Thursday, July 2, 2009

FOREIGN OSCAR RACE 2009-2010: ASIA

Here are my predictions for the 25 countries from Asia. Fifteen of these countries submitted films last year and four others submitted as late as 2006. As for the remaining six, Bhutan, Cambodia, Malaysia & Sri Lanka have submitted only once....Kuwait & Pakistan each submitted films twice in the 1960s and 1970s.

1. AFGHANISTAN returned to the competition last year with “Opium War”, although I think the film was disqualified for having too much English. Release dates are hard to come by in Afghanistan, but I think they will submit “Kabuli Kid”, a comedy-drama about a man trying to locate the family of an abandoned baby. If not, there is “Keepsake Photo”, a controversial film about the stigma of rape, but I doubt that can get a home release.



2. BANGLADESH has become a regular fixture in this competition, but they never manage to do very well. They may not get a nomination for “The Last Shakur”, but it’s a big step up in terms of production values, thanks in part to input from the UK. Among the best reviewed “local” films of the year, “Rupantor”, about a young director, is the second most likely choice, followed by a more traditional love story, “Monpura”.

3. BHUTAN, possibly the world’s most beautiful country is often in the news for its successful “Gross National Happiness” economic system. The Bhutanese submitted a single film, “The Cup”, in 1999. They deserved to be nominated that year (but weren’t) and the country should have submitted at least three films since then (the best of which, “Travellers & Magicians”, would have deserved an Oscar had it been sent) but they’ve quietly opted out. They don’t have much this year, other than “49th Day II: The Resurrection”, a supernatural drama (and sequel) which won Best Picture at the country’s annual Film Festival in May.

4. CAMBODIA submitted one film back in 1994. Their film industry has never recovered from the destruction of the 1970s and they’re sure to skip this year once again. Their most likely choice would be “The Red Sense”, a horror-thriller Australian co-production that won Best Cambodian Feature at Cambofest.





5. CHINA usually makes its decision by factoring in three qualities- national patriotism, big budget spectacle and quality- in that order to be sure, but in roughly equal parts. The Chinese won’t ever pick a bad movie, nor a movie that doesn’t show China and its history, government and people in a bad light...and on to of that, it has to be impressively large-scale. “Farewell My Concubine” (which represented British Hong Kong despite being a Mainland production) and “Blind Shaft” don’t meet criterion #1. Ingenious small-scale stories like ”Getting Home” and “Not One Less” (or once again, “Blind Shaft”) don’t meet criterion #2. Mainstream hits like “Crazy Stone” or “Big Shot’s Funeral” may be fun, but they’re not considered good enough to represent the country (#3). China has three movies that meet all three criteria: “Forever Enthralled” a biography of a famed Chinese opera singer starring Zhang Ziyi and directed by Oscar nominee Chen Zaige, “Lofty Ambitions of Nation Building”, a star-studded historical epic being produced for the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic, and “City of Life and Death” (a.k.a. “Nanking, Nanking”) about the infamous, brutal Rape of Nanking by Japanese forces, and directed by Chuan Lu (Kekexili). All are big, all are patriotic and two out of three are excellent- “Nation Building” hasn’t premiered yet. Problems? The anniversary of the People’s Republic is the same day as the Oscar deadline- will it premiere the day before or the day after? Is it any good? Does China care that a movie like this will be construed as propaganda in Hollywood? Director Lu of “Nanking” placed second in China’s Oscar race a few years back, and the film shows Japanese brutality and inhumanity- but also has a sympathetic Japanese lead for which many Chinese patriots have complained. On the off chance they choose a smaller movie (which they have done only once in the past 15 years), they could choose Feng Xiaoqing’s box-office hit comedy-drama “If You Are the One” or Inner Mongolian tale, “Jalainur”. If they really want to choose one of their wire fu epics, they could choose “Red Cliff Part 2”, but that’s more a Hong Kong production. “Spring Fever”, the other big Chinese film on this year's festival circuit is banned at home, so forget it. My vote: In Beijing, any controversy is bad, meaning congrats to the largely apolitical “Forever Enthralled”.

