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Oscars 2016: Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist

They announced the nine shortlisted films for Best Foreign Language Film Just a guess, based on glancing at the titles… I was way off from way back when I previewed all the eligible films two months ago.

Oh, but shit though — looking at it, I got four of them straight up. That’s a solid percentage. And two more I had on my “solid contenders” list. So actually I wasn’t that bad.

Let’s get into your shortlist before we discuss anything else. Here it is:

Tanna (Australia)

It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)

Land of Mine (Denmark)

Toni Erdmann (Germany)

The Salesman (Iran)

The King’s Choice (Norway)

Paradise (Russia)

A Man Called Ove (Sweden)

My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)

I did call that Elle wasn’t getting shortlisted. I felt that one coming from a mile away. Also Julieta. All that stuff that people consider as snubs. The only one that I thought for sure would be nominated was Neruda, but I bet that too will end up being one of those situations where the movie is just okay and you think it would have been shortlisted because the director is hot shit at the moment (he made Jackie).

Also, looking at this… very Europe-based, huh? Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Denmark. Very Scandanavian. Canada, Australia, Russia… they basically count as Europe. Iran is about as exotic as we get.

But whatever. I’m not all for getting into what is or isn’t shortlisted. I’m here to talk about what’s gonna get nominated.

Here’s a rundown of what they’re all about.

  • Tanna — Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister’s loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new. (100 min)
  • It’s Only the End of the World — Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a terminally ill writer, returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying.
  • Land of Mine — A young group of German POWs are made the enemy of a nation, where they are now forced to dig up 2 million land-mines with their bare hands.
  • Toni Erdmann — A father tries to reconnect with his adult daughter.
  • The Salesman — The story of a couple whose relationship begins to turn sour during their performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.
  • The King’s Choice — On the 9th of April 1940, the German war machine arrive in the city of Oslo. The Norwegian King faces a choice that will change his country forever.
  • Paradise — Follows three people whose paths cross during a terrible time of war: Olga, a Russian aristocratic emigrant and member of the French Resistance; Jules, a French collaborator; and Helmut, a high-ranking German SS officer.
  • A Man Called Ove — Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors.
  • My Life as a Zucchini — Courgette is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. Although his unique story is surprisingly universal. After his mother’s sudden death, Courgette is befriended by a police officer Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. At first he struggles to find his place in this strange, at times, hostile environment. Yet with Raymond’s help and his new-found friends, Courgette eventually learns to trust, finds true love and at last a new family of his own. (Stop motion)

We got screeners for Toni Erdmann and Land of Mine. I feel pretty confident those two will make it on. We got The Salesman too. For some reason I’m less confident about that one, but I guess I’d go for that too.

Xavier Dolan missed out last time, so maybe that means they throw him on. I’m thinking 50/50 on him at this point.

Australia’s never been nominated. So maybe that sways them. They seem to like to do that. Or maybe they shortlist first and they gotta work up to it.

Switzerland… it’s possible. But no idea. I have a copy, so I need to see it before I guess one way or the other.

Paradise sounds fairly likely too. Still gotta try to see it though.

Zucchini is 50/50. Has a straight up animated movie gotten here? Maybe something like Waltz with Bashir. Not sure how much I like this one’s chances. On a guess. It could easily happen. Also one I need to see.

Also no idea about King’s Choice.

Yeah, not gonna immediately guess a category, but I’ll throw out which five seem like the closest to what they’d go for normally:

Land of Mine

The Salesman

Paradise

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

I’m just guessing though. No idea where this ends up. Gonna try to see all of them before the category is announced.

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