OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 18th, 2010

The foreign Language film category has been marred in controversy for the last few years. When films like “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” and “Persepolis” were unceremoniously nixed from the field a few years ago, a special new “executive committee” was established to have final say on the fallen, hopefully saving the committee […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The bright side

Posted by · 7:36 am · February 2nd, 2010

Well, I’ll start the good news selfishly, by noting that I didn’t entirely embarrass myself with my predictions: not counting the short categories (which I was too cowardly and uninformed to predict) I nailed 78/106, just two points behind Kris’s round tally of 80. But while I was pleased to see at least one of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Foreign notes

Posted by · 12:08 pm · January 20th, 2010

Well, as I suspected, my predictions for the Academy’s foreign film shortlist were mainly off the mark, though I maintained my 4-from-9 strike rate from last year … so, yay for consistency. That said, I’m not terribly surprised by the films that did make the cut. As I wrote earlier today, I knew one of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Academy’s foreign shortlist unveiled

Posted by · 10:18 am · January 20th, 2010

Well, Guy nailed down four of them.  But you just never know what this controversial branch is going to do.  I’d love to know what the secondary committee had to re-institute (probably “A Prophet”), but nevertheless, we have our nine. The only films I was predicting that didn’t make the cut are “Backyard” from Mexico […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Waiting on Oscar’s foreign language shortlist

Posted by · 8:29 am · January 20th, 2010

Last Saturday, the Academy concluded four months of screenings of the 65 films in contention for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film award. Today, that tall pile of titles will be culled to a shortlist of just nine contenders, from which the eventual five nominees will be chosen. Making predictions here is a pretty thankless […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Oscar hosts, Bridges arrives, animated five

Posted by · 4:50 am · November 7th, 2009

• Oscar season ramped up this week, with the popular selection of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as this year’s Oscar emcees. • This week’s Off the Carpet column surveyed the runners and riders for Best Actor … • … only to be immediately outdated as Jeff Bridges and “Crazy Heart” arrived to turn that […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Woman Without Piano,’ ‘Ajami’ honored at AFI

Posted by · 10:39 am · November 6th, 2009

Life came calling earlier this week, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to as many AFI Fest screenings and events as I had hoped.  I did catch Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” however (a bizarre, confusing misstep with a wonderful performance from Heath Ledger) and “Everybody’s Fine” (D.O.A.). I also caught […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘A Prophet’ wins top prize at London Film Festival

Posted by · 4:50 pm · October 28th, 2009

I always knew Anjelica Huston and I were of a like mind. As I reflect on the 60-odd films I’ve seen the London Film Festival, which draws to a close tomorrow, Jacques Audiard’s French Oscar contender “A Prophet” stands comfortably taller than anything else I’ve seen … and given the standard of this year’s LFF […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

THE LONG SHOT: Mind your language

Posted by · 3:38 pm · October 28th, 2009

You might not be aware of it, but the competition is already formally under way in Oscar’s most perennially problematic category, Best Foreign Language Film. For almost two weeks now, official Academy screenings of the longlisted contenders in the race have been in progress, and will continue through January, until all 65 titles have been […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: The Long Shot

The foreign films that got away

Posted by · 12:33 pm · October 1st, 2009

With the deadline for Best Foreign Language Film submissions upon us, indieWIRE’s Peter Knegt is taking stock of the possible injustices that already have taken place in the race … and at this early stage, the Academy isn’t even responsible. (Well, unless we count the problems of the one-film-per-country system, not to mention leaving the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Ajami,’ not ‘Lebanon,’ chosen to represent Israel in foreign language race

Posted by · 2:19 pm · September 26th, 2009

Thanks to Anne Thompson for the Twitter heads up here, but Yair Raveh is reporting that the Israeli entry in this year’s Best Foreign Language Film race isn’t the Venice fest’s Golden Lion winner “Lebanon,” but the Ophir-winning crime drama “Ajami.” The foreign submissions page has been updated.  Discuss.

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily