Best Foreign Language Film is always an interesting case. I have not seen any of these films and don’t really plan to, (I might see Son Of Saul if it becomes available.) Most of all, this category reminds us that there is great cinema in other countries beside America, and it allows for plenty of well needed diversity.
(Although I hear Donald Trump is petitioning to get rid of this category.)
5th Most Likely To Win: Embrace Of The Serpent from Columbia
Synopsis: “The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.”
It’s supposed to be good, but the nomination was a big surprise, so I can’t imagine it getting that many votes. But it’s the first time a film from Columbia got in, so good for them.
4th Most Likely To Win: A War from Denmark
Synopsis: “Company commander Claus M. Pedersen and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus’ wife Maria is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him – and his family back home.”
From the guy who directed The Hunt. In case you couldn’t tell from the film’s incredibly creative title, this is a war movie. The academy seems to like those. But, I just don’t think this film has enough buzz to win. For those interested, Denmark won this category three times already.
3rd Most Likely To Win: Theeb from Jordan
Synopsis: “In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.”
Ooh, this is the first movie from Jordan to get nominated! Nice to see more and more countries get recognized. And I have seen a couple FYC ads for this, so people are aware about this movie. But, how many have actually seen it? And yes, I could use that argument on literally every movie here. But one of these movies is at least more widely seen than the others.
2nd Most Likely To Win: Mustang from France
In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them.
This is an entry from France. France holds the record for the most nominations in this category. (And the second most wins, after Italy.) The movie’s got great notices. But ultimately, it really doesn’t matter how I rank #5 – #2. Because we all know w
MY PREDICTED WINNER: Son Of Saul from Hungary
“In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.”
Let’s say you’re in an Office Pool and you don’t know what to vote for in this category because you haven’t heard of any of these movies. I’ll be your lord and savior. Predict Son Of Saul. This movie is supposed to be really, really good. Plus, it’s about the holocaust. The Oscars have never met a holocaust movie they didn’t like.
It’s also won the Globe, BFCA, and countless other critics awards. Seriously, look up all the major film awards. Almost all of them gave their Foreign Language Film prize to Son Of Saul. And the few that didn’t gave their top prize to The Assassin or Goodnight Mommy, neither of which is nominated for the Oscar.
To put it bluntly, this is one of the easiest categories to predict at this year’s Oscars.