There were a number of obvious choices and a number of surprising omissions as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nine feature films that have been shortlisted for the Foreign Language category at the 87th Academy Awards.
The nine films that will be culled down to five before the January 15, 2015 announcement of the Oscar nominations are (in alphabetical order by country):
Wild Tales, directed by Damian Szifron – Argentina
Tangerines, directed by Zaza Urushadze – Estonia
Corn Island, directed by George Ovashvili – Georgia
Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako – Mauritania
Accused, directed by Paula van der Oest – Netherlands
Ida, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski – Poland
Leviathan, directed by Andrey Zyvagintsev – Russia
Force Majeure, directed by Ruben Östlund – Sweden
The Liberator, directed by Alberto Arvelo – Venezuela
The nine films will be watched by a special committee of Academy members in New York, Los Angeles and London, which will watch three movies a day before casting their ballots to get it down to five.
Ida, Force Majeure and Leviathan have already received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations, while Tangerines was also among the Golden Globe nominations and Wild Tales was nominated for the Critics Choice Movie Awards.
Belgian filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne were once again snubbed by the Academy for their latest film Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard, which has been receiving rave reviews and critical awards since its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. In fact, the brothers’ last six movies have received awards from that prestigious film festival in conjunction with their premieres, yet none of their films have ever been nominated for an Oscar. Other acclaimed Cannes films that didn’t get into the shortlist include French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s Mommy and the Hungarian film White God.
The Academy Awards winners will be announced on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at a live ceremony from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, broadcast on ABC.