October 28, 2005


I have a lot of problems with the Best Foreign Film nominationsThe nominations for "Best Foreign Film" are in for the upcoming Oscars, and they're just as lame this year as they are every year. I have a lot of problems with the "Best Foreign Film" nominations and think that just about everything about them is broken: from the way they're chosen (countries have committees that hand-pick what film to send), to the way they're voted on. Frankly, I'd rather the voting be limited to non-English-language movies that are released in the US, but that's just me.

Here's a look at who's submitting what:

THE PROMISE (China) - it was a no-brainer that Chen Kaige's massively pretty martial arts movie would be submitted.

PERHAPS LOVE (Hong Kong) - Peter Chan's musical could be really great, but it hasn't created a lot of excitement on the festival circuit. Let's see what happens once it comes out in theaters.

PAHELI (India) - the Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee fantasy film about a woman who falls in love with a ghost/genii didn't make a huge splash, either critically or financially. Shah Rukh produced it and one wonders how political a choice its inclusion was as SRK becomes bigger and bigger. You can read a review here.

GIE (Indonesia) - a big biopic about Gie, a student activist in Indonesia back in the 60's, this movie was hotly anticipated but many reviewers considered it a disappointment.

BLOOD AND BONES (Japan) - I think Tartan has this film in the US, and I hope they release it and do some campaigning for it. It stars Takeshi Kitano and has gotten rave reviews.

WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL (Korea) - this Korean hit has left most Western viewers cold, and folks who saw it in Pusan said it was "obvious" and "underwhelming".

THE WAYWARD CLOUD (Taiwan) - kudos to Taiwan for submitting this explicit, brutal, anti-porn Tsai Ming-liang film to the Oscars. I imagine voters trying to make it through the excruciating blow job sequence and inside I giggle a little.

THE TIN MINE (Thailand) - not much of a hit in Thailand, to put it kindly, this movie hasn't seemed to set anyone on fire, even its defenders admit it isn't earth-shattering but rather a nice, well-made movie.

BUFFALO BOY (Vietnam) - I don't know much about this film, adapted from several short stories, except that it seems like a tasteful, logical choice for Vietnam. Read a review here. It is odd that it's co-produced by France and Belgium, though.

October 28, 2005 at 10:19 AM in News | Permalink


Technically, these should not be called "nominations" but "submissions", as only the final five selections get to be dubbed "Oscar nominees" by the Academy. A common mistake.

I bet the resistance to changing the eligibility requirements in this category comes from the corner which sees Oscars not so much as a way to sum up a given year but more as a promotional tool to get the public interested in films they otherwise wouldn't be. Which, I suspect, is a pretty big corner of the Academy, and not just confined to the Foreign-Language Film committee.

Posted by: Frisco Brian | Oct 29, 2005 1:51:08 PM

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