Oscars 2019: Best International Feature Submissions

They changed the name of Foreign Language Film to International Feature. That one’s gonna take some getting used to, even if it is a better name for the category. They announced all the submissions back in October, but I usually wait until now to go over them just because I hate to prematurely start thinking Oscars.

For most people, the list you’re gonna want is in eight days, when they announce the shortlists for everything. For now, this is just me being insane and going over all of the submitted foreign films to see what might get nominated.

BIG NOTE FOR THIS YEAR: There are gonna be ten films on the shortlist instead of 9, which is what we usually get. Why it hasn’t been ten before, I have no idea. It doesn’t really change the final guessing, since it’s basically a 50/50 shot most years anyway and usually you can get 3 of them pretty easily, but for those who do care about this stuff, there are gonna be ten films on the shortlist this year instead of nine.

Anyway, let’s look at all 93 92 91 of the submitted films (Nigeria’s and Austria’s films were disqualified last month) for Best International Feature and see which ones seemingly have a leg up for a nomination.

1. Albania, The Delegation

In 1990, a European delegation comes to Tirana to monitor the reforms of the communist regime. A government official is sent on a mission to a faraway prison in order to bring an important dissident back to the capital.

2. Algeria, Papicha

Algiers, 1997. Terrorist wanting an Islamic and archaic state are everywhere. Women are oppressed, in a seek to take control of their bodies, clothing and public space. Young student Nedjma is passionate about making a fashion show.

3. Argentina, Heroic Losers

A group of inhabitants from a town in Argentina decide to place all their savings in a bank to create an agricultural cooperative which, they believe, will change their fate. However, the victims of a racket, they lose all their money.

4. Armenia, Lengthy Night

The dramatic fate of heroes of different eras is associated with wolf and spherical stone. The fate pursues those stone-owners.

5. Australia, Buoyancy

14-year-old Chakra is sold as a slave laborer to the captain of a Thai fishing vessel. The captain’s rule on board is cruel and arbitrary.

6. Bangladesh, Alpha

A 40 year old painter, who lives in a wooden and bamboo house on stilts in the middle of a polluted lake on the outskirts of Dhaka City. Alpha’s house serves as his painting. Dogs, roosters and birds also share the space with him. There are many moments when he feels a oneness with nature and with the birds and animals that surround him. He also feels deeply drawn to ‘an androgynous’ male-female identity. Alpha has neighbors in the nearby slum with whom he has close interaction.

7. Belarus, Debut

The soulless atmosphere of a women’s penitentiary destroys the prisoners’ personality, kills all femininity in them. The film looks at the rationality of the long prison terms for women with children. (This is a documentary.)

8. Belgium, Our Mothers

Guatemala, 2018. The whole country is immersed in the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Victim statements come one after another. Ernesto is a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation; his job is to identify the missing. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a guerrillero who went missing during the war. Against his mother’s wishes, he flings himself body and soul into the case, looking for truth and resilience.

9. Bolivia, I Miss You

Following his son Gabriel’s death, Jorge travels from conservative Bolivia to New York City to confront Gabriel’s boyfriend Sebastian.

10. Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Son

Adopted son Arman has an unstable character and cannot find peace in the struggle for his identity. His parents and younger brother Dado, who was born after Arman’s adoption, suffer due to his restlessness and the enormous energy he lets out in different ways. He plays truant, he takes drugs, he hijacks a tram, he even falls in love with Milica, a Serb girl from East Sarajevo. Adolescence is difficult for both brothers but it is the younger one who is imperceptibly and increasingly drawn into a vicious circle of addiction, of the wish to prove himself and the need to be as cool as his older brother.

11. Brazil, Invisible Life

Two sisters born in Rio de Janeiro make their way through life, each mistakenly believing the other is living out her dreams half a world away.

12. Bulgaria, Ága

In a yurt on the snow-covered fields of the North, Nanook and Sedna live following the traditions of their ancestors. Alone in the wilderness, they look like the last people on Earth. Nanook and Sedna’s traditional way of life starts changing – slowly, but inevitably. Hunting becomes more and more difficult, the animals around them die from inexplicable deaths and the ice has been melting earlier every year. Chena, who visits them regularly, is their only connection to the outside world – and to their daughter Ága, who has left the icy tundra a long time ago due to family feud. When Sedna’s health deteriorates, Nanook decides to fulfill her wish. He embarks on a long journey in order to find Ága.

13. Cambodia, In the Life of Music

A story told in three chapters, tells the story of how one song ‘Champa Battambang,’ a song made famous by Sinn Sisamuth (the King of Khmer Music), plays a role in the lives of three different generations.

14. Canada, Antigone

A modern adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy which falls within a social realism. To the law of men, the young Antigone apposes her own sets of values.

15. Chile, Spider

Three friends are part of an opposition group in the chaotic Chile of the early 70’s and together commit a political crime that changes the history of the country and incidentally involves them in a betrayal that separates them forever.

16. China, Ne Zha

Born with unique powers, a boy is recruited to fight demons and save the community that fears him.

17. Colombia, Monos

On a remote mountaintop, eight kids with guns watch over a hostage and a conscripted milk cow.

18. Costa Rica, The Awakening of the Ants

Isabel is a 28-year-old seamstress. She is a good mother, wife and daughter-in-law and she teaches that to her daughters. Her family insists she should have another child, a boy, and this pressure awakens her to a progressive, silent, and unavoidable rebellion.

19. Croatia, Mali

After spending four years in prison, a drug dealer will do anything to keep custody over his son.

20. Cuba, A Translator

A Russian Literature professor at the University of Havana is ordered to work as a translator for child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster when they are sent to Cuba for medical treatment.

21. Czech Republic, The Painted Bird

A young Jewish boy somewhere in Eastern Europe seeks refuge during World War II where he encounters many different characters.

22. Denmark, Queen of Hearts

A woman jeopardizes both her career and her family when she seduces her teenage stepson and is forced to make an irreversible decision with fatal consequences.

23. Dominican Republic, The Projectionist

A lonely man who operates a film projector finds his only solace in a woman he sees on a film reel. After the reel is lost in an accident, he sets out to find the woman through the remotest, poorest places of the Dominican Republic.

