The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today revealed the nine-film shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Below are the nine finalists, in alphabetical order:
Belgium, Bullhead, Michael R. Roskam, director;
Canada, Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, director;
Denmark, Superclásico, Ole Christian Madsen, director;
Germany, Pina, Wim Wenders, director;
Iran, A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, director;
Israel, Footnote, Joseph Cedar, director;
Morocco, Omar Killed Me, Roschdy Zem, director;
Poland, In Darkness, Agnieszka Holland, director;
Taiwan, Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, Wei Te-sheng, director.
At this point, A Separation, which has graced many critic's Top Ten list, has to be considered the favorite, followed perhaps by Wim Wenders' 3D documentary Pina.
Conspicuously absent from the shortlist is China's submission, The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, and Mexico's submission, Miss Bala.
The Academy is now charged with whittling the list down to five before January 24, when Oscar nominations will be announced live at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.