6. HONG KONG’s submission is always difficult to choose because the film industries between the Hong Kong S.A.R. and Mainland China have blurred so much in the last few years. Most big-budget movies have directors, casts and crew that come from both sides of the border crossing at Shenzhen (and sometimes Taiwanese, Singaporeans and Overseas Chinese as well). “The Banquet” got the Hong Kong nomination a few years ago even though almost everything (except maybe the money) came from Mainland China. The most likely REAL Hong Kong film to get selected is clearly “Ip Man" the biographical drama of Bruce Lee’s martial arts master. It won Best Picture at the Hong Kong Film Awards, it’s gotten good reviews and its authentically “Hong Kong” through and through- something HK submissions have been lacking 3 out of the last 4 years. Other contenders have major handicaps- “Red Cliff Part 2” is spectacular, but won’t make sense without seeing Part 1. ”Vengeance” played at Cannes but triad dramas have been selected three times since 2001 with no luck....”Night and Fog” is a topical drama about domestic violence, but Ann Hui hasn’t represented Hong Kong in ten years and the film is not her best....Jackie Chan’s latest action film, “The Shinjuku Incident” is supposed to be a good movie, but definitely too genre for the Oscars. ”Empire of Silver”, a historical drama set in 1899 China is technically possible, but not against “Ip Man”. China will be hard pressed to choose just one film (see China) so if China and Hong Kong wish to cheat (and maybe they will), HK could very well choose a Mainland production like “Nanking, Nanking” or “Forever Enthralled”.

7. INDIA's submission is always one of the toughest to predict. They have hundreds of movies to choose from each year, and in the past twelve years their Academy has alternated between colorful lightweight musicals (1998, 2005), Tamil action movies (1995, 1996, 2000), serious non-musical Bollywood dramas (1994, 1998, 2007), relatively unknown regional films in obscure regional languages (1997, 2004), and big-budget Bollywood productions embodying sentimentality (2008), spectacle (2002) and history (2001, 2006). And in 2003, they elected not to choose anything at all. What will they choose this year? Let’s look at the genres...If they want to go “lightweight”, they may send “What’s Your Zodiac?”, by the director of the Oscar-nominated “Lagaan”, about a man who has to choose between women representing each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac or “New York”, a look at Indians living in post-9/11 NYC. Tamil action movie? Look no further than “Naan Kadavul”, a disturbing look at the devotees of a controversial Hindu sect. Serious drama? Definitely “Firaaq”, the directorial debut of acclaimed Indian actress Nandita Das, about the Gujarati Riots. Shining examples of regional cinema? One never knows, but I’d wager the best chances on “The Damned Rain” (in Marathi), a seriocomic look at the harshless of rural life, and "Gulabi Talkies" (in Kannada) about the life of an illiterate Muslim woman in Karnataka. Big-budget, mega-star Bollywood productions? Consider “Gulaal”, a patriotic film focusing on the intricacies of Rajasthani culture (SPECTACLE), “Delhi-6”, about life and interfaith love in the Indian capital (SENTIMENTALITY), “Luck By Chance”, about the Bollywood film industry with lots of star cameos (STAR POWER), and “Ghajini”, a “Memento”-style thriller (AAMIR KHAN, who costarred in four Indian submissions since 2001). Indian history? Perhaps “Lahore”, a sports drama about India’s rivalry with Pakistan. Predictions: In second thru sixth place:”Gulaal”, “The Damned Rain”, “Luck by Chance”, “Naan Kadavul” and “Ghajini” but count on “Firaaq” to represent India at the Oscars.

8. INDONESIA’s film input was up to 90+ in 2008, with domestic films covering over 50% of ticket sales...an amazing record considering Indonesia produced just one film back in 1997. That's why it's surprising that they skipped the Oscars last year, even though they had at least two good contenders: “Rainbow Troops” and “”Perempuan punya cerita”. This year, if they rejoin, I predict it will be “Jamila dan Sang Presiden”, a topical and controversial film about female victims of human trafficking. The film stars Christine Hakim, the semi-retired and very selective grand dame of Indonesian cinema. Rounding out the Top Five: “Fiksi”, a thriller that won Best Picture at last year’s unspectacular Jakarta Film Festival, “Pintu Terlarang”, a clever horror thriller that is probably the most widely seen Indonesian film of the year, “Jermal” a drama about life at sea for a group of boys and men, and “Under the Tree”, which showcases Javanese arts and traditions. Less likely: badminton (Indonesia’s national sport) drama “King” original rock musical “Generasi Biru”, corruption drama “Capres” and “Romeo Juliet”, a drama about religious fanaticism, and "Blind Pig Wants to Fly", about a group of people bound by the song “I Just Called to Say I Loved You” (?!)

