Blog: News & Views

Is 'Amour' a lock to win Foreign-Language Film Oscar?

By Daniel Montgomery
By Daniel Montgomery
Feb 20 2013 19:21 pm

foreign language film oscar amour kon-tiki royal affair war witch no entertainment film news

"Amour" is the first foreign-language Best Picture nominee since "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" in 2000, which lost the top prize but won Best Foreign Language Film, as "Amour" is expected to do.

The category is known for its upsets -- "The Lives of Others" over "Pan's Labyrinth" in 2006, "Departures" over "The Class" and "Waltz with Bashr" in 2008 -- so is "Amour" a lock, or is there potential for an upset?

The film is the overwhelming frontrunner according to our predictors, with 27/20 odds. All 26 of our experts, all nine of our editors, and 98% of users expect it to win.

Michael Haneke's drama about an elderly French couple represents Austria and has won Best Foreign Film honors from BAFTA, Critics' Choice, the Golden Globes, and the New York Film Critics Circle. It won Best Picture from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Society of Film Critics, and the European Film Awards, as well as the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

This is Haneke's second film nominated in this category. His "White Ribbon" contended in 2009. Austria has won once out of three previous nominations.

"A Royal Affair"
The film ranks second with 7/2 odds. Eight users out of more than 1,150 predict it will win.

Nikolaj Arcel's historical drama about Denmark's mad King Christian VII has earned Foreign Film nominations from Critics' Choice and the Golden Globes. It also won Best Actor (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) and Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival.

This is Arcel's first film to contend at the Oscars. Denmark has three wins in this category out of eight previous nominations.

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The film ranks third with 11/2 odds. Two users predict it will win.

Pablo Larrain's drama about the 1988 referendum that removed Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was one of the top five foreign films according to the National Board of Review.

This is Larrain's first film to contend at the Oscars. This is Chile's first nomination in this category.

"Kon-Tiki" is in fourth place with 13/2 odds. Four users predict it will win.

Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's historical film is about explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossing the Pacific Ocean on a wood raft in 1947. It was also nominated at the Golden Globes.

This is the first film by Rønning and Sandberg to contend at the Oscars. Norway has four previous nominations in this category, but no wins.

"War Witch"
The film ranks last with 9/1 odds. Four users predict it will win.

Kim Nguyen's war drama is about a pregnant 14-year-old girl living in Sub-Saharan Africa. It won Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and was named one of the five best foreign films by the National Board of Review. It also contends at the Spirit Awards.

This is Nguyen's first film to contend at the Oscars. Canada has won this award once out of seven previous nominations.

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