Does cinematography bid boost the Oscar chances for ‘Ida’ as Best Foreign Language Film?

The Polish film “Ida” is now the 49th film to be nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film race and also gain another Oscar nomination. The film’s other nod is in Best Cinematography for Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski. But does that extra attention from another branch actually boost its chances to win in the foreign category against “Leviathan,” “Tangerines,” “Timbuktu,” and “Wild Tales“?

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Only two films have been in the same situation “Ida” is in since the Foreign Language category was permanently created in 1956. “Farewell My Concubine” (1993) from Hong Kong and “The White Ribbon” (2009) from Germany gained additional bids in cinematography. Both films lost in both categories.

Four other films have been nominated in other categories in addition to Foreign Film and Cinematography:

“Fanny & Alexander” (1983) from Sweden won both along with Art Direction and Costume Design.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) from Taiwan won both along with Art Direction and Original Score).

“Amélie” (2001) from France lost both along with Original Screenplay, Art Direction and Sound Mixing.

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) from Mexico lost Foreign Film but won Cinematography along with Art Direction and Makeup.

If one is judging by history, it’s definitely harder to tell when it comes to gaining extra bids. 24 of the previous films nominated have won the Foreign Film race and another 24 lost it. Four of the winning films also had nominations for Best Picture: “Z” (1969) from Algeria (1969), “Life is Beautiful” (1998) from Italy, “Crouching Tiger” (2000), and “Amour” (2012) from Austria. The only film to be nominated for both Foreign Film and Best Picture to lose both was “The Emigrants” (1971) from Sweden, but wasn’t nominated for Best Picture until the following year. In total, the 49 films that have been nominated for Foreign Language Film have received 101 additional Oscar nominations.

There is another important factor to consider here and that is the new voting process in the Foreign Film category. In previous years, Academy members who wanted to vote in that category had to attend Academy screenings of all the nominated films and then vote on the category. Now the entire Academy receives screeners of the nominated films and can watch them at their leisure. This does boost the overall number of voters in the category and raise the possibility that some of the voters who vote in the Foreign Film category have not watched all the nominated films.

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Below are the 24 films that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and received at least one other nomination:

1956 – “La Strada” from Italy; Nominated for Original Screenplay
1960 – “The Virgin Spring” from Sweden; Nominated for Costume Design (B&W)
1961 – “Through a Glass Darkly” from Sweden; Nominated in 1962 for Original Screenplay
1962 – “Sundays and Cybele” from France; Nominated in 1963 for Music Score Adaptation and Adapted Screenplay
1963 – “8 1/2” from Italy; Won Costume Design (B&W), Nominated for Art Direction (B&W), Directing (Fellini) and Original Screenplay
1965 – “The Shop on Main Street” from Czechoslovakia; Nominated in 1966 for Actress (Ida Kaminska)
1966 – “A Man and a Woman” from France; Won Original Screenplay, Nominated for Actress (Anouk Aimée) and Directing (Claude Lelouch)
1968 – “War and Peace” from USSR; Nominated for Art Direction
1969 – “Z” from Algeria; Won Film Editing, Nominated for Picture, Directing (Costa-Gavras) and Adapted Screenplay
1970 – “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” from Italy; Nominated in 1971 for Original Screenplay
1971 – “The Garden of Finzi Continis” from Italy; Nominated for Adapted Screenplay
1972 – “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” from France; Nominated for Original Screenplay
1973 – “Day for Night” from France; Nominated in 1974 for Directing (François Truffaut), Supporting Actress (Valentina Cortese) and Original Screenplay
1974 – “Amarcord” from Italy; Nominated in 1975 for Directing (Federico Fellini) and Original Screenplay
1983 – “Fanny & Alexander” from Sweden; Won Costume Design, Art Direction and Cinematography; Nominated for Directing (Ingmar Bergman) and Original Screenplay
1985 – “The Official Story” from Argentina; Nominated for Original Screenplay
1988 – “Pelle the Conqueror” from Denmark; Nominated for Actor (Max von Sydow)
1992 – “Indochine” from France; Nominated for Actress (Catherine Deneuve)
1998 – “Life is Beautiful” from Italy; Won Actor (Roberto Begnini) and Dramatic Score, Nominated for Picture, Directing (Begnini), Original Screenplay and Film Editing
2000 – “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” from Taiwan; Won Original Score, Art Direction and Cinematography, Nominated for Picture, Directing (Ang Lee), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing and Original Song
2003 – “The Barbarian Invasions” from Canada; Nominated for Original Screenplay
2004 – “The Sea Inside” from Spain; Nominated for Makeup
2011 – “A Separation” from Iran; Nominated for Original Screenplay
2012 – “Amour” from Austria; Nominated for Picture, Directing (Michael Haneke), Actress (Emmanuel Riva) and Original Screenplay

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Listed below are the other 24 films that were lost for Best Foreign Language Film but had at least one other nomination:

1962 – “The Four Days of Naples” from Italy; Nominated in 1963 for Original Screenplay
1964 – “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” from France; Nominated in 1965 for Original Screenplay, Original Score, Music Score Adaptation and Original Song
1964 – “Woman in the Dunes” from Japan; Nominated in 1965 for Directing (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
1965 – “Marriage Italian Style” from Italy; Nominated in 1964 for Actress (Sophia Loren)
1966 – “The Battle of Algiers” from France; Nominated in 1968 for Directing (Gillo Pontecorvo) and Original Screenplay
1969 – “My Night at Maud’s” from France; Nominated in 1970 for Original Screenplay
1971 – “Tchaikovsky” from USSR; Nominated for Music Score Adaptation
1971 – “The Emigrants” from Sweden; Nominated in 1972 for Picture, Directing (Jan Troell), Actress (Liv Ullmann) and Adapted Screenplay
1975 – “Scent of a Woman” from Italy; Nominated for Adapted Screenplay
1976 – “Cousin, Cousine” from France; Nominated for Actress (Marie-Christine Barrault) and Original Screenplay
1976 – “Seven Beauties” from Italy; Nominated for Directing (Lina Wertmüller), Actor (Giancarlo Giannini) and Original Screenplay
1977 – “A Special Day” from Italy; Nominated for Actor (Marcello Mastroianni)
1977 – “That Obscure Object of Desire” from Spain; Nominated for Adapted Screenplay
1980 – “Kagemusha” from Japan; Nominated for Art Direction
1987 – “Au Revoir Les Enfants” from France; Nominated for Original Screenplay
1989 – “Camille Claudel” from France; Nominated for Actress (Isabelle Adjani)
1990 – “Cyrano de Bergerac” from France; Won Costume Design, Nominated for Actor (Gérard Depardieu), Art Direction and Makeup
1993 – “Farewell My Concubine” from Hong Kong; Nominated for Cinematography
1998 – “Central Station” from Brazil; Nominated for Actress (Fernanda Montenegro)
2001 – “Amélie” from France; Nominated for Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction and Sound Mixing
2004 – “The Chorus” from France; Nominated for Original Song
2006 – “Pan’s Labyrinth” from Mexico; Won Art Direction, Cinematography and Makeup, Nominated for Original Screenplay and Original Score
2009 – “The White Ribbon” from Germany; Nominated for Cinematography
2010 – “Biutiful” from Mexico; Nominated for Actor (Javier Bardem)

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