Friday, October 14, 2011

The Foreign Language Finalist List

As Oscarwatchers have no doubt already seen today, AMPAS released the official submission list for this year's Foreign Language Oscar. There's 63 countries submitting this year, including first-timer New Zealand, which is actually pretty surprising to me. Also of note: Algeria, which was nominated last year for Hors-la-loi, chose not to submit this year, though that film's director, producer, and star are all involved in Morocco's submission, Omar Killed Me.

You can view the full list here, courtesy of The Film Experience. It's a nifty little chart, and includes much more than most sites are providing, including posters, official sites, and Oscar tidbits. Really, if you're not already reading this site, it's an absolute must for Oscarphiles, actresssexuals, and film lovers in general.

A Separation

I'm actually glad to see that Iran is going with A Separation, Asghar Farhadi's festival-acclaimed divorce drama after some controversial statements that it hadn't decided on a film yet. I've been meaning to share this article all week: Glenn over at Stale Popcorn (if you're not reading his work, do so now!) wrote this wonderful piece about whether or not Iran deserves to win an Oscar or not. I have to say, he makes a pretty compelling argument, and brings up an Oscar peculiarity that we always seem to forget every year. It's strange to think that acclaimed international auteurs don't actually have Oscars for their films, since the award is presented to the country, only accepted by the filmmakers. Now, I'm a big stickler about quality being the determining factor in any film's awardage (I know the politics can't be avoided, but I like to pretend), but in this case I do think that there's something not quite right about rewarding a nation that persecutes it's filmmakers (to say nothing of the population at large), regardless of the quality of the film.

So here's my question to you, dear readers: should a nation that violates human rights win an Oscar for a great film? I personally think the easy way to fix this dilemma is to have the nation submit the film, but the award be presented to the director/producers. What do you think?

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