The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its shortlist of films contending for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar yesterday:
Chile, A Fantastic Woman
Germany, In the Fade
Hungary, On Body and Soul
Lebanon, The Insult
South Africa, The Wound
Sweden, The Square
These nine selections will be trimmed down to five when the Academy announces its official nomination list in January. My pick on this list right now would be A Fantastic Woman. If you haven’t already, you should try to see it. Diane Kruger won Best Actress in Cannes for her work in In The Fade and she’s been campaigning subtly but pretty hard. Don’t count her out for a Best Actress nomination. She could have a chance.
You know who’s also been campaigning hard though? And not so subtly? Angelina Jolie for Cambodia’s entry, First They Killed My Father. FTKMF was nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this week but it did not make the Oscar shortlist. Which means Angelina will not be going to the Oscars as a nominee. I texted Sarah about this last night with the question: are they anti-Jolie or anti-Netflix? She thinks it’s a bit of both? Streaming has broken through at the Emmys for television but in film, as you know, as we’ve discussed all year long, the film community hasn’t quite caught up. And there are factions within the film community that do not want Netflix to strengthen its position. This happened with Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts Of No Nation a couple of years ago and it could have played a factor in why FTKMF didn’t make the cut. Of course there’s also the question of Angelina’s popularity within Hollywood and whether or not she had the benefit of campaign support from some of the other high profile, big name players. You’ll recall, after World War Brange, it was widely assumed that Brad Pitt got Hollywood in the divorce.
Angelina was in New York yesterday to speak at Light After Darkness: Memory, Resilience, and Renewal in Cambodia at the Asia Society. Of course her intention in making the film was to tell the story of the Cambodian people and so, no doubt, this was never juuuuust about winning awards. But the awards also give the project more profile. And it’s not like we didn’t see her out here doing podcasts and hosting screenings and showing up on the award season circuit. The Academy, clearly, wasn’t convinced. Which is a bummer for gossip. Because it means we won’t see Angelina on the Oscar hustle. After the Golden Globes, she won’t be walking very many red carpets.
First They Killed My Father might not be the biggest snub in the Foreign Language Film category though. France’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), about AIDS activists in Paris in the 90s, which has been named Best Foreign Film by several critics associations, including New York and LA, and considered one of the favourites to go through, was also left off the Oscar shortlist.
Meanwhile, Brad Pitt’s been doing some campaigning of his own. He produced The Lost City Of Z and earlier this week, he was at a Producers Guild Of America screening with director James Gray and the cast including Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller.
Remember, there are rumours going around about Brad and Sienna. And they’re about to pick up again, heads up.