    Me. said...

    Micmacs is a great film Jonathan. It’s been a long time since there’s been a slaptstick comedy with a strong critical message against a serious world issue. Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a genius.