Welcome to Foreign-Language Oscar Day!

This year, we are in the advantageous position of having seen all five finalists for the prestigious 2009 Best Foreign-Language Oscar.  Thus, we run full-length reviews of all five films (see Home Page).

We are also delighted that all the finalists are good films and that most of them have theatrical distribution deals in the U.S.  The estimable Sony Picture Classics has two of the five, Israel's “Waltz with Bashir” and France's “The Class,” which are in current release.  Both pictures premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Fest (in competition) and represent the best of the five in our very humble opinion. (We can't conceal the fact that we grade movies!).

All five countries have participated in the Oscar race before, with France occupying the lead position of having the largest number of nominees and winners in the foreign-language category.

It just happened that last year “The Counterfeiters” was the first film from Austria to win that award.  Israeli movies have been nominated several times but have not won the coveted statuette before.

List of Foreign-Language Nominees (in alphabetical Order)

“The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production–Germany
“The Class”
(Sony Pictures Classics) A Haut et Court Production–France
“Departures”
(Regent Releasing) A Departures Film Partners Production–Japan
“Revanche”
(Janus Films) A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production–Austria
“Waltz with Bashir”
(Sony Pictures Classics) A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production–Israel