The Class, Bashir lead Academy Award foreign-language shortlist

The Class, Bashir lead Academy Award foreign-language shortlist

 

Nominations aren’t announced for another nine days, but the committee that determines the Best Foreign-Language Film nominees—through a process so inane that it makes our heads hurt just to think about—has whittled the list down to nine finalists. With links to A.V. Club reviews and/or festival coverage where applicable, they are:
 
Revanche (dir. Gotz Spielmann, Austria)
Necessities Of Life (dir. Benoit Pilon, Canada)
The Class (dir. Laurent Cantet, France)
The Baader Meinhof Complex (dir. Uli Edel, Germany)
Waltz With Bashir (dir. Ari Folman, Israel)
Departures (dir. Yojiro Takita, Japan)
Tear This Heart Out (dir. Roberto Sneider, Mexico)
Everlasting Moments (dir. Jan Troell, Sweden)
3 Monkeys (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
 
Some stray thoughts you didn’t ask for: Nice to see undistributed Toronto Film Festival buzz magnet Revanche (scroll down to Monday the 8th for comments) get some attention. Surprising also that Ceylan’s difficult film about adultery snuck through an Academy committee known for its middle-of-the-road sensibility. After seeing Hirokazu Kore-eda’s fine Still Walking at Toronto, it seemed like an obvious submission choice for Japan, but Departures has made the shortlist, so what do we know? And finally, a tip for those participating in the office Oscar pool: This will likely be a race between The Class and Waltz With Bashir. And since the latter will also (very likely) compete for the Best Animated Feature prize, our money is on the (far superior) Cantet.