12 January 2013 4:11 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Easy online access to foreign films of all eras has broadened the horizons of British cinema fans

It was no shock to see Michael Haneke's Amour on the best foreign film list for this year's Oscars. What did surprise pundits was Hollywood's recognition of this unflinching Austrian film about ageing as a candidate for best picture, among such expected contenders as Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Ben Affleck's Argo and Tom Hooper's Les Misérables.

Academy voters appear to be hinting at a new openness to other cultures and the growing acceptability of subtitled entertainment. "It really is unusual for a foreign language film to do this well and to be nominated in two other main categories too, for best adapted screenplay and best director," said Charles Gant, film editor of Heat magazine.

Not since Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, shot almost entirely in Japanese, was nominated »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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