Firestorm Over Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist

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A scene from Gomorrah Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

As the world prepares to be disappointed by Wall-E's probable Best Picture snub when the Academy Award nominations are revealed next week, a controversy has already exploded over yesterday's announcement of the nine films in contention for this year's Foreign Language Oscar. Because eight of those movies will definitely lose to Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir anyway, some might say that this is no big deal — but certainly not fans of Italy's Gomorrah (at right), Sweden's Let the Right One In, or France's JCVD (this one was probably a long shot)!

L.A. Weekly's Scott Foundas wonders how this could happen, especially in the wake of last year's similarly egregious omission of Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania). Turns out, changes were made to the nominating process to prevent such oversights, but evidently none of them worked. Even so, one imagines the attention Gomorrah is getting here from the controversy probably trumps the notice it would get by being steamrolled by Waltz With Bashir on Oscar night, so it's not all bad news, necessarily.

How Do You Say "Oscar Scandal" in Italian? [Foundas & Taylor on Film/LA Weekly via Awards Daily]
AGAIN?! Academy's foreign language committee releases shortlist, makes major snubs ('Gomorrah,' 'Captain Abu Raed'), industry outraged [LAT]