The Academy today announced that a record 76 countries have submitted films for consideration for the Oscar for best foreign-language film. You can see the entire list here, should you be so inclined. A few of the films have played Seattle already — “The Wall” (from Austria”), “The Hunt” (from Denmark) and “The Grandmaster” (from Hong Kong) all played here in August; “Renoir” was briefly here in May — and a few are coming up. Watch for “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (from Belgium) to open Nov. 22, “Wadjda” (from Saudi Arabia; that country’s first entry in this category) on Oct. 18, and Italy’s “The Great Beauty” on Nov. 29. And there is, as always, controversy over the choices: “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” the Palm d’Or winner at the Cannes International Film Festival this year, opens in France this week and thus missed the cutoff date for eligibility (France is instead submitting “Renoir”), and critically acclaimed films such as India’s “The Lunchbox” and Japan’s “Like Father, Like Son” were passed over in favor of other selections. (At this point, it’s the individual countries that make the decision of what to submit, not the Academy.) The 76 films will be reduced to nine finalists later this year, and ultimately five nominees will be announced on January 16, 2014.
October 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM