Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Academy Award nominees announced: Where are my selections?

Academy Award nominations were delivered today with an odd result for foreign films. The awards will be Feb. 24 and Sister Cities will host a watching party at the Shamrock on West Seventh Street in Fort Worth, located between the Cultural District and Downtown.

After pouring over films the last year in preparation for the Fort Worth Sister Cities Film Series, I thought I was becoming an expert. So what do I know?

The films I thought were shoe-ins for nominations based on buzz and previous awards were bypassed in the category – although some did receive nominations in other fields.

None of our Sister City countries faired well in the nominations – and I still think Germany would have been better served to have entered “Four Minutes” into the competition rather than “Auf der andere Seite” (The Edge of Heaven).

Best Foreign Language Film nominees are: “Beaufort” from Israel, “Die Fälscher” (The Counterfeiters) from Austria, “Mongol” from Kazakhstan, “12” from Russia and “Katyn” from Poland.
I had assumed that Romania's Palme d'Or winner “4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile” (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and France's animated hit film “Persepolis” would have made the final cut.

The nine films that made the cut to the semifinals included Austria's “Die Fälscher” (The Counterfeiters); Russia's 12; Italy's “La sconosciuta” (The Unknown Woman); Poland's “Katyn”; Serbia's “Klopka” (The Trap); Romania's “4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile” (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days); France's “Persepolis”; Spain's “El orfanato” (The Orphanage); Germany's “Auf der andere Seite” (The Edge of Heaven); Brazil’s “O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias” (The Year My Parents Went on Vacation); Kazakhstan’s “Mongol” ; Israel's “Beaufort “and Canada's “L'age des ténèbres” (Days of Darkness).

In other categories French Edith Piaf biopic “La môme” (La Vie en Rose) had three nominations: for Best Actress (Marion Cotillard), Best Makeup and Best Costume Design. The France-USA “Le scaphandre et le papillon” (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) had four nominations, including a Best Director for Julian Schnabel, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. “Persepolis”, another France-USA film was nominated for Best Animated Feature.