Oscar 2015 Predictions Foreign Film: Argentina, Ecuador Among Contenders; Turkey, Poland Submit Movies
The Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards is often one of the most intriguing due to its ability to reveal new works to viewers.
However, it is always hard to predict the category this early on in the year, especially when individual countries have yet to submit their films to the Academy.
Countries generally submit their films based on the festivals the selected movie plays at, and whether it is a Cannes, Berlin or Sundance selection.
Previous winners in this category include "The Great Beauty," "Amour," "Ina Better World" and "The Secret in Their Eyes."
Argentina could be back in the race after six nominations and two wins. This year, the country is likely to submit "Wild Tales," which is slated to be released by Sony Classic Pictures. The movie was not only produced by Pedro Almodovar but it scored rave reviews at Cannes, where it premiered in competition.
Ecuador may have a chance at a first nomination this year if it submits "Holiday." The LGBT film premiered at Berlin, which is rare for a Latin American country with a small film industry.
A few countries to have already submitted films for the Oscars.
One of the few countries to have already submitted is Turkey. This year, the country looks to have the best chance at getting nominated for its Palme d'Or winner "Winter Sleep." The country has had a strong slate of films in the past and the fact that this new one won the top prize at Cannes could be favorable.
The only issue is that "Winter Sleep" has yet to obtain a U.S. distributor and not all Palme d'Or winners are automatic nominees. Last year, "Blue Is the Warmest Color" did not qualify because it was not released on time in France. The 2009 winner "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" similarly failed to generate buzz.
Poland is likely to be a huge contender, as well, with "Ida." The country has obtained nine nominations in its Oscar history but has never won. Unusually, "Ida" was already released this year in the U.S. and became a huge box office hit. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win the top prize at the Polish Film Awards.
Hungary's Un Certain Regard winner "White God" has already been selected as the official selection. The country has been nominated eight times and has won once. "White God" obtained great reviews at the festival and has continued to generate buzz throughout the past months.
Aside from these three, no other country has yet to submit. However, there are a number of films that seem to be big contenders.
Belgium's Dardenne brothers generated a lot of buzz at Cannes for their recent film "Two Days One Night." While the feature failed to win a single award at the event, it scored universal praise and critics considered it one of the best films in the festival. IFC Films will distribute it and it is likely to have a great box office especially with Marion Cotillard starring.
Meanwhile, Canada may submit "Mommy" by Xavier Dolan. That movie was recently acquired by Roadside Attractions and won the Jury Prize at Cannes. This may be the country's best bet as it was highly regarded by many critics.
Similarly, Russia's "Leviathan" could be a huge contender after winning Best Screenplay at Cannes. The country has been nominated in the category 14 times and has won on four occasions. However, Russia has not been in the race for a number of years.
Sony Classics Pictures will release the feature and with great reviews, this may be one of the big contenders and even front runner.
Having won last year, it is unlikely that Italy's Grand Prize Jury winner at Cannes "The Wonders" will have a chance if Italy submits this feature. The movie scored rave reviews but given the unpredictability in this category and the lack of a distributor, Italy is unlikely to get nominated.
Other contenders include Ukraine's Cannes submission "The Tribe" and China's Golden Bear winner "Black Coal, Thin Ice."
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