9. IRAN’s Fajr Film Festival usually brings us the Iranian nominee, and last year’s festival brought us about two-dozen new Iranian films (it’s difficult to research this year since their website has Malware, LOL). This year’s winner, “Hesitation”, was about patricide and (gasp!) infidelity in modern-day Iran, but Iran almost never chooses the Fajr winner. The most acclaimed Iranian movie of the year is “About Elly”, about rarely seen (or thought of) middle-class Iran, and it could be a dark horse for Iran’s second Oscar nod. It won Best Director and tied for the Audience Award at Fajr, and has gotten great reviews internationally. Problems: the film almost didn’t make it to Fajr because the film’s star made an American film last year; President Ahmadinejad gave his seal of approval and the film made it in. The film’s other big international hit was “Persian Cats” by two time Iranian submission Bahman Ghobadi. Forget it. The film was made underground in Iran, and the director was arrested briefly upon his return to Iran after showing the film at a European film festival. Other films with a decent shot: dramas “Homeland” and “When All of Us Are Asleep”, “Penniless” (about a destitute couple) and “14 Karat” (whose director has previously represented Iran), about a battle between a jewelry store owner and the thief he sent to prison. Less likely: minimalist black comedy “Twenty”, “I’m always surprised when Iran submits films year after year...political issues have not caused Iran to be absent in more than a decade. My prediction: “Elly”, followed by “Asleep” and “Homeland”.

10. IRAQ skipped last year, but will almost certainly be back with “Dawn of the World”, an early dark horse for a nomination. It’s gotten great reviews and features the story of two Iraqi cousins who marry just before the breakout of the Second Gulf War. The groom is then conscripted and sent to war. That said, if either the Kurdish-language “Flowers of Kirkuk” or Mohamed Al-Daradji’s Arabic-language “Son of Babylon”, about a grandmother & grandson searching Iraq for the boy’s missing father (he directed their 2007 submission) premiere in time, they could give “Dawn” a run for their money for the Iraqi nod. But count on “Dawn”.

11. JAPAN will be competing as returning champion for the first time since the FIRST award way, way back in 1956 ("Miyamoto Musashi" had won an Honorary Oscar in 1955). I live in Japan, and last year's "Departures" was such a special film. It became a major hit in Japan after winning the Oscar, and I had the great pleasure of meeting one of its stars, Kimiko Yo, a week before the ceremony. The Japanese nominee is always an unpredictable surprise...Unlike China, the Japanese usually prefer a small story-oriented film, and they have lots of these to choose from, but no one film that stands out. My prediction is the unheralded "Zen", a 13th century period drama that centers of Buddhist morality. In second place: another morality drama, "Nobody to Watch Over Me", about the treatment of juvenile criminals in shame-oriented Japan. In third place: Takashi Yamazaki's "Ballad" is an expensive period love story between a general and a princess. It's chances may be dented by the male star's recent high-profile arrest (a few blocks from my apartment!) for indecent exposure. Rounding out the Top Five: "Air Doll" (Cannes), a surreal comedy about a sex doll that comes to life and falls in love, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (his "Nobody Knows" represented Japan five years ago) and "I Want To Be A Shellfish", a drama about a Japanese POW during World War II. Any of these are possibilities as are: "Nonko 36-sai", a comedy-drama about 'fleeter' culture, "Love Harbour", about a lonely Japanese man unsuccessfully searching for a bride and "Suspect X", a mystery-thriller that got nominated for Best Picture at Japanese Oscars against "Departures". Dark horses: the director of "Departures" has a new film ("Sanpei the Fisher Boy"), but it didn't make much of a dent locally...comedy "Love Exposure" got great reviews but it's four-hour running time will hurt its chances.....as well as well-received action movie "Goemon". Super dark horses: Japan could opt for 50-something romance ("A Good Husband"), existential sci-fi ("The Clone Returns Home"), love triangles ("Shin-san") or youth comedy ("Shonen Merikensack"). Or they may opt for something that premieres right before the deadline like they did two out of the last three years.

12. JORDAN produced their first feature film in decades last year, but I don’t think they have anything eligible this year...

