INTERNATIONAL feature SHORTLIST:

Bosnia and Herzegovina — “Quo Vadis, Aida?”
Chile — “The Mole Agent”
Czech Republic — “Charlatan”
Denmark — “Another Round”
France — “Two of Us”
Guatemala — “La Llorona”
Hong Kong — “Better Days”
Iran — “Sun Children”
Ivory Coast — “Night of the Kings”
Mexico — “I’m No Longer Here”
Norway — “Hope”
Romania — “Collective”
Russia — “Dear Comrades!”
Taiwan — “A Sun”
Tunisia — “The Man Who Sold His Skin”

Ninety-three films from ninety-three countries were submitted this year to be apart of the 93rd Academy Awards. This afternoon, the Academy released their shortlists and the International Feature category has been narrowed down to only fifteen films. Among the list are the five films I pulled as my predicted picks for getting nominations.

Per the Academy’s press release:

Nominations voting begins on Friday, March 5, 2021, and concludes on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on Monday, March 15, 2021.
The 93rd Oscars® will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

OSCAR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS

“Another Round”
Denmark

“Two Of Us”
France

“La Llorona”
Guatemala

“Collective”
Romania

“Dear Comrades!”
Russia

#1: “ANOTHER ROUND” — DENMARK

IMDB Synopsis: Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.

WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: For starters, “Another Round” has been the critics darling this year. That fact doesn’t always translate to an Oscar nomination, but with the beloved Mads Mikkelsen at the helm (I wouldn’t even be surprised if some considered him for Best Actor), I’d say that helps its chances greatly. Director Thomas Vinterberg’s film “The Hunt” was nominated for Denmark in 2014 by the Academy.

#2: “TWO OF US” — FRANCE

IMDB Synopsis: Pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is put to the test when they are suddenly unable to move freely between each other’s apartments.

WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: There’s something about the trailer for “Two Of Us” that screams the type of International film that the Academy steers toward. This is a gut-feeling pick all the way. Also. France is one of the most nominated countries when it comes to this category.

#3: “LA LLORONA” — GUATEMALA

IMDB Synopsis: An aging paranoid war criminal, protected by his faithful wife, faces death while being haunted by the ghosts of his past.

WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: There’s a few things working against “La Llorona.” For one, it’s considered a “horror” film and the Academy notoriously steers away from that genre of film. Also, this is only Guatemala’s third submission ever, with zero nominations for the country. My next pick, Romania, has had thirty-six submissions and has also never been nominated, to the chance of both films getting their country to a first nomination is pretty unlikely. Nonetheless, I’ve been hearing great things about “La Llorona” and would like to see for myself.

#4: “COLLECTIVE” — ROMANIA

IMDB Synopsis: Director Alexander Nanau follows a crack team of investigators at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor as they try to uncover a vast health-care fraud that enriched moguls and politicians and led to the deaths of innocent citizens.

WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: Not only did “Collective” make the shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, it is also the Romanian entry for the Best International Feature category, meaning the film could be a double nominee, but like “Honeyland” was last year. “Collective” has been winning critics awards and is highly rated on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. This would mark Romania’s first Oscar nomination after thirty-six submissions. Had “Notturno” made the final shortlist, I could have made an argument for that winning, as it, too, was showing up in both International and Documentary Features, plus it made the cut over the much more talked about Italian film “The Life Ahead.” However, since it didn’t make the shortlist, “Collective” seems like the easier bet.

#5: “DEAR COMRADES!” — RUSSIA

IMDB Synopsis: When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.

WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: “Cold War,” “Ida,” and “The White Ribbon” are all proof that the Academy can be drawn to the black-and-white medium when it comes to International films. The proof might continue with “Dear Comrades!” which is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Leave a Reply