The Best Foreign Language Film category is never without controversy as the selection process inevitably leaves strong contenders off the list of final nominees. To vote, academy members must see all five nominees in a theater.
“A Separation” should give Iran its first win. The critically acclaimed domestic drama has swept the precursor prizes and also reaped an Original Screenplay bid for director Asghar Farhadi.
“In Darkness” from Poland is directed by Agnieszka Holland and recounts the rescue of Jewish refugees in Nazi-occupied Lvov.
Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, “Footnote” from Israel tells the story of a father and son who are Talmudic scholars. Cedar won Best Screenplay at the Cannes filmfest and is nominated for the same prize at the Independent Spirit Awards.
“Monsieur Lazhar” from Canada was written and directed by Phillippe Falardeau. An Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a schoolteacher who has committed suicide and dealing with the students teaches him a lot about life in his new country.
“Bullhead” from Belgium marks the directorial debut of Michael R. Roskam who also scripted this story of a cattle farmer who becomes involved with an unscrupulous veterinarian.
Click on the pundits below to see a breakdown of their rankings in this race.
Click on each of the categories below for the overview of that race.