In Contention

Lebanese foreign film submission ‘Where Do We Go Now?’ wins Toronto’s People’s Choice Award

Posted by · 11:24 am · September 18th, 2011

I can’t say I’m all that aware yet of Nadine Labaki’s “Where Do We Go Now?,” which Guy recently called “a serious-minded comedy with musical elements that premiered to warm reviews in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, where it earned a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury.” But the film has swooped in and nabbed […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Le Havre’ tapped to represent Finland in foreign film race

Posted by · 7:52 am · September 14th, 2011

I finally caught up with Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre” at Telluride two weeks ago. “I don’t count myself as the biggest Kaurismäki fan,” I wrote at the time, “but it’s very difficult to argue with the heart in this film. It should melt you a bit, if you have warm blood pumping through your veins.” […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Wenders on why ‘Pina’ needs 3D

Posted by · 5:22 am · September 13th, 2011

Since seeing the film in February, I’ve been something of a broken record saying that Wim Wenders’s marvellous performance film “Pina” — which has been drawing rave responses at Toronto, and was recently submitted as Germany’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar — single-handedly restates the case for 3D, a technology that any […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Iran’s ‘A Separation’ latest to enter Oscar race

Posted by · 8:15 am · September 12th, 2011

I’d say this was a no-brainer, but one should never underestimate the ability of countries to shoot themselves in the foot when selecting their submissions for the foreign-language Oscar. Happily, Iran has done no such thing, picking Asghar Farhadi’s critically beloved festival sensation “A Separation” as their pony this year. It’s a choice that I […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Pina’ among latest entries in foreign Oscar race

Posted by · 1:54 pm · September 8th, 2011

I predicted on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that Wim Wenders’ 3D dance film “Pina” would be selected as Germany’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and that it could well be a surprise shortlist entry if the executive committee gives it a leg up. The first half of that forecast panned […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Turin Horse’ among latest foreign Oscar entries

Posted by · 7:18 am · September 4th, 2011

This news has been hanging around for a few days, but amid the Venice hubbub, I haven’t found a moment to post it until today — though we did address it briefly in Friday’s Oscar Talk. With less than a month to go until the deadline, the pile of official submissions for the Best Foreign […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Three more join the foreign Oscar fray

Posted by · 3:50 pm · August 22nd, 2011

With the deadline for submissions not even six weeks away, expect a number of posts in this vein before then; for now, however, the number of formal entries for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar has swelled to a modest five. While the first two in the game, Greece and Poland, were reasonably high-profile contenders […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Greece and Poland first to enter foreign Oscar race

Posted by · 9:36 am · July 21st, 2011

The Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film — or, to use its formal title, Most Inoffensively Socially Conscious Non-English-Language Feature To Pass Through The Academy’s Narrow Qualifying Hoops Whilst Remaining Sufficiently Low-Profile For Voters To Feel Like They Discovered It For Themselves — is truly the gift that gives all year round. Scarcely have […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Oscar’s foreign race hasn’t found the fix

Posted by · 12:51 pm · February 25th, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Best Foreign Language Film? I’m not sure you can, but in the Academy’s case, it’s certainly not for lack of trying. The voting process in this eternally dissatisfying ghetto category is now such a Frankenstein’s monster of stages, rules, committees, sub-committees, longlists, shortlists and more committees that it’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 22nd, 2011

The race for Best Foreign Language Film has been covered diligently by Guy Lodge here at In Contention throughout the season. I confess that I failed to see most of the 65 submissions and, as usual, waited until the shortlist was unveiled before I really dug into the titles. This category has, of course, been […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 53 — BAFTA fallout, foreign language and animated short races, Banksy in L.A.

Posted by · 8:00 am · February 18th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Talk

‘Incendies’ trailer

Posted by · 12:10 pm · February 1st, 2011

While some pundits are assuming that Javier Bardem’s Best Actor nomination makes “Biutiful” the film to beat in the foreign-language category — despite the fact that recent Oscar history doesn’t favor the biggest name in the contest — my instincts tell me the real race is between Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” and Denis […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Catch up with Oscar nominee ‘Dogtooth’

Posted by · 5:05 pm · January 27th, 2011

For those of us who like to make wholly informed decisions when entering our Oscar pools, the Best Foreign Language Film category can be a bit of a thorn in the side. Unless you’re a particularly well-travelled festivalgoer, it’s mighty difficult to see all five nominated films ahead of Oscar night. This year is no […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 50 — Special Edition! — Nod postmortem with Guy Lodge and Peter Knegt

Posted by · 12:18 pm · January 25th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Talk

Tweak this

Posted by · 6:21 pm · January 24th, 2011

I’ve made one (and only one, lest I get carried away) change to my final predictions, FYI.  I think I’m going to switch my final foreign language pick from Algeria’s “Outside the Law” to — wait for it — Greece’s “Dogtooth.” My former line-up didn’t include one of the (perceived, as nothing is official) executive […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

1/24 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Rich’s two Americas, meet the foreign film exec committee, Jonze interviews Russell

Posted by · 8:28 am · January 24th, 2011

• Frank Rich sees two Americas in “The Social Network” and “True Grit.” [New York Times] • David Poland sits down with the latter’s cinematographer, Roger Deakins. [The Hot Blog] • Meet the executive committee charged with saving esoteric foreign films hopefuls. [The Odds]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Globes chatter, Batman buzz, foreign Oscar surprises

Posted by · 6:42 pm · January 21st, 2011

• The Golden Globes did their thing, with Ricky Gervais’s antics drawing more attention than the sweep for “The Social Network.” • David Fincher’s film continued its dominance at the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association Awards, which Kris reported from first-hand. • As if to remind us that there’s more than one film in the race, this […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 49 — Final pre-nod discussion

Posted by · 9:00 am · January 21st, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Talk