No need for torches and pitchforks this year! The long list of 65 films contending for 2009’s Foreign-Language Oscar has been cut to 9 — and, incredibly, no major controversies have exploded so far (unlike in years past when 2008’s Gomorrah and 2007’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days failed to make the short list). With favorites The White Ribbon (Germany) and A Prophet (France) actually among this year’s inclusions, nobody seems too upset about the snub of Police, Adjective (Romania). This leaves the selection committee with only one more chance to piss everybody off when it narrows the list to five films between January 29 and 31.
Here are the nine eligible films:
Argentina, El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Juan Jose Campanella, director;
Australia, Samson & Delilah, Warwick Thornton, director;
Bulgaria, The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner, Stephan Komandarev, director;
France, Un Prophete, Jacques Audiard, director;
Germany, The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke, director;
Israel, Ajami, Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, directors;
Kazakhstan, Kelin, Ermek Tursunov, director;
The Netherlands, “Winter in Wartime,” Martin Koolhoven, director;
Peru, “The Milk of Sorrow,” Claudia Llosa, director.