Nine foreign-language features have been shortlisted as part of a process that’ll eventually result in five nominees for the 87th Academy Awards. I’ve seen five of the nine. Of these I heartily approve of Andrey Zvyagintsev‘s Leviathan (Russia), Paweł Pawlikowski‘s Ida (Poland) and Damian Szifron‘s Wild Tales (Argentina). I’m mezzo-mezzo on Ruben Ostlund‘s Force Majeure (Sweden) and Abderrahmane Sissako‘s Timbuktu (Mauritania).
I haven’t seen Zaza Urushadze‘s Tangerines (Estonia), George Ovashvili‘s Corn Island (Georgia), Paula van der Oest‘s Accused (Netherlands) and Alberto Arvelo‘s The Liberator (Venezuela).
The Dardennes brothers’ Two Days and One Night was blown off. Ditto Xavier Dolan‘s Mommy, which so many critics did apeshit somersaults for in Cannes. Some attendees at last May’s Cannes Film Festival were dismayed by the jurors giving the Palme d’Or to Nuri Bilge Ceylon‘s Winter Sleep instead of the more deserving Leviathan, but the Ceylan wasn’t even shortlisted. Jane Campion is slapping her forehead in amazement.
Six of the nine were selected by a special gulag of Academy voters tasked with grading the initial 83 submissions, and three were chosen by Mark Johnson‘s exec committee. The final five nominees will most likely be Leviathan, Wild Tales, Ida, Timbuktu and Force Majeure.