2010 Academy Award Shortlist for Best Foreign Film


There are a lot of foreign films from last year that I still have to catch up on, one of them being Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, which just won the Golden Globe last week for Best Foreign Film. After making numerous Best Of 2009 lists, it is looking like Haneke’s film will be the frontrunner for the same category at the Oscars as well, and this week the Academy unveiled the short list of films also in the running for the award. The biggest competition for The White Ribbon would seem to be Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet, which has been getting rave reviews ever since it premiered at Cannes.

As far as the other potential nominees go, I think most of them are still relatively unknown. One notable omission on the shortlist is the Korean thriller Mother from Bong Joon-Ho (The Host). Some might also question the absence of Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces, which was one of the films up for the Golden Globe, but apparently Spain did not choose that film as their entry for the category this year. Are there any other movies you would like to have seen on this list? Do any of these films have a shot at upsetting The White Ribbon?

  • El Secreto De Sus Ojos (Argentina). Dir: Juan Jose Campanella
  • Samson & Delilah (Australia). Dir: Warwick Thornton
  • The World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner (Bulgaria). Dir: Stephan Komandarev
  • Un Prophete (France). Dir: Jacques Audiard
  • The White Ribbon (Germany). Dir: Michael Haneke
  • Ajami (Israel). Dir: Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani
  • Kelin (Kazakhstan). Dir: Ermek Tursunov
  • Winter In Wartime (The Netherlands). Dir: Martin Koolhoven
  • The Milk Of Sorrow (Peru). Dir: Claudia Llosa

  • RaphNL

    Looking forward to seeing Un Prophete!

  • “The White Ribbon” has it locked up, in my opinion.

    Pretentious or not, Haneke is a pretty amazing filmmaker.

  • Kurt

    I’m upset that I missed El Secreto De Sus Ojos at TIFF this year (especially considering it stars the great Ricardo Darin), but perhaps if it makes the final 5, there will be an R1 friendly DVD. Really the Foreign Langauge Oscar is one I pay attention to because they make interesting choices, and it also helps all 5 of the nominees eventually come out here on DVD instead of folk like me having to import the disc themselves.

  • Disappointed to find out that Sweden wasn’t able to put Let The Right One In back up there.

  • JakeTheFatMan

    The Milk of Sorrow sounds hilarious.

  • KeithTalent

    Damn, I’ve only seen two of those. That said I have a feeling The White Ribbon will take it.

  • JuniperGal

    I was disappointed that Canada’s J’ai Tué Ma Mère (I Killed My Mother) didn’t make it past the long list; it’s an amazing film.

  • AlexG

    I’ll keep tooting the horn of Samuel Maoz’s Lebanon, a great, claustrophobic and powerfully anti-war film. Its place is taken here by Ajami, also an Israeli film, which I haven’t seen yet but I am told is a very worthy addition indeed, and as such I can’t wait to check it out.

  • Kurt

    Lebanon is really good, but I’d hesitate to call it a truly great film (DAS BOOT did it better and first, in its ‘claustrophobic sub” environs). But it is a film that folks should see. I was quite surprised that Lebanon was not Isreal’s entry for Foreign Language film myself.

  • Kurt

    Err. (shameless plug to follow) …if you want to read my review: http://www.rowthree.com/2009/09/17/tiff-09-review-lebanon/

  • joe

    Bummer, no asian movies this year. Not that I’ve heard of any good ones that should be on here. Time to watch Departures again :)

    Reed, seen any foreign movies from ’09? (if you’re reading these comments)

  • patton

    I think the only movie that can beat “The White Ribbon” is “The Secret in their Eyes” from Campanella, I’ve seen it recently and I think is excellent, a masterpiece!

  • Hi joe, I’ve seen a couple of Asian movies from 2009. The ones I reviewed include “Metallic Attraction: Kungfu Cyborg,” and “Shinjuku Incident.” The ones I didn’t review include “Red Cliff II,” “Vengeance,” and “Blood: The Last Vampire.” I have “Mulan” without English sub-titles that I haven’t watched, yet.

    I’ve had a chance to watch “Departures,” but even with all its acclaim, I couldn’t get myself to buy a copy.

    The subject matter of the foreign films that do get nominated for awards are normally too depressing for me. I find that I have to be in a certain state of mind. I think my tastes are more in the mainstream.

    For example, I just watched a French farce film, “Priceless (Hors de prix)” (2006), with Audrey Tatou and I found it really entertaining. But I don’t think it got nominated for any awards. There’s a line from the film that I thought was rather astute (and even IMDb listed it in its quotes): “… charm is more valuable than beauty. You can resist beauty, but you can’t resist charm.”

  • KeithTalent

    I was actually hoping Mother (Madeo) from Korea would have gotten nominated. One of my favourite films from last year and it’s by the guy that did The Host.

  • The Bulgarian film The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Just Around the Corner is a wonderful film. Here’s my review: http://karolinkabulgaria.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/new-bulgaria-the-world-is-big-and-salvation-lurks-around-the-corner/

  • Akira

    I think White ribbon os the favorite in that list, but … I liked so much ” el secreto de sus ojos” , the actors got am excellent perfomance, specially Ricardo Darin.
    I’d give my vote to this movie.
    Kurt you can found it in Isohunt.com

  • Denitz

    Despite the truly awful title “La teta asustada” is a very good film… however, “Das Weisse Band” has the Oscar in its bag, in my opinion.

  • Martin

    El Secreto de sus Ojos is a great movie. Certainly deserves the award. Haven’t seen The White Ribbon.

  • joe

    Reed – I thought Departures was amazing. But you might not like it because it is about death.. and does not have a mainstream feel. But it is a very uplifting movie, and not depressing IMO. I’m kind of interested in the movies you mentioned. I know Blood: The Last Vampire is out on bluray in the US, so I will at least Netflix it sometime. Shinjuku Incident looks good too. Ref Cliff is coming to theaters near me soon, I believe.

  • joe

    ps. The White Ribbon is starting to get some theatrical releases around here (Detroit), so i’ll probably see that soon!

  • furry

    The Milk of Sorrow has been awarded with the Golden Bear at Berlín Festival for Best Film.

  • ale

    “The Secret of her Eyes” is unforgettable. Great movie, wonderful performances. Give it a shot!

  • Janet

    The milk of sorrow is currently winning in bbc web site.

  • Solange

    “The Secret in Their Eyes” is an excellent movie, please give it a go, you’ll love it. It has not only incredible performances, but also the screenplay is fantastic. When it heads towards its ending, you really can’t imagine what will happen, though trust me that you will never ever expect what really happens.

  • James

    Give some credit to Un Prophete which I believe to be the best film of the year. The comparisons to The Godfather are well deserved. Truly amazing picture

  • Spain

    El secreto de sus ojos is a coproduction argentina-Spain.

  • well, i was really dissapointed that 2 movies were not in the shortlist:
    1)i killed my mother (canada) great movie,was really snubbed.
    2) the misfortunates(belgium) funny movie really great should have gotten some more love.
    but that the sectret in their eyes won was truly great everyone thought it was a prohpet or teh whitte ribbon but like always the foreign langauge film categiry is a surprising one and it should it yet again all the movies in here were great. but the right one won
    p.s i though that: the girl with the dragon tattoo (sweden) also had a very good chance.
    please respond

  • I would love to see Shirin Neshat’s first feature film – WOMEN WITHOUT MEN (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan) up for best foreign film. Such a beautiful film!