Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Elle is curiously absent from the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film shortlist

(Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)
(Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is full of shockers these days. After disqualifying some noteworthy scores from competition earlier this week, the shortlist of movies up for Best Foreign Language Film unveiled earlier today was missing some notable contenders. Most shockingly, Paul Verhoeven’s Elle was not among the nine films vying for five nominations. Elle has been a critical favorite, and its star Isabelle Huppert remains one of the frontrunners for a Best Actress nod. One could argue that its subject matter—it follows a woman who was viciously raped—could have made the Academy’s committee shy away. But that didn’t stop the Golden Globes’ Hollywood Foreign Press Association from honoring it with two nominations Monday. The other curious absences include Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, Julieta, and Pablo Larraín’s Neruda. Larraín’s other biopic this year, Jackie, could very well end up in the Best Picture and Best Director race, while its star, Natalie Portman, is all but guaranteed an acting spot.


Among the films that actually make the shortlist are Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, and Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only The End Of The World. That last one is a controversial pick: It was poorly reviewed at Cannes, but then ended up winning the festival’s Grand Prix award anyway, and now may be on the path to an Oscar nomination. The full list is as follows:

Australia, Tanna, Bentley Dean and Martin Butler

Canada, It’s Only The End Of The World, Xavier Dolan

Denmark, Land of Mine, Martin Zandvliet

Germany, Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade

Iran, The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi

Norway, The King’s Choice, Erik Poppe

Russia, Paradise, Andrei Konchalovsky

Sweden, A Man Called Ove, Hannes Holm

Switzerland, My Life As A Zucchini, Claude Barras