24. Ecuador, The Longest Night

She is the perfect woman until she decides to be free.

25. Egypt, Poisonous Roses

Saqr wants to flee from the grubby Egyptian tanners’ district where he lives and works. His sister, Taheya, wants to prevent this at all costs. She sabotages the blossoming romance between her brother and a medical student and also tries to thwart Saqr’s future plans as a boat refugee in Italy. Every day she brings Saqr freshly prepared lunch, implying that without her care he shall starve. We follow her in her hijab along the open sewer in which blue wastewater flows from the district, down claustrophobic alleyways where hardly any sunlight penetrates. Among the dried skins and punch-drunk mules, a shaman silently watches from his improvised throne. He is to help Taheya with an occult solution in this intriguing, skittish portrait of poverty in today’s Egypt. With phenomenal shots of the towering scaffolding of a glue factory, juxtaposed with moving scenes in which the everlasting love between brothers and sisters prevails.

26. Estonia, Truth and Justice

The story of an uncompromising man whose soul is corrupted by the relentless pursuit of his dream.

27. Ethiopia, Running Against the Wind

In Ethiopia, two men are running to achieve their dreams.

28. Finland, Stupid Young Heart

About suburban teenagers who unexpectedly have to deal with grown up problems of pregnancy, while extreme right ideas begin to encroach on their multicultural neighborhood.

29. France, Les Misérables

Stéphane joined the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil, in the 93. He meets his new teammates, Chris and Gwada, and discovers the tensions between the different groups of the district.

30. Georgia, Shindisi

A story of the film is based on real events that occurred during the Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008, when ordinary villagers took risks to save wounded Georgian soldiers.

31. Germany, System Crasher

On her wild quest for love, 9-year-old Benni’s untamed energy drives everyone around her to despair.

32. Ghana, Azali

Thrust into Accra by circumstances, a 14 year old girl from Northern Ghana must endure life in the slums of Accra and find a way to get back home.

33. Greece, When Tomatoes Met Wagner

The humorous and uplifting story of two ingenuous Greek cousins, who tackle the world market with their organic tomato products. (This is a documentary.)

34. Honduras, Blood, Passion, and Coffee

A story inspired by real events, which revolves around a coffee producing family whose harvest is impacted by the plague of rust and low coffee prices. Trying to survive, migration will be one of the options to save their farm. But it will not be the biggest obstacle they will have to overcome, but also death will put them to the test and measure them to see if a strong family bond is unbreakable; showing the sacrifice, passion and faith that exists behind the cup of coffee consumed in the world.

35. Hong Kong, The White Storm 2 Drug Lords

A wealthy businessman tries to take down a drug kingpin that he used to work with, while a policeman tries to find justice without breaking the law.

36. Hungary, Those Who Remained

A lyrical story of the healing power of love in the midst of national conflict, lost and trauma, Those Who Remained reveals the healing process of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of a young girl in post-World War II Hungary.

37. Iceland, A White, White Day

In a remote Icelandic town, an off duty police chief begins to suspect a local man for having had an affair with his wife, who recently died in a car accident. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth accumulates and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones. A story of grief, revenge and unconditional love.

38. India, Gully Boy

A coming-of-age story based on the lives of street rappers in Mumbai.

39. Indonesia, Memories of My Body

In Center Java Juno, a pre-teen abandoned by his father, joins a Lengger dance centre where men assume feminine appearances but the political and social upheaval in Indonesia forces him on the road, meeting remarkable people on his journey.

40. Iran, Finding Farideh

About an Iranian girl named Farideh, who has been adopted by a Dutch couple 40 years ago, and now overcomes her fears and travels to her motherland Iran for the first time to meet three families who claim to be her real family and have a DNA test with them, and to find out about her Iranian Identity and culture. (This is a documentary.)

41. Ireland, Gaza

A beautiful portrait of everyday Gazan citizens, leading meaningful lives beyond the rubble of perennial conflict. (This is a documentary.)

42. Israel, Incitement

Details the year leading to the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995), from the point of view of the assassin. (From the director of A Late Quartet.)

43. Italy, The Traitor

The real life of Tommaso Buscetta the so called “boss of the two worlds”, first mafia informant in Sicily 1980’s.

44. Japan, Weathering with You

A high-school boy who has run away to Tokyo befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather. (Animated, from the director of Your Name.)

45. Kazakhstan, Kazakh Khanate – The Golden Throne

Fifteenth century. In the vast expanses of Eurasia for several centuries, the descendants of the great Genghis Khan have created their own and crushed the alien states. One of them is the legendary Abulkhair Shaibani, who usurped power in the White Horde. The two legitimate heirs to the throne, Kerei and Zhanibek, call the part of the nomadic tribes to leave the hard ruler. After migrating from the far west of Desht-i-Kipchak to Mogolistan in Zhetysu, they revive their ancient shanyrak Ak Orda, the Kazakh Khanate. The first khan elected a direct descendant of Jochi and Urus Khan, Sultan Kerey. Here it is, the promised land when you can live peacefully and freely. But the enemies are trying to strangle the fragile Kazakh khanate even in the cradle and bloody battles, severe trials, the bitterness of losses and the joy of victories await them.

46. Kenya, Subira

A free-spirited young girl, in Lamu struggles to live out her unique dream of swimming in the ocean, against local customs and an arranged upper- class marriage. Does Subira have the courage to take her dream on, against all odds?

47. Kosovo, Zana

Haunted by her long suppressed past and pressured by family to seek treatment from mystical healers for her infertility, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality.

48. Kyrgyzstan, Aurora

Central Asia. A sanatorium called Aurora, is located at the shores of the high mountainous lake Issyk-Kul and the action of the film is taking place in this sanatorium. All happens in one day. The sanatorium serves as a mirror of the whole country, which is a kind of health resort for its population, with its beautiful nature. Sudden break of the balance between time and space leads to the start of the mechanism of fatal processes.

49. Latvia, The Mover

Zanis Lipke’s family’s efforts to save the Jews during World War II and the rise of the child in a tragic historical situation.

50. Lebanon, 1982

During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her, while his teachers on different sides of the political divide, try to mask their fears.

