INTERNATIONAL feature SHORTLIST:
|Austria — “Great Freedom”|
|Belgium — “Playground”|
|Bhutan — “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”|
|Denmark — “Flee”|
|Finland — “Compartment No. 6”|
|Germany — “I’m Your Man”|
|Iceland — “Lamb”|
|Iran — “A Hero”|
|Italy — “The Hand of God”|
|Japan — “Drive My Car”|
|Kosovo — “Hive”|
|Mexico — “Prayers for the Stolen”|
|Norway — “The Worst Person in the World”|
|Panama — “Plaza Catedral”|
|Spain — “The Good Boss”|
Films from 92 countries were eligible in the category. Academy members from all branches were invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting and must have met a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote in the category. In the nominations round, Academy members from all branches are invited to opt in to participate and must view all 15 shortlisted films to vote.
The five films I originally picked to make the nomination list are still included, so those are still my five picks. I only guessed four of the remaining ten spots, with “Lamb,” “I’m Your Man,” “Prayers for the Stolen,” and “Compartment No. 6” making the cut. That leaves off a film like “Titane,” which had also been receiving a lot of critical acclaim, as well as two films I enjoyed in “Do Not Hesitate” and “Brighton 4th.”
Per the Academy’s press release:
Nominations voting begins on Thursday, January 27, 2022, and concludes on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. The 94th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland® in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.
OSCAR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS
“Drive My Car”
“The Worst Person in the World”
“The Hand of God”
#1: “DRIVE MY CAR” (JAPAN) — JANUS FILMS
IMDB Synopsis: Yusuke Kafuku is a stage actor and director happily married to his playwright wife. Then one day she disappears.
WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: Nothing seems more sure than “Drive My Car” getting an Oscar nomination. With as much love as it’s been getting from the critics’ awards, one has to wonder if it can take the whole thing.
#2: “The Worst Person in the World” (norway) — neon
IMDB Synopsis: The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.
WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: “The Worst Person in the World” is also getting so much love, it’s hard to imagine it not getting at least a nomination. It also seems like one of the lightest subject matters of the bunch, which could give it an edge.
#3: “A HERO” (IRAN) — AMAZON STUDIOS
IMDB Synopsis: Rahim is in prison because of a debt he was unable to repay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum. But things don’t go as planned.
WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: Asghar Farhadi is an Academy favorite director, with one of his previous films, “A Separation,” winning the Oscar. That doesn’t necessary guarantee it a nomination, but it sure helps.
#4: “FLEE” (DENMARK) — NEON
IMDB Synopsis: FLEE tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time.
WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: As discussed in the Documentary Feature section, “Flee” was a favorite coming out of Sundance and feels like the type of film that could span several categories, easily giving it a good shot in the International Feature category.
#5: “The Hand of God” (ITALY) — NETFLIX
IMDB Synopsis: In 1980s Naples, young Fabietto pursues his love for football as family tragedy strikes, shaping his uncertain but promising future as a filmmaker.
WHY’S IT GOING TO GET NOMINATED: Like with “A Hero,” the Italian film “The Hand of God” has an Academy favorite director in Paolo Sorrentino. Not only did his film “Il Divo” get nominated for Best Achievement in Makeup without being on anyone’s radar, his film “The Great Beauty” won an Oscar as well.
OSCAR NOMINATION ALTERNATES
“Prayers for the Stolen”
“Compartment No. 6”
“I’m Your Man”
#6: “Prayers for the Stolen” (MEXICO) — NETFLIX
IMDB Synopsis: Life in a town at war seen through the eyes of three young girls on the path to adolescence.
#7: “LAMB” (ICELAND) — A24
IMDB Synopsis: A childless couple, María and Ingvar discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The unexpected prospect of family life brings them much joy, before ultimately destroying them.
#8: “Compartment No. 6” (FINLAND) — Sony Pictures Classics
IMDB Synopsis: As a train weaves its way up to the arctic circle, two strangers share a journey that will change their perspective on life.
#9: “I’m Your Man” (GERMANY) — Bleecker Street
IMDB Synopsis: In order to obtain research funds for her studies, a scientist accepts an offer to participate in an extraordinary experiment: for three weeks, she is to live with a humanoid robot, created to make her happy.
#10: “HIVE” (Kosovo) — Zeitgeist Films
IMDB Synopsis: Fahrije’s husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She sets up her own small business to provide for her kids, but as she fights against a patriarchal society that does not support her, she faces a crucial decision.
“The Good Boss”
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”
#11: “Playground” (Belgium) — Film Movement
IMDB Synopsis: When Nora witnesses Abel being bullied by other kids, she rushes to protect him. But Abel forces her to remain silent. Caught in a conflict of loyalty, Nora tries to find her place, torn between children’s and adult’s worlds.
#12: “The Good Boss” (spain) — Tripictures
IMDB Synopsis: Awaiting a visit by a committee that could give his company an award for excellence, the owner of an industrial scales manufacturing business tries to resolve any problems from his workers in enough time.
#13: “Great Freedom” (AUSTRIA) — MUBI
IMDB Synopsis: In postwar Germany, Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long time cell mate, Viktor, a convicted murderer. What starts in revulsion grows to something called love.
#14: “Plaza Catedral” (PANAMA) — Gulfstream Pictures
IMDB Synopsis: The 42-year-old Alicia is a grief-stricken woman, a grief that has caused her to be estranged from society. Her world is turned upside down when a 14-year-old boy who looks after people’s cars, stumbles into her house, bleeding.
#15: “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (bhutan) — Films Boutique
IMDB Synopsis: An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan dreams of getting a visa to move to Australia.