Oscars 2022: Best international feature film predictions


The popular Danish entry “Flee” and the three-hour “Drive My Car” in Japan are favorites.

The Academy’s International Feature Film Award committee has nothing to do with selecting foreign language nominations from over 90 countries around the world. It is up to each country to determine which film has the best chance of building an audience among the approximately 1,000 worldwide Academy participants (mainly in Los Angeles) who watch a dozen films at festivals, screenings, theaters. or on the Academy’s online portal, and rate them for a shortlist of 15 Academy-wide films to watch. Those who see the full list of nominees can choose the last five nominees.

While many in Hollywood denounce this method of selecting international Oscar nominees, the sheer scale and logistics of the submission and voting process have precluded any meaningful reform. More and more countries participate each year. This year reached the record of 93 films submitted last year. Some members would like to see 10 nominees, given the high volume of quality films presented.

For the 94th Academy Awards, films submitted were to be released in theaters in their respective countries between January 1 and December 31, 2021, and submitted to the Academy by November 1, 2021.

The five finalists will be announced on February 8, 2022. Historically, countries with well-established film industries (in order of Oscar victories: Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Soviet Union, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary , Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Austria, Iran) have collected the most nominations and victories over the years. But Mauritania delivered its first and only nominee “Timbuktu”, while South Korea’s nominated and winning first feature film, Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” also won four Oscars, including Best Picture, first international film to do so.

It doesn’t matter what language is spoken in which country, as long as there isn’t too much English. American films are not eligible. The first submission of the year came from Ecuador, Alfredo León León’s “Submersible” for the first time, about a handcrafted narco submarine with on board a precious and hidden cargo that threatens to sink. After 10 submissions, Ecuador has yet to land a bid.

Film festival winners have an edge, as do films with a strong North American distributor willing to spend and campaign. After a pitched battle to know which film would be the final selection of the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image in France, the anti-taboo Palme d’Or from Julia Ducournau and the winner of the TIFF Midnight Madness “Titane” (Neon) did not land on the shortlist.

The good boss, from Spanish competitor Fernando León de Aranoa, was selected over that of Pedro Almodóvar. rented “Parallel Mothers”, which opened Venice and closed the New York Film Festival. The same thing happened 19 years ago when the country chose Aranoa’s “Mondays in the Sun” over Almodóvar’s “Talk to Her”, which won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The author has been selected seven times by Spain. Sony Pictures Classics will campaign “Parallel Mothers” for Best Picture, Director, Actress, Original Screenplay, among other categories. Ironically, “The Good Boss” stars Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”), the husband of Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”). “The stigma on foreign films disappeared with the victory of ‘Parasite’,” wrote SPC co-chair Tom Bernard in an email. “So we will submit in all mainstream categories. “

“A hero”

Another highly regarded author is Iranian Asghar Farhadi, who won two Foreign Language Oscars, for “A Separation,” which was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, and “The Salesman,” and could be in the running for a third for Cannes Grand Prize winner “A Hero”, a heartbreaking family drama about a reckless man trying to extricate himself from debtor prison in order to marry the woman he loves. Amazon is pushing for the well rated drama.

The Finnish participation of Juho Kuosmanen in the Cannes Grand Prix with “A Hero”, the magnificent winter train saga “Compartment No. 6” (Sony Pictures Classics) which follows two incompatible train companions on a journey of discovery.

Germany selected well received “I’m Your Man” (Bleecker Street), directed by Maria Schrader and starring German-speaking Briton Dan Stevens as a living humanoid lover who is resisted by a teacher (Maren Eggert) who values ​​the service provided by a humanoid exquisitely listening to the deepest desires of a woman. Resistance is futile.

Netflix supports a few foreign language applicants. Much-publicized winner of the Silver Lion in Venice, “The Hand of God” (December 15) marks a break with the more flowery works of Italian author Paolo Sorrentino, such as Oscar-winning “La grande beauté” . More “Roma” by Cuarón than “Roma” by Fellini, it is a personal story that takes place in Sorrentino’s youthful cinephile in his hometown of Naples. Netflix is ​​also backing the Mexican entry, Tatiana Huezo’s wartime coming-of-age fable “Prayers for the Stolen,” which focuses on three pre-teens, which debuted in Cannes.

“Drive my car”

As expected, Japan has selected the prolific Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, winner of three hours for the best screenplay at Cannes, “Drive My Car” (Sideshow and Janus Films), starring the incomparable Hidetoshi Nishijima as actor-director in grieved in rehearsals for a multinational stage performance of “Uncle Vanya,” which caused a stir at NYFF and won Best Picture from the New York and Los Angeles Critics’ Groups.

The Austrian play “Great Freedom” by Sebastian Meise (March 4, Mubi) made its Cannes debut and won the jury prize Un Certain Regard; it also won the best feature film award at the Sarajevo Film Festival. And actor Franz Rogowski won the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October.

One of the few films to be selected by all major film festivals, from Sundance 2021 to NYFF, is the timely documentary on immigration to Afghanistan by Jonas Poher Rasmussen “Flee” (Neon), which could receive multiple nominations. like “Honeyland” and “Collectif. “Could it also land in the animated feature race? That didn’t happen for Ari Folman’s ‘Waltz with Bashir’. But it is a long-term possibility. Lots and lots of fans of the movie. film will intensify its already robust profile, including Alfonso Cuarón.

Another winner at Cannes, for best actress Renate Reinsve, is Joachim Trier’s relationship drama “The Worst Person in the World”, a good candidate for Norway. The Icelandic film “Lamb” (A24), directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson and performed by Noomi Rapace, also played in Cannes.

The shortlisted candidates are listed in alphabetical order. No movie will be considered a favorite if I haven’t seen it.

“Compartment n ° 6”

Precursors
“Drive my car” (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan)
“Flee” (Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark)
“The hand of God” (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy)
“A hero” (Asghar Farhadi, Iran)
“The worst person in the world” (Joachim Trier, Norway)

Candidates
“Compartment n ° 6” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)
“The good boss” (Spain, Fernando León de Aranoa)
“The great freedom” (Sebastian Meise, Austria)
“Beehive” (Blerta Basholli, Kosovo)
“I am your man” (Maria Schrader, Germany)
“Lamb” (Valdimar Jóhannsson, Iceland)
“Lunana: A yak in the classroom” (Pawo Choyning Dorji, Bhutan)
“Playground” (Laura Wandel, Belgium)
“Plaza Catedral” (Abner Benaim, Panama)
“Prayers for the Stolen” (Tatiana Huezo, Mexico)

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