Monday, December 31, 2012

Dec. Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Foreign Films

     Once again, I am sooo glad that I saved these categories until a little bit after I updated the other genres.  This time the delay allowed me to see the foreign film short list which brings us down to nine contenders, a much more manageable number to pick from.  First, however...

Live-Action Shorts
     As I did with the documentary and animated shorts, I'm just going to go with the buzz for now and present my commentary along with that list...
  1. Curfew...This, director Shawn Christensen's third short film, has already won 13 film festival awards.
  2. Death of a Shadow...This L.A. Shorts "Best of the Festival" winner was directed by Tom Van Avermaet and features international star Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead, Rust and Bone)
  3. When You Find Me...This short's prestige with the Academy will certainly be bolstered by the fact that it is directed by Bryce Dallas Howard (you might know of her father: Ron)
  4. Asad...Director Bryan Buckley's short has already won five festival awards, including Tribeca.
  5. 9 Meter...Director: Anders Wallace

  6. Henry...This is the second short film from director Steve Bono.
  7. The Night Shift Belongs to the Stars
  8. Buzkashi Boys...This L.A. Shorts drama winner was directed by Sam French
  9. Salar...Winner of Best Short at the 2011 Austin Film Festival.  It is the debut film from director Nicholas Greene.
  10. Kiruna-Kigali...This is the fourth short film from director Goran Kapetanovic.

Foreign Language Film
     The buzz is saying...
  1.(1) Amour - Austria
  2.(2) The Intouchables - France
  3.(5) A Royal Affair - Denmark
  4.(3) No - Chile
  5.(5) Beyond the Hills - Denmark

  6.(10) Sister - Switzerland
  7.(6) War Witch - Canada
  8. Kon-Tiki - Norway
  9. Iceland - The Deep
  Leaving the Rankings...Barbara - Germany, Lore - Australia, Fill the Void - Israel
     It's a rare thing when the five most buzzed about films all make the short list, but that is what happened this year.  I still find it difficult to believe that all five of them get nods.  I'm thinking...
  1. Amour...Michael Haneke's latest has undeniably been the big winner with early critic's awards and precursor nods.  It hasn't dominated quite as overwhelmingly as A Separation did last year, but Amour's front runner status is still a no-brainer.
  2. The Intouchables... Backed by Harvey Weinstein and undeniable box office, its hard to imagine this Globe and Critics Choice nominee failing to make the final five.
  3. A Royal Affair...Which brings us to our third film to score both precursor nods.  This is our third and final lock.
  4. War Witch...While this film did not score major awards show nods, it DID make the National Board of Review's Top Five Foreign Films for this year, and scored an Independent Spirit nod.
  5. No...While I was hesitant about this film's ability to gain a wide support base, making the NBR's top five and the Academy shortlist has strongly bolstered the film's chances.

  6. Kon-Tiki...This film was barely on my radar a couple of weeks ago, but a Golden Globe nod does a lot to raise both my awareness and the AMPAS's.
  7. Sister...This film has been steadily growing in buzz and DOES have an Indie Spirit nomination, so it is a possible spoiler.
  8. Beyond the Hills...This has been one of the front runners for a nomination for most of the year, but it feels like its buzz has been waning.
  9. The Deep...Anything is possible in this category, but low profile and nearly non-existent buzz indicate that Iceland may have to settle for being honored to get this close.

Related articles:  Nov/Dec Oscar Buzz and Predictions: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (preview), Musical Techs (Score and Song), Noisy Techs (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing), Pretty People Techs (Hairstyling and Make-up & Costume), Pretty Picture Techs (Production Design and Cinematography), Finishing Touch TechsToons of Any Length (Animated Short and Animated Feature), Docs of Any Length (Documentary Feature and Documentary Short), Screenplays (Adapted and Original), Supporting PerformancesActor and ActressAbove All, Like a Bullheaded Man (Bullhead review), Sept/Oct Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Foreign Films

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