Los Angeles: The list of contenders for best foreign film got a bit smaller Friday as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the nine features that will advance to the next round of voting. Included are Ruben Ostlund's patriarchy-skewering avalanche film "Force Majeure" from Sweden, Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan," about a property dispute in a small Russian costal town, and Pawel Pawlikowski's Polish drama "Ida," about a young woman with dreams of being a nun who discovers some dark secrets in her family's past. All recently received Golden Globe nominations, too.
Damian Szifron's black ensemble comedy "Wild Tales," from Argentina, also made the shortlist, as did Estonia's "Tangerines," the Golden Globe-nominated film about a man caring for a wounded soldier.
Other films on the shortlist include Abderrahmane Sissako's "Timbuktu," the first Mauritanian film ever submitted, Georgia's "Corn Island," the Netherlands' "Accused," and Venezuela's "The Liberator." Missing from the list were a few high profile films, such as the drama "Two Days, One Night," from the Dardennes brothers. Star Marion Cotillard has been singled out for her performance as a young mother in a desperate situation in a number of recent critics' awards. Eighty three countries submitted films for consideration. Xavier Dolan's critically beloved coming-of-age drama "Mommy" also failed to make the cut.
Of the 83 countries who submitted entries, six were chosen by a committee of several hundred Academy members based in Los Angeles who were tasked with screening the original submissions. Three additional features were then added by the Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee. The five final nominees will be selected from this group of films and announced, along with the other Academy Award nominees, live on Jan. 15. Winners will be presented at the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22....