51. Lithuania, Bridges of Time

Kristine Briede and Audrius Stonys’s meditative documentary essay portrays the less-remembered generation of cinema poets of the Baltic New Wave. With finesse, they push beyond the barriers of the common historiographic investigation in order to achieve a consummate poetic treatment of the ontology of documentary creation. (This is a documentary.)

52. Luxembourg, Tel Aviv on Fire

Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian man, becomes a writer on a popular soap opera after a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. His creative career is on the rise – until the soldier and the show’s financial backers disagree about how the show should end, and Salam is caught in the middle.

53. Malaysia, M for Malaysia

Documents the 2018 Malaysian General Election, when the Malaysian people, led by a 92-year-old former Prime Minister, overthrew one of the longest ruling governments in the world. (This is a documentary.)

54. Mexico, The Chambermaid

A look at the working environment of a chambermaid in one of Mexico City’s most luxurious hotels.

55. Mongolia, The Steed

Set in the first part of the 20th century during the Russian revolution’s spill over into the vast majestic lands of Mongolia. This epic story is about family, love, devotion and kinship with one’s homeland, told through the experiences of a boy and horse whose extraordinary bond to each other and the land gives them the courage to never give up the quest to find the other after being cruelly separated.

56. Montenegro, Neverending Past

A triptych set in three different time periods about fathers who find themselves in borderline situations in which one is forced to make a decision among several contradictory choices.

57. Morocco, Adam

Abla runs a modest local bakery from her home in Casablanca where she lives alone with her 8-year-old daughter, Warda. When Samia, a young pregnant woman knocks on their door, Abla is far from imagining that her life will change forever.

58. Nepal, Bulbul

A young mother waiting for her husband to be back for years falls in love with a guy while she looks after her paralyzed father-in-law.

59. Netherlands, Instinct

In spite of her expertise and experience, a seasoned psychologist is completely infatuated by the sex offender she is treating in a penal institution.

60. North Macedonia, Honeyland

The last female bee-hunter in Europe must save the bees and return the natural balance in Honeyland, when a family of nomadic beekeepers invade her land and threaten her livelihood. (This is a documentary.)

61. Norway, Out Stealing Horses

A grieving widower moves to the country where a chance encounter rekindles memories from his past.

62. Pakistan, Laal Kabootar

He’s looking for a way out of the city. But his only escape is through a woman looking for revenge.

63. Palestine, It Must Be Heaven

Filmmaker Elia Suleiman travels to different cities and finds unexpected parallels to his homeland of Palestine.

64. Panama, Everybody Changes

The Ponce family is the perfect family that lives in the quiet mountain town of Bambito, Panama. Federico is a successful father. Carol is the loving mother of three wonderful children. Despite perfect appearances, Federico and Carol share a secret: when they have a date night, they are accompanied by Lizzie – a fun and confident woman who is actually Federico dressed up as a woman. What perhaps began as a fun game, soon becomes Federico’s struggle to keep his family together and save his own life when he chooses to undergo gender reassignment surgery in Thailand.

65. Peru, Retablo

Segundo Paucar, a 14 year old boy wants to become a master story-box maker just like his father to carry on with the family legacy. On his way to a community celebration in the Andes, Segundo accidentally observes his father in a situation that shatters his whole world. Trapped in a chauvinistic environment, Segundo will try to deal in silence with all that is happening to him.

66. Philippines, Verdict

Abused and battered wife, Joy, stands up for justice against her alcoholic husband, Dante, in a turmoil process of the justice system.

67. Poland, Corpus Christi

Daniel experiences a spiritual transformation in a Detention Center. His crime prevents him from applying to the seminary, however Daniel has no intention of giving up his dream and he decides to minister a small-town parish.

68. Portugal, The Domain

The chronicle of a Portuguese family that owns one of the largest estates in Europe, on the south bank of the River Tagus.

69. Romania, The Whistlers

A policeman intent on freeing a crooked businessman from a prison on Gomera, an island in the Canaries. However, he must first learn the difficult local dialect, a language which includes hissing and spitting.

70. Russia, Beanpole

1945, Leningrad. WWII has devastated the city, demolishing its buildings and leaving its citizens in tatters, physically and mentally. Two young women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins.

71. Saudi Arabia, The Perfect Candidate

A determined young Saudi doctor’s surprise run for office in the local city elections sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town’s first female candidate. (From Haifaa Al-Mansour, director of Wadjda.)

72. Senegal, Atlantics

In a popular suburb of Dakar, workers on the construction site of a futuristic tower, without pay for months, decide to leave the country by the ocean for a better future. Among them is Souleiman, the lover of Ada, promised to another.

73. Serbia, King Petar the First

King Petar The First, as a young man is banished from Serbia Many years later, he returns to his country to liberate its people and secure parliamentary democracy and starts the reconstruction of Serbia.

74. Singapore, A Land Imagined

A lonely construction worker from China goes missing at a Singapore land reclamation site, and a sleepless police investigator must put himself in the mind of the migrant to uncover the truth beneath all that sand.

75. Slovakia, Let There Be Light

Milan has three children and does construction work in Germany in order to provide for his family in Slovakia. While visiting his home over Christmas he discovers that his eldest son Adam is a member of a para-military youth group. The boy is involved in bullying and the death of a class-mate. The father has to decide what to do. In this process, along with his wife, he comes to discover the real truth about their son, their family, themselves and the community around them.

76. Slovenia, History of Love

Hearing disabled 17 year old Iva, her older brother and younger sister, has lost her mother in an accident, and the whole family is in agony, not making it easier when she finds out that her mother kept secrets from them.

77. South Africa, Knuckle City

An aging, womanizing professional boxer and his career-criminal brother take one last shot at success and get more than they’ve bargained for.

78. South Korea, Parasite

All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident. (From Bong Joon Ho.)

79. Spain, Pain and Glory

A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him. (From Pedro Almodovar.)

80. Sweden, And Then We Danced

Merab has been training from a young age at the National Georgian Ensemble with his dance partner Mary. His world turns upside down when the carefree Irakli arrives and becomes both his strongest rival and desire.