13. KOREA’s most likely selection is “Mother”, a thriller by the director of “Memories of Murder” about a mother who seeks to clear the name of her anti-social son, who has been framed for a brutal killing. This is definitely the safest bet, since its most likely challenger, period drama “The Sword With No Name”, about a queen who falls in love with a lowly warrior soldier, has no release date yet. Consider these the top two. Other films likely for the Korean shortlist include two quiet dramas about abandoned children: “Treeless Mountain” is about two siblings being shuttled around from relative to relative and “A Brand New Life” tells the autobiographical story of a Korean girl in an orphanage and her overseas adoption. Homoerotic period drama “Frozen Flower” and North Korean refugee drama “Hello Stranger” would be definite contenders if they didn’t sound EXACTLY like Korea’s unsuccessful Oscar submissions from 2006 and 2008 (“King & the Clown” and “Crossing” respectively). Other shortlist contenders: surprise box-office hit documentary “Old Partners”, about a farmer and his buffalo, Kim Ki-Duk’s latest surreal drama “Dream”, and “Himalaya”, about a Korean man going to Nepal to inter the remains of a loyal migrant worker employee. A lot of people are talking about erotic vampire movie “Thirst”, but Park Chan-wook has not been chosen in the past, even for his better-reviewed films like "Oldboy". Unlikely but possible: comedy-drama “Thirsty Thirsty”, about a debt collector, hit illegitimate child comedy “Speed Scandal”, family soap opera “Members of the Funeral”, domestic violence drama “Today and the Other Days”, and ski jumping drama “Take-Off”. “The Bridge at Nogunri” and “Teukbyeolshi Saramdeul” don’t look like they will premiere this year, but look for them to challenge if and when they do. Out of the running: this year’s Best Picture winner from Korea “Viva Love!”, a dramatic comedy about a May-December romance that premiered to early to be considered.

14. KUWAIT submitted two films in the 1970s and is still the only Gulf Arab country ever to compete for an Oscar. Last year I predicted comedy-thriller “One More Chance”, but it premiered too late to make last year's cutoff date. I doubt they’ll send it, but it’s rare that Kuwaiti film makes local cinemas at all, so it's definitely a possibility.





15. LEBANON has a couple of choice this year...I predict they go with “Je veux voir”, about a French celebrity who goes to see the ruins of Lebanon’s latest war. It co-stars Catherine Deneuve as the Frenchwoman. I think it will get the nod on Deneuve’s star-power alone. It premiered in Lebanon a few weeks after last year’s deadline so I believe it’s eligible. Runner-ups (in order): “Every Day is a Holiday” (if it premieres in time), the story of three women, ”Silina”, musical-comedy (they chose one a few years ago), “Charbel”, a historical, religious drama and “The One Man Village”, a documentary. Out of the running: the acclaimed but controversial “Help”, which was banned right before its premiere.

16. MALAYSIA has a prolific film industry, but the country has only submitted once, in 2004. Most Malaysian films that play at international film festivals are in Chinese, but the country’s pro-Malay affirmative action laws make it unlikely that Malaysia would ever choose a Chinese-language film to represent them. If they participate this year, I predict “Wayang”, a drama about traditional puppetry, which got a Best Picture nomination at last year’s Malaysian Oscars (MFF) but which premiered after the Oscar deadline. Also possible are colorful action-romance “Lembing Awang Pulang ke Dayang” or Yasmin Ahmad’s drama “The Convert”. Rounding out the Top Five: multi-cultural Talentime (also directed by Ahmad) and Chinese-language “Call Me If You Need Me”

17. NEPAL submits films every once in awhile. Due to a dispute with India, the Bollywood Hindi films that usually dominate the local box office are not being shown. This has been a major boon for Nepali films at the box office but I don’t know of anything that qualifies as a "quality" film, although they did have a short film in competition at Cannes. I’ll guess “Takdir”, which features some pretty scenery and won best Film at a local festival or “Tinaga”, an indigenous film in the Gurung language (is it a feature, or a short? I’m not sure) but they probably will miss out this year.

18. PAKISTAN last submitted in 1963 (meaning they have been absent longer than any other country) and there’s little reason to think they’ll be back this year. “Ramchand Pakistani” was talked about last year, but it wasn't sent. For the sake of completion, I’ll choose “Talabgaar”, a box office flop about terrorism.

