Despite its critical acclaim, Robin Campillo’s “BPM (Beats per Minute),” was left out of the Best Foreign Language Film line-up at this year’s Golden Globes. While that snub was shocking, a Golden Globes bid is not essential for an Oscar win. Indeed, since the Golden Globes introduced this category in 1965, 19 of the 51 Academy Awards winners for Best Foreign Language Film were snubbed for this precursor prize:
1965: “The Shop on Main Street” (Czechoslovakia)
1971: “The Garden of the Finzi Continis (Italy)
1975: “Dersu Uzala” (Soviet Union)
1976: “Black and White in Color” (Ivory Coast)
1979: “The Tin Drum” (West Germany)
1980: “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” (Soviet Union)
1981: “Mephisto” (Hungary)
1982: “To Begin Again” (Spain)
1987: “Babette’s Feast” (Denmark)
1990: “Journey of Hope” (Switzerland)
1991: “Mediterraneo” (Italy)
1993: “Belle Époque” (Spain)
1994: “Burnt by the Sun” (Russia)
1995: “Antonia’s Line” (The Netherlands)
1997: “Character” (The Netherlands)
1998: “Life is Beautiful” (Italy)
2007: “The Counterfeiters” (Austria)
2008: “Departures” (Japan)
2009: “The Secret in Their Eyes” (Argentina)
Campillo’s film, which is France’s Oscar entry, tells the compelling story of AIDS activists fighting the deadly epidemic that became more prevalent in Paris during the early 1990’s. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May where it was awarded the Grand Prix. “BPM (Beats per Minute)” has won Best Foreign Language Film from several critics groups including New York, Los Angeles (tied with “Loveless” from Russia), Washington, DC, San Francisco and Atlanta.
Its chief rival for these awards has been the Swedish entry “The Square.” This satire of the art world has not only claimed prizes from film critics in Chicago, Toronto and Boston, but also edged out “BPM (Beats per Minute)” for the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.
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