81. Switzerland, Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa

Young orthodox Jew Mordechai Wolkenbruch, called Motti, has a serious problem: All the women, whom his mame introduces to him as potential wives, look just like her. Whereas Laura, his fellow student, does not at all – but unfortunately she is a schikse: She wears pants, has a nice tuches, drinks gin and tonic and swears. Motti begins to have doubts: Is the predetermined path given by his parents the road for him to follow? His obedience towards his mother’s disturbing methods starts to fade, whereas at the same time his passion for Laura grows. So things take their course. And very soon Motti comes to the conclusion: even schiksen can be totally nuts.

82. Taiwan, Dear Ex

A teenage boy and his mother are further driven apart when they find out that his father’s life insurance policy is to be received by his lover.

83. Thailand, Krasue: Inhuman Kiss

In a far-away village lived an innocent teenage girl, Sai, who later discovered herself inheriting the curse of Krasue. At night, her head would detach from her body and hunts for flesh and blood. Villagers are terrified by the deaths of their livestocks and that is when the Krasue hunt begins. Jerd, a friend joined the hunt with an unknown reason, while Noi, the childhood friend who had just came back to the village, decided to stand beside Sai despite knowing the horrifying truth.

84. Tunisia, Dear Son

A Tunisian middle class couple with high hopes for the future of their only son discover he’s left to join ISIS in Syria.

85. Turkey, Commitment Asli

Asli, a young mother who is trying to find a nanny to get back to work, finally meets young Gulnihal. Gulnihal is also a mother. With Gulnihal coming into her life, Asli faces her secrets which she has been avoiding herself.

86. Ukraine, Homeward

A father and a son from Crimean Tatar family transport the body of deceased older son and brother from Kyiv to bury him in Crimea.

87. United Kingdom, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. (Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor.)

88. Uruguay, The Moneychanger

Spanning the fifties to the seventies, the film follows Humberto as he gets increasingly in over his head with multiple shady book-cooking schemes throughout South America, leading to an ultimate life-or-death decision.

89. Uzbekistan, Hot Bread

A teenage girl longs to move away from her village to live with her mother in the city.

90. Venezuela, Being Impossible

A young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersexual body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries.

91. Vietnam, Furie

Veronica Ngo stars as an ex-gangster who is lying low in the countryside after becoming a mother, but she can’t escape her violent past when her daughter is kidnapped.

– – – – – – – – – –

Here’s each country has done historically.

(Note: The number of submissions includes this year. So some percentages will change, but you’ll get the general idea. Also, any crossed out country did not submit a film this year.)

  1. Afghanistan — 14 submissions, 0 nominations
  2. Albania — 12 submissions, 0 nominations
  3. Algeria — 21 submissions, 5 nominations (24%)
  4. Argentina — 46 submissions, 7 nominations (15%)
  5. Armenia — 8 submissions, 0 nominations
  6. Australia — 13 submissions, 1 nomination (8%)
  7. Austria — 42 submissions, 4 nominations (9%)
  8. Azerbaijan — 7 submissions, 0 nominations
  9. Bangladesh — 15 submissions, 0 nominations
  10. Belarus — 4 submissions, 0 nominations
  11. Belgium — 44 submissions, 7 nominations (16%)
  12. Bolivia — 11 submissions, 0 nominations
  13. Bosnia and Herzegovina — 19 submissions, 1 nomination (5%)
  14. Brazil — 47 submissions, 4 nominations (9%)
  15. Bulgaria — 30 submissions, 0 nominations
  16. Cambodia — 8 submissions, 1 nomination (13%)
  17. Canada — 45 submissions, 7 nominations (16%)
  18. Chile — 24 submissions, 2 nominations (8%)
  19. China — 33 submissions, 2 nominations (6%)
  20. Colombia — 28 submissions, 1 nomination (4%)
  21. Costa Rica — 8 submissions, 0 nominations
  22. Croatia — 28 submissions, 0 nominations
  23. Cuba — 21 submissions, 1 nomination (5%)
  24. Czech Republic (and Czechoslovakia) — 49 submissions, 9 nominations (18%)
  25. Denmark — 57 submissions, 12 nominations (21%)
  26. Dominican Republic — 12 submissions, 0 nominations
  27. Ecuador — 8 submissions, 0 nominations
  28. Egypt — 34 submissions, 0 nominations
  29. Estonia — 17 submissions, 1 nomination (6%)
  30. Ethiopia — 4 submissions, 0 nominations
  31. Finland — 33 submissions, 1 nomination (3%)
  32. France — 66 submissions, 39 nominations (59%)
  33. Georgia — 18 submissions, 1 nomination (6%)
  34. Germany (incl. E/W Germany) — 63 submissions, 19 nominations (31%)
  35. Ghana — This is their first submission.
  36. Greece — 39 submissions, 5 nominations (13%)
  37. Haiti — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  38. Honduras —2 submissions, 0 nominations
  39. Hong Kong — 38 submissions, 2 nominations (5%)
  40. Hungary — 55 submissions, 10 nominations (18%)
  41. Iceland — 40 submissions, 1 nomination (3%)
  42. India — 52 submissions, 3 nominations (6%)
  43. Indonesia — 21 submissions, 0 nominations
  44. Iran — 25 submissions, 3 nominations (12%)
  45. Iraq — 9 submissions, 0 nominations
  46. Ireland — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  47. Israel — 52 submissions, 10 nominations (19%)
  48. Italy — 66 submissions, 31 nominations (47%)
  49. Japan — 66 submissions, 16 nominations (24%)
  50. Jordan — 3 submissions, 1 nomination (33%)
  51. Kazakhstan — 14 submissions, 1 nomination (7%)
  52. Kenya — 4 submissions, 0 nominations
  53. Kosovo — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  54. Kyrgyzstan — 12 submissions, 0 nominations
  55. Laos — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  56. Latvia — 11 submissions, 0 nominations
  57. Lebanon — 16 submissions, 2 nominations (13%)
  58. Lithuania — 12 submissions, 0 nominations
  59. Luxembourg — 16 submissions, 0 nominations
  60. Macedonia — 16 submissions, 1 nomination (7%)
  61. Malawi — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  62. Malaysia — 5 submissions, 0 nominations
  63. Mexico — 52 submissions, 9 nominations (17%)
  64. Mongolia — 5 submissions, 0 nominations
  65. Montenegro — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  66. Morocco — 15 submissions, 0 nominations
  67. Mozambique — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  68. Nepal — 10 submissions, 1 nomination (10%)
  69. Netherlands — 52 submissions, 7 nominations (13%)
  70. New Zealand — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  71. Niger — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  72. Norway — 41 submissions, 5 nominations (12%)
  73. Pakistan — 9 submissions, 0 nominations
  74. Palestine — 12 submissions, 2 nominations (17%)
  75. Panama — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  76. Paraguay — 3 submissions, 0 nominations
  77. Peru — 26 submissions, 1 nomination (4%)
  78. Philippines — 31 submissions, 0 nominations
  79. Poland — 51 submissions, 11 nominations (22%)
  80. Portugal — 36 submissions, 0 nominations
  81. Romania — 35 submissions, 0 nominations
  82. Russia (incl. Soviet Union) — 51 submissions, 16 nominations (31%)
  83. Saudi Arabia — 3 submissions, 0 nominations
  84. Senegal — 2 submissions, 0 nominations
  85. Serbia — 26 submissions, 0 nominations
  86. Singapore — 13 submissions, 0 nominations
  87. Slovakia — 23 submissions, 0 nominations
  88. Slovenia — 23 submissions, 0 nominations
  89. South Africa — 16 submissions, 2 nominations (13%)
  90. South Korea — 31 submissions, 0 nominations
  91. Spain — 62 submissions, 19 nominations (31%)
  92. Sweden — 58 submissions, 16 nominations (28%)
  93. Switzerland — 47 submissions, 5 nominations (11%)
  94. Syria — 1 submission, 0 nominations
  95. Taiwan — 45 submissions, 3 nominations (7%)
  96. Thailand — 26 submissions, 0 nominations
  97. Tunisia — 6 submissions, 0 nominations
  98. Turkey — 26 submissions, 0 nominations
  99. Ukraine — 12 submissions, 0 nominations
  100. United Kingdom — 17 submissions, 2 nominations (12%)
  101. Uruguay — 19 submissions, 0 nominations
  102. Uzbekistan — This is their first submission.
  103. Venezuela — 29 submissions, 0 nominations
  104. Vietnam — 15 submissions, 1 nomination (7%)
  105. Yemen — 2 submissions, 0 nominations

