The-OscarsThe Oscars are almost upon us, and with just two weeks to go before we hear the final nominations, the race is on, with all the main categories wide open and still to play for. And now one of those categories, for the Best Foreign Language Film, is narrowing.

So far, we’ve had the shortlists for the Best Visual Effects, Best Documentary, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling categories, along with the list of eligible films for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and twenty-one submissions for Best Animated Feature.

The Academy have given us one more shortlist to add to the list in the form of the Best Foreign Language Film. Back in October, we had a record seventy-one countries submitting for the category, and now that long list has been narrowed down to nine films ahead of next month’s nominations.

Most prominent on the list, which we expected to see make the final cut, is Michael Haneke’s Amour, which has had almost universal critical acclaim – you can read our review here – and enters the race representing Austria.

Pablo Larraín’s similarly acclaimed No debuted at Cannes to very strong praise, and also makes the final cut here for Chile, alongside Olivier Nakache’s and Eric Toledano’s The Intouchables for France.

I personally think France ought to have sent Jacques Audiard back to the Oscars for his exceptional film, Rust and Bone, but can appreciate both sides of the argument. And here’s to hoping Rust and Bone will be heading to the awards in February with at least a Best Actress nomination for Marion Cotillard, and hopefully more for Audiard, co-writer Thomas Bidegain, and leading actor Matthias Schoenaerts.

One film noticeably absent here is Ki-duk Kim’s Pieta for South Korea. The film took home the Golden Lion at its Venice debut, and even though it was a somewhat controversial decision (with The Master originally set for the prize), it has received promising reviews, and I thought it might well be making the final cut next month.

The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards will be announced on 10th January, with the ceremony itself broadcast on Sunday, 24th February. We’ll be following the events as they happen on the night, with the brilliant Seth MacFarlane serving as our host for the evening. And we hope that you’ll join us and follow along, too.


BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards®. Seventy-one films had originally qualified in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director;
Canada, “War Witch,” Kim Nguyen, director;
Chile, “No,” Pablo Larraín, director;
Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” Nikolaj Arcel, director;
France, “The Intouchables,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors;
Iceland, “The Deep,” Baltasar Kormákur, director;
Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors;
Romania, “Beyond the Hills,” Cristian Mungiu, director;
Switzerland, “Sister,” Ursula Meier, director.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2012 are again being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 71 eligible films between mid-October and December 17. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 4, through Sunday, January 6, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.