With just six days until Oscar nominations, the Academy has released the finalist list for Best Foreign Language Film. Iran's wondrous A Separation (see my top ten list) might just go all the way. While it's true that most pundits are already predicting just that, I've been more cautious. Masterpieces are often tripped up in this category by more heartwarming or traditonally baity mass-appeal films in the final heat. The biggest surprise here might be the omission of Lebanon's 'can't we all get along' musical Where Do We Go Now
? which some pundits, including myself, had suspected might be a real threat given its populist pull. It won the People's Choice at Toronto which generally bodes well for Oscar traction. Not this time.
Poland's "In Darkness
" is "A Separation"'s chief rival now; it's a Holocaust drama.
The Finalist List
Belgium (5 noms) "Bullhead" Michael R. Roskam
Canada (5 noms | 1 win) "Monsieur Lazhar