– – – – – – – – – –

Here are all the shortlists going back to 2006, when they began announcing shortlists (nominees italicized and winners bolded):

  • 2018: Colombia, Denmark, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Lebanon, Poland, Mexico
  • 2017: Germany, Israel, Senegal, South Africa, Hungary, Lebanon, Russia, Sweden, Chile
  • 2016: Canada, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Iran
  • 2015: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Colombia, Denmark, France, Jordan, Hungary
  • 2014: Georgia, Netherlands, Sweden, Venezuela, Argentina, Estonia, Mauritania, Russia, Poland
  • 2013: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Palestine, Italy
  • 2012: France, Iceland, Romania, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Norway, Austria
  • 2011: Denmark, Germany, Morocco, Taiwan, Belgium, Canada, Israel, Poland, Iran
  • 2010: Japan, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Algeria, Canada, Greece, Mexico, Denmark
  • 2009: Australia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, France, Germany, Israel, Peru, Argentina
  • 2008: Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan
  • 2007: Brazil, Canada, Italy, Serbia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Austria
  • 2006: France, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Algeria, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, Germany

That’s 13 years of shortlists (too bad I didn’t do this last year. I could have called it “12 Years a Shortlist”). Just to break that down in a meaningful list, here’s how many countries have been shortlisted and how many times (nominations and wins in parentheses):

  • Germany 9 (5 nominations and 1 win)
  • Denmark 8 (6 nominations and 1 win)
  • Canada 7 (4 nominations)
  • France 5 (3 nominations)
  • Sweden 5 (2 nominations)
  • Israel 4 (3 nominations)
  • Mexico 4 (3 nominations and 1 win)
  • Poland 4 (4 nominations and 1 win)
  • Russia 4 (3 nominations)
  • Austria 3 (3 nominations and 2 wins)
  • Belgium 3 (2 nominations)
  • Hungary 3 (2 nominations and 1 win)
  • Italy 3 (2 nominations and 1 win)
  • Japan 3 (2 nominations and 1 win)
  • Kazakhstan 3 (1 nomination)
  • Netherlands 3
  • Switzerland 3
  • Algeria 2 (2 nominations)
  • Argentina 2 (2 nominations and 1 win)
  • Australia 2 (1 nomination)
  • Chile 2 (2 nominations and 1 win)
  • Colombia 2 (1 nomination)
  • Iran 2 (2 nominations and 2 wins)
  • Lebanon 2 (2 nominations)
  • Norway 2 (1 nomination)
  • South Africa 2
  • Spain 2
  • Cambodia (1 nomination)
  • Estonia (1 nomination)
  • Greece (1 nomination)
  • Jordan (1 nomination)
  • Mauritania (1 nomination)
  • Palestine (1 nomination)
  • Peru (1 nomination)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Finland
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Morocco
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela

Germany. 9 out of 13 years on the shortlist. Denmark 8 of 13. Canada 7 times, but only once since 2012. Also worth noting that all but one of Mexico’s shortlists were either GDT, Inarritu or Cuaron. Both of Iran’s shortlists were Farhadi. So yeah. Just some information to have, in case it helps later. Not that I’m going to listen to it at all for this next part, but 100% I’ll come back to it after that.

– – – – – – – – – –

This is the part where I pull a bunch of stuff out of my ass and decide almost at random which ones I think have the best shot at a shortlist and/or nomination.

To give you an idea of my methodology — I basically just looked at all 91 movies and looked at the country (there’s always the handful of obvious ones that always make it, and you know they love putting the newbie countries on if they can), the synopsis and if it was made by anyone with a previous nomination/was picked up by a major studio that’ll get it in front of voters and then pulled the ones that seemed like they had any kind of a shot. I don’t limit myself in the first go-round, but almost always I end up around 30, which is about a third of the list. Then I’m gonna go through those and just randomly pick a shortlist of 10.

First, here’s how we’re gonna get our shortlist:

The entire Academy is now eligible to vote for the nominees here, just like with Animated Feature, but chances are most people won’t, so I’m not gonna go out of my way to alter my usual methods with this category.

7 of the 10 shortlisted films will come from open voting, with three ‘saves’ left on by the nominations committee. Which basically means three of the ten are just gonna be whatever they want. I’m guessing that’s to save some of the high profile stuff that always got left off in the past but also helps them politically, since there’s always a shortlisted film or two that gets on from countries who are new to the game. It helps them rig things without necessarily rigging them, since a shortlisting doesn’t automatically mean nomination. It still has to be one of the top five vote-getters. It helps a film get more looks, but doesn’t guarantee it a nomination. So it’s not nearly as overtly corrupt as the Documentary branch, which continues to be the biggest stain on the entire Oscar nominations process.

So, looking at all that, my guess is that you just look to the highest profile stuff to make it on (since more potential voters means more broadly popular stuff. If someone on the voting committee had it out for Pedro Almodovar in the past and prevented some of his films from being shortlisted, this new method actually helps him get on) and then look to what might be the political choices the committee might ‘save’. Not that it matters at this point since it’s just to familiarize ourselves with what could be nominated, but I’ve always done fairly well in this guessing of the shortlist by just going with the really obvious stuff and then taking the last two or three spots to pick random stuff that fits their general M.O. That’s exactly what I’ll be doing here, and I suspect, like most years, I’m good for about five or six of the shortlist correct in the end. Especially this year, where it seems like a really weak crop of films overall. Other years I feel like there are some films I immediately want to see when reading about them. Here, it’s just a small group at best, apart from what I’ve already seen.

To start, here are the ones that immediately struck me as ones that likely won’t be shortlisted. That’s based on the countries never being nominated, the types of films not fitting at all what usually gets on, and just gut instinct reading what they were about:

  • The Delegation (Albania)
  • Papicha (Algeria)
  • Heroic Losers (Argentina)
  • Lengthy Night (Armenia)
  • Alpha (Bangladesh)
  • Debut (Belarus)
  • Our Mothers (Belgium)
  • I Miss You (Bolivia)
  • The Son (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • In the Life of Music (Cambodia)
  • Antigone (Canada)
  • Spider (Chile)
  • Ne Zha (China)
  • The Awakening of the Ants (Costa Rica)
  • Mali (Croatia)
  • The Projectionist (Dominican Republic)
  • The Longest Night (Ecuador)
  • Poisonous Roses (Egypt)
  • Truth and Justice (Estonia)
  • Running Against the Wind (Ethiopia)
  • Stupid Young Heart (Finland)
  • When Tomatoes Met Wagner (Greece)
  • Blood, Passion and Coffee (Honduras)
  • The White Storm 2: Drug Lords (Hong Kong)
  • Gully Boy (India)
  • Memories of My Body (Indonesia)
  • Finding Farideh (Iran)
  • Gaza (Ireland)
  • Kazakh Khanate – The Golden Throne (Kazakhstan)
  • Subira (Kenya)
  • Zana (Kosovo)
  • Aurora (Kyrgyzstan)
  • The Mover (Latvia)
  • 1982 (Lebanon)
  • Bridges of Time (Lithuania)
  • M for Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • The Steed (Mongolia)
  • Neverending Past (Montenegro)
  • Adam (Morocco)
  • Bulbul (Nepal)
  • Instinct (Netherlands)
  • Out Stealing Horses (Norway)
  • Laal Kabootar (Pakistan)
  • It Must Be Heaven (Palestine)
  • Everybody Changes (Panama)
  • Retablo (Peru)
  • Verdict (Philippines)
  • The Domain (Portugal)
  • The Whistlers (Romania)
  • King Petar the First (Serbia)
  • A Land Imagined (Singapore)
  • Let There Be Light (Slovakia)
  • History of Love (Slovenia)
  • Knuckle City (South Africa)
  • Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa (Switzerland)
  • Dear Ex (Taiwan)
  • Krasue: Inhuman Kis (Thailand)
  • Dear Son (Tunisia)
  • Commitment Asli (Turkey)
  • Homeward (Ukraine)
  • The Moneychanger (Uruguay)
  • Being Impossible (Venezuela)
  • Furie (Vietnam)
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (U.K.)

That’s 64 right off the top, which leaves 27 left. Which is perfect. I’m around 30, and that’ll leave me room to put on some of the countries that tend to get shortlisted a lot. But before we do that, here are the 27 that immediately struck me as having potential:

  • Buoyancy (Australia)
  • Invisible Life (Brazil)
  • Aga (Bulgaria)
  • Monos (Columbia)
  • A Translator (Cuba)
  • The Painted Bird (Czech Republic)
  • Queen of Hearts (Denmark)
  • Les Misérables (France)
  • System Crasher (Germany)
  • Shindisi (Georgia)
  • Azali (Ghana)
  • Those Who Remained (Hungary)
  • A White, White Day (Iceland)
  • Incitement (Israel)
  • The Traitor (Italy)
  • Weathering with You (Japan)
  • Tel Aviv on Fire (Luxembourg)
  • Honeyland (North Macedonia)
  • The Chambermaid (Mexico)
  • Corpus Christi (Poland)
  • Beanpole (Russia)
  • The Perfect Candidate (Saudi Arabia)
  • Atlantics (Senegal)
  • Parasite (South Korea)
  • Pain and Glory (Spain)
  • And Then We Danced (Sweden)
  • Hot Bread (Uzbekistan)

Cool. Now, of the countries that I didn’t already shortlist that tend to get shortlisted and/or nominated:

  • Canada — They’ve only been shortlisted once since 2012, and it was Xavier Dolan. I’ve got no sense of Antigone, but since it’s an adaptation of a Greek tragedy, my gut says probably not, but I’ll leave it 50/50 at the moment.
  • Belgium — Our Mothers was something I toyed with, so I guess I’ll throw it back on, even though the fact that I left it off initially will probably eliminate it from serious contention.
  • Kazakhstan — The Golden Throne… don’t see it happening at all, leaving it off.
  • Netherlands — A prison psychiatrist falls in love with a convicted sex offender. Gotta be real good for them to give a shit about that story.
  • Switzerland — Comedy about a hassidic Jew. Don’t really see it happening, so this is an easy leave off.
  • Algeria — I considered Papicha, but I feel like that’s because I thought I might possibly enjoy it among all the other stuff. 50/50, leaning toward probably never gonna make it. Plus Algeria hasn’t been shortlisted in eight years, not that it matters.
  • Argentina — Heroic Losers seems like too much of a comedy for something that gets on. So I’ll just wait and see if they shortlist it.
  • Chile — Spider seems like a political thriller but I can’t tell if it’s the good kind or the kind they’ll ignore. Gut says the latter, so I’ll probably leave it off.
  • Iran — It’s a documentary, plus Iran only seems to get on when it’s Asghar Farhadi. So I’m thinking no.
  • Lebanon — Considered 1982, but I can’t tell. Gonna go with probably not and wait and see how it goes.
  • Norway — Out Stealing Horses has Stellan Skarsgard, which for some reason makes me think it has no shot. I don’t know why that is, but I feel like it also makes intrinsic sense that it would be the case.

I guess I’ll toss Antigone on, Our Mothers back on, and then let’s go with Papicha just to give it an even 30.

– – – – –

Cool, so now we’ve eliminated 2/3 of the list and have 30 films left. So now what we’re gonna do is break those 30 into tiers. These are the films that instinctively feel like they have the least shot among the 30, a decent shot, and then the ones that feel like the most obvious choices. Then from there I’ll pick my list of ten. Which you’d think would be the top ten, but no. It likely won’t, because a lot of the times some unlikely choices get on and some obvious choices get left off. But we’ll see. Maybe not. Let’s see where we’re at.

The first ten of these 30 are the ones that feel possible, but unlikely:

  1. Papicha (Algeria)
  2. Buoyancy (Australia)
  3. Our Mothers (Belgium)
  4. Antigone (Canada)
  5. A Translator (Cuba)
  6. Shindisi (Georgia)
  7. Those Who Remained (Hungary)
  8. Incitement (Israel)
  9. Tel Aviv on Fire (Luxembourg)
  10. The Chambermaid (Mexico)

So here’s my rationale for these: Mexico’s only gotten on once when it hasn’t been GDT, Inarritu or Cuaron, and this movie, while I’ve heard of it (which means some of the voters will have at least heard of it, which puts it a step above most in this category), apparently it’s just a woman working at a hotel and not much actually happens. I’m not sure they do that kind of thing in this category, so that all adds up to no vote but an outside chance. Tel Aviv on Fire I’ve heard of, but Luxembourg has never been shortlisted or nominated, so I don’t see why that would be the one that does it. Antigone, Papicha and Our Mothers I already mentioned. Maybe, but doubt it. Shindisi seems like it could but also would never be something I’d guess. Incitement seems like more of a mainstream kind of movie than the kind of movie Israel tends to get on. Buoyancy is just because Australia has only made it on twice, and it does’t feel like it will, even though it could. A Translator — maybe, don’t know. Had to put something else there. Hungary is here just because I feel like anything Holocaust-related always can make it, even though I feel like that would have more of a profile if it were going to.

Now the middle ten:

  1. Aga (Bulgaria)
  2. Queen of Hearts (Denmark)
  3. Azali (Ghana)
  4. A White, White Day (Iceland)
  5. The Traitor (Italy)
  6. Honeyland (North Macedonia)
  7. Beanpole (Russia)
  8. The Perfect Candidate (Saudi Arabia)
  9. And Then We Danced (Sweden)
  10. Hot Bread (Uzbekistan)

Aga has a shit ton of festivals it’s hit, and Bulgaria has never been nominated in 30 tries and only has one shortlist. So I’ll give it some respect, just in case people care, but it doesn’t feel like something I’d straight up guess. Denmark is here because Denmark always makes the shortlist. This film doesn’t feel like it will, so I’m going to leave them off, but you have to at least respect a country that has shortlisted over 60% of the time since they’ve started doing that. Ghana and Uzbekistan — this is their first submission, and those for sure fit the profile of ‘save’ films. At least one I expect to make it on, but we’ll deal with one later. For now, always respect the newbie countries. Estonia, Mauritania, Cambodia, Senegal… they try to get these things on in recent years. Iceland’s film just sounds like something that could easily be shortlisted, but I ran out of space in the top ten. That’s top 15 for me for sure as a possibility. Honeyland I’ve heard of as a documentary, though they tend to not like documentaries here most of the time. The only documentary that made it on in recent years is the Cambodian one that feels more about it being their first submission more than it does anything else. Otherwise, docs typically don’t make it on shortlists, even though that one’s way out there. So my guess is to expect it on the Documentary Shortlist and not here. The Traitor is Italy and sounds like it’s pretty good, though Italy hasn’t been shortlisted in 5 years, and even that was Sorrentino. Before that, you gotta go back to 2007 and 2008 to see the last time they were in contention. So I keep them just on the outside. Saudi Arabia is the director of Wadjda, which was great but also missed a shortlist during its year. So maybe they put her on for that, but more than likely it’s again on the outside looking in. I at least want to keep it respectable because I could easily see that making it. And Then We Danced feels like something I would normally ignore and then it makes it on, plus Sweden has five shortlists in 13 years, so I’ll respect it and see where it goes. Beanpole is the one that… while Russia always makes it on, the title just doesn’t feel like something that would make it on a final list. Which is totally arbitrary in every way, but so is this article. There’s absolutely no science behind this because if I’ve seen more than 3 films at this point from this article, that would be considered a banner year for me. But yes, Beanpole has hit a lot of festivals and seems like something that could easily make it on.