19. PALESTINE has an exciting three-way race this year, which is fantastic for such a small film industry. In any other year, “Laila’s Birthday”, “Pomegranates & Myrrh” and “The Time that Remains” would all be sure-fire bets to represent Palestine...However, only one film will be able to go through. I think “Myrrh” would be the best choice- it’s a drama about a Palestinian Christian couple whose lives are ruined when the husband is unfairly jailed by the Israeli authorities- it’s colorful and has a lot of drama and culture mixed in. More likely is “Time That Remains”, which tells a number of stories beginning with the founding of Israel in 1948 and ending with the present day. "Time" played at Cannes and Elia Suleiman has represented Palestine once before, but this brand of surrealism (I hated both of Suleiman’s earlier features) is clearly not a smart choice. “Laila’s Birthday” may be a bit too light to compete with the other two, but it’s been well-received despite its spare 72 minute running film. The film is a light drama concerning an esteemed lawyer and civil servant who returns from abroad to take what he thinks is an important job, but ends up driving a taxi to help make ends meet.

20. THE PHILIPPINES had a good film year, kind of of. They had three high-profile films at Cannes but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who had a kind word to say about any of them. All of them were gritty, low-budget dramas. Brillante Mendoza’s “Butchered” was the big winner (Best Director) but the film is said to be unpleasant and difficult to watch, and it features brutal, sadistic rape and violence. “Manila” features two black and white stories, while “Independence” is about a rural family that comes face to face with the Western world when American soldiers occupy the area. “Independence” arguably got the best reviews of the three. Last year, Philippines had a similarly panned film at Cannes (“Serbis”) and it did not get chosen, which makes me think the PI may ignore “Independence” and the others for the lavishly produced 19th century war drama “Baler”, which won two major Filipino Film Festivals this past year, despite getting a large number of tepid reviews. In 2006, the Philippines chose their Oscar nominee from the Cinemalaya Film Festival, a low-budget independent festival that makes many small, quality productions. They could choose last year’s winner “Jay”, which premiered in mainstream Filipino cinemas this year, or they could choose one of the new batch. We’ll find out the winners in July, but among the most promising of the 10 film premieres are “Astig” about four male friends, and gang drama “Engkwentro”. Dark horse: old lady comedy “Fuchsia”. Difficult choice, but my prediction is “Baler”, followed by “Independence” and “Astig”.

21. SINGAPORE's problem in this category is a unique one...the multi-lingual, code-switching Singaporeans routinely change languages twice in one sentence meaning that their movies often test the “50%” foreign-language requirement (they were disqualified once for “Be With Me”). So, it’s always difficult figuring out what’s eligible, both for me and the Singapore selection committee. The first of the Lion City's two main contenders is “Salawati”, a multi-story, multi-language drama revolving around a Singapore Malay family and a tragic death. It clearly fulfills the language requirement and would honor Singapore’s Malay community (In 2005 & 2007, films came from the Singapore Chinese community...last year’s submission starred a cast from the Indian Tamil community) but would it be disqualified for having an American director? (like “Maria, Full of Grace”?) The second main possibility is the Mandarin-language comedy “18 Grams of Love” about two husbands testing the fidelity of their wives. As for their other choices, the Japanese-language “Hashi” is a possibility, “Blood Ties” a bit too supernatural, Jack Neo’s latest “Love Matters” not good enough, and Cannes mini-feature “Here” and the high-octane “Lucky7” probably contain too much English.

22. SRI LANKA sent one film in 2003 but nothing since. They had a great film year in 2007, but sent nothing, so this year may be the same. If they send anything, it’s certain to be “Machan”, a comedy about a group of impoverished Sri Lankans who pose as a handball team (not knowing how to play the sport) in order to emigrate to Europe illegally. The comedy has received good press worldwide and their Italian production team may be willing to fill out the appropriate Oscar paperwork. Less likely: “Ekamath eka Rataka new”, based on an Emile Zola story.

23. TAIWAN has rarely been a contender in this category except when a man called Ang Lee is involved. Anyway, the US withdrew its diplomatic recognition of Taiwan in 1979 and the pseudo-state has dutifully sent in a movie every year since 1980- they're thrilled to be recognized as a separate country from China. This year’s chief two competitiors are “1895”, a historical drama about guerilla resistance to Japanese colonialism, filmed in the minority Hakka language (or dialect, depending on your politics) and “Parking”, a black comedy (Variety compares it to “After Hours”) that has played at a number of international festivals, about a man desperately searching all night for the owner of the vehicle that has blocked his car. “1895” sounds more likely. Three dark horses: “Finding Shangri-La”, about a Taiwanese mother bereaved over the loss of her son, who travels to Yunnan to follow her son’s final message, “No puedo vivir sin ti”, a gritty B & W drama based on the true story of a flawed but devoted father who is forced to give up his child to the mother who abandoned it at birth, and “The Road Less Travelled”, a small town drama about a young colorblind girl. Probably too much competition for “Step By Step”, a comedy set in a nursing home, “Yang-Yang”, a drama about a Eurasian girl growing up in Taiwan, which received good notices in Berlin, Tsai Ming-liang’s “Face”, which is set in France, and rock n roll drama “A Place of One’s Own”, which prominently features aboriginal culture.

24. THAILAND 's contest likely boils down to three films: Cannes participant “Nymph” by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (who has been selected to represent Thailand three times before), 2009 Thai National Film Award winner “Wonderful Town”, and big-budget fantasy “Queens of Langkasuka”. Problems: “Nymph” and “Queens” have only gotten mixed reviews...."Wonderful Town” is an arthouse flick (the Thais rarely go for that), and it’s not certain that it had a proper domestic release. I’m pretty sure they’ll choose “Queens of Langkasuka” (or will it hurt that the director was recently arrested for drunk driving for the second time?), which not only has the best production values, but which was several years in the making and which lovingly showcases Thai history and culture. “Town”’s post-tsunami story will be a close second, with the supernatural drama of “Nymph” will come third. Unlikely: “Happy Birthday”, a romantic drama which won this year’s Star Entertainment Awards, and “Khan Kluay 2”, an animated film sequel whose predecessor was a major hit.

25. VIETNAM said they wanted to submit a film last year but that they didn’t have any films that met the screening requirements. This year, I think they fixed the problem. The two front-runners are the two films that shared the Best Film award at this year’s Golden Kite Awards (although they technically shared the Runner-up award...Mysteriously, no Best Film Award was given out...): “The Legend is Alive” , about a mentally disabled martial artist (Dustin Nguyen, from “21 Jump Street”) and “Moon at the Bottom of the Well”, a family drama set in Central Vietnam, which has played at several international film festival. Two other key contenders are patriotic drama “Don’t Burn, It Has Fire Inside” about the Vietnam War from a Viet perspective, and “Lonely”, a drama starring French-Vietnamese actress Pham Linh Dan (“Indochine”). Dark horses: “Passport to Love” about Vietnamese students in the US and musical-comedy “Saving the Death”. Vietnam is still a Communist country- I predict dark horse “Don’t Burn”, followed by the favored “Moon”.

POSSIBLE DEBUTS:






The UNITED ARAB EMIRATES has started up the region’s biggest film industry and they’ll send a film sooner or later. If they enter this year, they’ll probably send “The Circle”, a drama-thriller about a dying poet and a repentant thief. They also have horror film “Ouija” and drama “Henna”. SYRIA is the only country in its region never to compete for an Oscar. Poor relations with Washington don't keep Cuba or Iran away from the competition so perhaps Syria will consider sending “Days of Boredom”, a politically charged coming-of-age drama about four boys growing up against a backdrop of political upheaval involving nearby Egypt and Israel. Nearby BAHRAIN has feminist comedy-drama “Four Girls”. Less likely: QATAR is producing its first film- but it will be in English, not Arabic. SAUDI ARABIA got good notices for gang drama “The Revenge”, but the Kingdom has no domestic cinemas to fulfill the AMPAS screening requirement. In BURMA (also called Myanmar by the military dictatorship) “90 Times Better” won this year’s Best Picture film award but I couldn’t imagine the Burmese sending it to the Oscars.



Most likely to submit a film : Japan and Taiwan, which have never missed a year since the 1970s.
Least likely to submit a film at all: JORDAN, which doesn't appear to have anything eligible, and PAKISTAN which hasn't submitted a film since 1963.
Most likely to get a nomination at this early stage: CHINA, followed by bitter enemies IRAN and IRAQ.

Next week will be the 25 predictions from Latin America and Africa.

2 comments:

kenru said...

I hope you're wrong about China. FOREVER ENTHRALLED looks like an Oscar committee pleaser...but it is *so* turgid and overlong. I'd love to see Iran send ABOUT ELLY. At the screening I saw it, the reels were scrambled; and still the film worked. I love reading your predictions and comparing them later with the reality.

Matthew Tripp said...
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