Pedro Almodovar did something at the 2002 Oscars that is rarely expected: he was nominated for a foreign-language film in categories usually dominated by English-language films. He was reaped a bid for directing “Talk to Her” and won for writing its original screenplay. He contends at the Oscars this year for “Julieta,” Spain’s submission in the Best Foreign Language Film race. Could it also succeed beyond that category?
Based on the aggregate predictions of Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Almodovar is a bit of a long shot for another nomination himself as a director and screenwriter. Take those odds with a grain of salt, though, because such nominations often take us by surprise. In fact, in the last five years Gold Derby has forecast just two of the 10 nominations that have gone to foreign-language feature films outside of foreign-language, animated and documentary film categories.
The last time that we collectively predicted a foreign-language film to score a nomination in a general category was four years ago, when we ranked “Amour” among the likely nominees for Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and Best Adapted Screenplay. But “Amour” did even better than we thought, not only scoring those nominations, but also bids for Best Picture and Director (Michael Haneke).
The other recent surprise nominations for foreign-language films in the 18 general Oscar races were for “A Separation” (Original Screenplay, 2011), “The Grandmaster” (Cinematography and Costume Design, 2013), “Ida” (Cinematography, 2014), “Two Days, One Night” (Actress for Marion Cotillard, 2014) and “The 100-Year-Old Man” (Makeup and Hairstyling, 2015).
As of this writing we have not yet opened predictions for Best Foreign Language Film, and no foreign films are currently predicted this year for nominations in any other categories; if that proves to be true it would be the first time since the 2008 Oscars that no foreign films crossed over anywhere. 2005 was the only other year this century when foreign-language features were limited to animated, documentary and foreign-film categories. The last-foreign language film to win was “La Vie en Rose” (2007), which claimed Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Oscar voters received screener DVDs of “Julieta” from Sony Pictures Classics in their mailboxes this week. Reviews have been generally favorable according to critical aggregator MetaCritic, and “Julieta” also has three European Film Award nominations: Best Picture, Director (Almodovar) and Actress (Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte jointly). That is Almodovar’s only nomination so far this season as director of the film, but even if he doesn’t factor into any other precursor awards, don’t count him out at the Oscars. For “Talk to Her” he was snubbed for Best Director by the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards and Directors Guild of America. Similarly, Michael Haneke was only nominated by one of those four groups (BAFTA) before he scored a Best Director Oscar nom for “Amour.”
But watch out for those European Film Awards results: both “Amour” and “Talk to Her” won Best Director there before breaking through at the Oscars, so Almodovar may be in great shape for an Oscar nomination if he wins that award again at that ceremony on December 10.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “Julieta” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.