|Nathalie Baye in Xavier Dolan's It's Only the End of the World. |
Shayne Laverdière, courtesy of Sons of Manual
Moving forward in the race for Best Foreign Language Film is a huge boost for the film, and arguably vindication, after overcoming some unfairly harsh reviews at Cannes earlier this year. The shortlist sees another faceoff between It's Only the End of the World and Germany's Toni Erdmann, which was the critical favourite at Cannes but left the main ceremony empty handed. Especially notable on the list is Australia's exceptional Tanna, which deserves to go all the way.
The news of who's out is as wild as who's in, since favourites such as France's Elle and Chile's Neruda are among the biggest titles to fail to make the list. The latter slight is unexpected, but Elle, despite being the strongest submission I'd seen, had considerable critics given the controversial subject matter.
Looking at the shortlist, Germany, Denmark, and Iran seem like the frontrunners with two spots wide open for grabs.
The shortlist is:
Australia, Tanna — directors Bentley Dean, Martin Butler
Canada, It’s Only the End of the World — director Xavier Dolan
Denmark, Land of Mine — director Martin Zandvliet
Germany, Toni Erdmann — director Maren Ade
Iran, The Salesman — director Asghar Farhadi
Norway, The King’s Choice — director Erik Poppe
Russia, Paradise — director Andrei Konchalovsky
Sweden, A Man Called Ove — director Hannes Holm
Switzerland, My Life as a Zucchini — director Claude Barras