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Will Michael Haneke get any love from Oscars for 'Amour'?

By Charles Bright
Jan 31 2013 06:18 am

Amour Michael Haneke Oscars Steven Spielberg Lincoln Ang Lee Life of Pi Mark Boal Zero Dark Thirty Quentin Tarantino Django Unchained movies entertainment news 13579086

Austrian filimmaker Michael Haneke is the latest in a long line of foreign auteurs who have been nominated for an Academy Award. He reaped bids in both Directing and Original Screenplay for “Amour.”

While history suggests Haneke is unlikely to take to the stage of the Dolby Theater to collect either of these awards, "Amour" is the overwhelming favorite to win Best Foreign-Language Film. All of our Experts, Editors and 95% of our Users predict this Cannes filmfest champ to prevail, giving it odds of 5/4. 

Since 1945, a staggering 72 foreign language films have received nominations for their screenplays. Fifty-three of those came in the original field while 19 were for adaptation. Such has been the love for foreign language scribes, there was a two-decade stretch beginning in 1959 when there was at least one such nominee every year. 

Of these six dozen contenders, only five won, all in the Original Screenplay category: 

1945: Richard Schweizer won for the German-language film “Marie-Louise” from Switzerland; it predated by two years any special recognition by the Academy of foreign-language films. 

1956: Albert Lamorisse won for the French film “The Red Balloon.” This win came despite the film being only 35 minutes long with hardly any dialogue. However, it was snubbed in favor of "Gervaise" by France as the official submission for Best Foreign-Language Film.

1962: Ennio de ConciniPietro Germi and Alfredo Giannetti won for the Italian film “Divorce, Italian Style." Victory was bittersweet as Italy had not chosen it as their submission. 

1966: Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven won for the French film “A Man and a Woman," which also won Best Foreign-Language Film. 

2002: Pedro Almodóvar won for the Spanish film “Talk to Her.” Although widely hailed as one of the best films of the year and a personal masterpiece for Almodóvar, Spain opted for “Mondays in the Sun” with Javier Bardem as its official entry. The outcry was immense, with Almodóvar and Sony Pictures Classics campaigning on that snub. They not only scored the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay but also a nod for Best Directing.

Currently, Haneke is in third place in the Original Screenplay race according to our odds. He has the backing of six Experts, five Editors and about 25% of Users; this support translates to odds of 3/1. In first place is 2009 Oscar champ Mark Boal ("The Hurt Locker") for "Zero Dark Thirty" with odds of 12/5 while 1994 winner Quentin Tarantino ("Pulp Fiction") is a close second for "Django Unchained" with odds of 14/5. 

Federico Fellini was the first director nominated for a foreign-language film with his 1961 bid for the Italian “La Dolce Vita." He contended three more times without success. In all, the helmers of 28 foreign-language films have been nominated for Best Director, but none have won.  

RELATED: Directors Guild Awards rewind: Spielberg won in 1985 but was snubbed by Oscars

Even after Ang Lee claimed both the Golden Globe and DGA Award for directing “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000, the Academy went in a different direction by rewarding double nominee Steven Soderbergh for “Traffic."

This year, Haneke is a distant fourth for Best Director according to our odds. He has the backing of just one Expert and a smattering of Users, which equals odds of 14/2. Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln") is the overwhelming favorite to win with odds of 8/5 while Ang Lee is in second with odds of 10/3 for his helming of the English language "Life of Pi."


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