And now… the ten films with the highest pedigree, notoriety, or just the stuff I normally expect them to look at more than the rest:

  1. Invisible Life (Brazil)
  2. Monos (Columbia)
  3. The Painted Bird (Czech Republic)
  4. Les Misérables (France)
  5. System Crasher (Germany)
  6. Weathering with You (Japan)
  7. Corpus Christi (Poland)
  8. Atlantics (Senegal)
  9. Parasite (South Korea)
  10. Pain and Glory (Spain)

Okay, we’ll start with the obvious: Parasite is getting on. Even if it’s not, it’s getting on. I can’t imagine a film that people are thinking has a shot at Best Picture will not even make a shortlist in this category. And even if it doesn’t, and you guess the shortlist like I do, it’s going on your list. Because to do anything else would be to deliberately try to get things wrong.

That said… consider what has to happen for Parasite to not make the shortlist (not nominations, that’s its own separate deal): it has to not get the most votes from people voting on nominations for the category. Which… okay, maybe they think it’s too big a fish and want to leave it off. But then the committee voting has to not ‘save’ it, which I assume are for the best quality films that somehow slipped through the tracks or films they want to use to promote the category. So basically, if it somehow misses both of those things… then the category is rigged and at that point you just have to boycott it until they either change the rules or clean house.

Then, Pain and Glory. Almodovar is very hit and miss when it comes to his films and shortlists… he’s only got one in the past 13 years, and it’s Volver back in 2006. He hasn’t been shortlisted since then, which makes me leery about whether Pain and Glory will actually make it. However, you’d be a fool not to guess it unless you’re absolutely certain you have this thing dead to rights. So while I fully expect this film not to make it, it’s going to be in my ten guesses, because I’m not an idiot.

Weathering with You has to be in the top ten too because it’s big and known and from Japan. However, animated films never make it on the list of nominees, especially when they could make the Animated Feature list (which Weathering with You seems like it has a legitimate shot at doing). However, My Life as a Zucchini did get shortlisted, though that was stop-motion. So I don’t know. I, personally, don’t see it happening and am just gonna let it get shortlisted. I’d be shocked if this somehow made it on the final category, knowing this branch.

Les Mis is another one I’m not leaving off my guesses. That one feels like France needs it, just because they chose it over Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which in its own right could have been France’s submission and been in this same conversation. So imagine if they chose this over that and then this wasn’t even shortlisted. So I think that alone makes me want to guess it. Not to mention the fact that I saw a trailer for this in front of something and it looked really interesting and really well made. And for me to see a foreign film trailer and and go, “That looks really good”… it means it’s probably good enough to at least make a shortlist. Plus it’s very timely with the subject matter, it seems like. So I think that’s an easy guess.

Next is System Crasher — Germany has the most shortlists and nominations of any country since 2006. On that alone I’m putting it in my top ten. It doesn’t seem like it will, but at this point I feel safer playing the percentages over anything else. It’ll probably be toward the lower end of my 10 if I were to rank them, but it’s gotta be considered a major contender.

Monos, meanwhile… that got a legitimate release and was somehow something I tracked this year. I think I thought it was in English, but still, I’ve been on it since January, which must mean it has some sort of visibility. So I’ll leave it on, even though I could easily see it being left off. Though my gut says ‘shortlisted but not nominated’. That’s exactly what that film looks like, sight unseen.

Atlantics is another one I’ve heard of, plus Senegal is 1 for 1 on submissions so far. So I’m putting it right there, even though it could easily be left off in the end.

The Painted Bird I put on for several reasons. First, I looked to see what it was about. And it’s about a Jewish boy during World War II. Check. They like that. Second, it’s almost three hours long. And I just feel like a big World War II epic is very much up their alley. And that’s before I saw that it was shot in black and white. Unless it’s bad, that feels like the right kind of artistic choice they’ll ‘save’ and slip on the list. Of all the 10, this one’s the one that’s most based on random gut feeling, so more than likely this is the one that has zero chance of actually making it. But I got a paragraph out of it and this is my article to make shit up, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Now, Corpus Christi — Poland has 4 shortlists, has been at a lot of festivals, and seems like the kind of thing that could easily make it. So it’s on my 10 for now.

And finally, Invisible Life. This one’s interesting. Because Brazil hasn’t been nominated since 1998 and has only been shortlisted once, which was in 2007. However, the plot synopsis jumped out at me and I read an article about how they’re pushing for it to get nominated because the new regime in Brazil is very anti art, and that sort of thing has helped nominees in the past (mainly from the Middle East). So I feel like that could be a ‘save’ kinda movie from the committee, and it’s one of those ‘gut feeling’ kinda choices I’m gonna leave on even though I’ll likely be wrong.

Anyone who reads this site knows — I’d rather be wrong and feel good about it than be boring and have a higher chance of getting it right.

So now, just sort of taking everything into account, here’s the ten I’d feel most comfortable ‘guessing’ as the ten most likely to make a shortlist:

  1. Invisible Life (Brazil)
  2. Monos (Columbia)
  3. The Painted Bird (Czech Republic)
  4. Les Misérables (France)
  5. System Crasher (Germany)
  6. Azali (Ghana)
  7. Corpus Christi (Poland)
  8. Atlantics (Senegal)
  9. Parasite (South Korea)
  10. Pain and Glory (Spain)

It’s basically my top ten but with Japan taken out and Ghana put on. There’s no way I’m gonna be right on this at all, just because I can see too many ‘save’ choices on there.

AT this point, Parasite, Les Mis and probably Pain and Glory should make it on, but even Pain and Glory I’m not sold on. System Crasher goes on because Germany always makes shortlists. Monos feels like a shortlisted kinda movie. Atlantics I’ve heard of, plus Senegal is kinda new, so sure. Maybe that’s a save, maybe not. Corpus Christi feels like something that would make it on, though who knows. Iceland could easily take that spot or any number of countries. Denmark always makes it. Could be Denmark. Painted Bird feels like a ‘save’ kinda choice. Invisible Life I’ve explained my feelings on and am just gonna take a shot there. So there you have it. Ten mostly random ass movies I think could make a shortlist.

I’m not even gonna begin trying to figure out how to guess the category. Since at this point, we all assume Parasite is gonna win. But I’m still waiting for that trap door to open. So let’s just wait for them to announce the shortlist and go from there.

Mostly this was me starting to stretch those Oscar muscles. Feels good. I got to bullshit a bunch without putting forth any effort. That’s midseason form, right there.

– – – – – – – – – –

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