Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries include 'House of Flying Daggers' & 'The Sea Inside'
Of the 49 films submitted for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 27 are from Europe, 12 from Asia, eight from the Americas, and a mere two from Africa. For the record: the two African entries are Oussama Fawzy's seemingly Cinema Paradiso-inspired I Love Cinema (Egypt) and Darrell Roodt's AIDS drama Yesterday (South Africa). (See further below the full list of this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries.)
Of note, this year marks the first time that Malaysia has sent in a movie for the Academy Awards: Saw Teong Hin's A Legendary Love / The Princess of Mount Ledang / Puteri Gunung Ledang. The 15th-century-set story of the forbidden romance between a Javanese Hindu princess (Tiara Jacquelina) and a Malay Muslim warrior (M. Nasir), A Legendary Love is the most expensive Malaysian film ever made.
Also of note among the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar contenders are:
- Bahman Ghobadi's Iranian-backed, Iraq War-related drama Turtles Can Fly, winner of the Best Picture Golden Shell at the 2004 San Sebastian Film Festival.
- Gianni Amelio's Italian entry The Keys to the House, whose failure to win any important awards at this year's Venice Film Festival led to an uproar in the Italian press. In the cast: Kim Rossi Stuart and veteran Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter, The Verdict).
- Alejandro Amenábar's Spanish right-to-die drama The Sea Inside, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Best Actor Award at Venice. In the cast: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, and Lola Dueñas.
Two Gael García Bernal movies become Best Foreign Language Film Oscar orphans
Since arcane Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules allow only one film per country, Pedro Almodóvar's much praised, gay-themed Spanish comedy-drama-film noir Bad Education, starring Gael García Bernal and Fele Martínez, is not among the submitted films.
Another well-received Gael García Bernal effort, Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta, ended up an Oscar orphan as well, for it doesn't really belong to any one country: it was shot in Spanish, its director is a Portuguese-speaking Brazilian, its story is set in various South American countries, and most of its financing came from the (mostly) English-speaking United States.
According to Academy regulations, U.S. movies are ineligible in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The 2005 Oscar nominations, including, of course, the shortlist of Best Foreign Language Film nominees, will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entries
This year's Best Foreign Language Academy Award submissions, from Afghanistan to Venezuela.
Zornitsa Sophia's Mila from Mars (Bulgaria), Magdalena Piekorz's The Welts (Poland), Dominique de Rivaz's My Name Is Bach (Switzerland), Sylvia Chang's 20 30 40 (Taiwan), and Elia K. Schneider's Punto y Raya (Venezuela) are the five entries directed by women.
- Afghanistan, Earth and Ashes, Atiq Rahimi, director.
- Argentina, Lost Embrace, Daniel Burman, director.
- Austria, Antares, Götz Spielmann, director.
- Belgium, The Alzheimer Case, Erik Van Looy, director.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Days and Hours, Pjer Žalica, director.
- Brazil, Olga, Jayme Monjardim, director.
- Bulgaria, Mila from Mars, Zornitsa Sophia, director.
- Canada, Far Side of the Moon, Robert Lepage, director.
- Chile, Machuca, Andrés Wood, director.
- China, House of Flying Daggers, Zhang Yimou, director.
- Croatia, Long Dark Night, Antun Vrdoljak, director.
- Czech Republic, Up and Down, Jan Hrebejk, director.
- Denmark, The Five Obstructions, Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier, directors.
- Ecuador, Chronicles, Sebastián Cordero, director.
- Egypt, I Love Cinema, Oussama Fawzy, director.
- Estonia, Revolution of Pigs, Jaak Kilmi and René Reinumägi, directors.
- Finland, Producing Adults, Aleksi Salmenperä, director.
- France, The Chorus, Christophe Barratier, director.
- Germany, Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel, director.
- Greece, A Touch of Spice, Tassos Boulmetis, director.
- Hungary, Kontroll, Nimród Antal, director.
- Iceland, Cold Light, Hilmar Oddsson, director.
- India, Shwaas, Sandeep Sawant, director.
- Iran, Turtles Can Fly, Bahman Ghobadi, director.
- Israel, Campfire, Joseph Cedar, director.
- Italy, The Keys to the House, Gianni Amelio, director.
- Japan, Nobody Knows, Hirokazu Kore-eda, director.
- Macedonia, The Great Water, Ivo Trajikov, director.
- Malaysia, A Legendary Love, Saw Teong Hin, director.
- Mexico, Innocent Voices, Luis Mandoki, director.
- The Netherlands, Simon, Eddy Terstall, director.
- Norway, Hawaii, Oslo, Erik Poppe, director.
- Palestine, The Olive Harvest, Hanna Elias, director.
- The Philippines, Crying Ladies, Mark Meily, director.
- Poland, The Welts, Magdalena Piekorz, director.
- Portugal, The Miracle According to Salomé, Mário Barroso, director.
- Romania, Orient-Express, Sergiu Nicolaescu, director.
- Russia, Night Watch, Timur Bekmambetov, director.
- Serbia and Montenegro, Goose Feather, Ljubiša Samardžic, director.
- Slovenia, Beneath Her Window, Metod Pevec, director.
- South Africa, Yesterday, Darrell Roodt, director.
- South Korea, Tae Guk Gi, Kang Je-gyu, director.
- Spain, The Sea Inside, Alejandro Amenábar, director.
- Sweden, As It Is in Heaven, Kay Pollak, director.
- Switzerland, My Name Is Bach, Dominique de Rivaz, director.
- Taiwan, 20 30 40, Sylvia Chang, director.
- Thailand, The Overture, Ittisoontorn Vichailak, director.
- Uruguay, Whisky, Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll, directors.
- Venezuela, Punto y Raya, Elia K. Schneider, director.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
Ziyi Zhang House of Flying Daggers image: Sony Pictures Classics.