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January 26, 2005



"The Foreign Language category is the usual mysterious, head-scratching bunch. I only know about one of them, The Sea Inside, and haven't seen any of them, so I can't really comment. But there do seem to be some glaring omissions... No Motorcycle Diaries or Almodovar, though the latter got squeezed out by Sea Inside as Spain's representative. Nothing from Asia, nothing from Latin America, the one from Africa wasn't Moolade, but a South African film. Overall, that category looks like a bunch of weepie white people movies that the schmaltz-loving voters in that category eat up, but I'll withhold judgement on 'em til I know more."

Neither Almodovar, Motorcycle Diaries OR Moolade were chosen to represent their countries. So, why would it be surprising that they weren't nominated? Blame the respective countries for this, not the Academy.

Germany's The Downfall and South Africa's Yesterday are weepie white people's movies? You may want to rethink that one.


Thanks. Yes. Good points. Although I did already point out that Almodovar was overlooked because he wasn't Spain's representative -- but didn't realize that was the case for Moolade, too. Very interesting. It's true that politics come into play in pretty much every country when it comes to film and awards.... I did ask my colleague, based in Berlin, David, about Downfall, because I had a feeling, given the director's track record, that the film likely deserved it's nod and had more going on than met the eye (i.e., my first impression). And as for Yesterday, you're absolutely right - I blew that one! I was thinking of a completely different film, and wrote that before I doublechecked myself. Yesterday is the one about the AIDS crisis in South Africa, and, though it may be weepie, is decidedly not a "white people's film." Yeesh.

My first impression of the noms, in other words, were not entirely accurate, but I did still get the feeling a good part of the world was being overlooked. But again, as you point out, it could also be due to which films were chosen to represent their respective countries.

I still stand by my assessment that the Foreign film award, more often than not, goes to the schmaltziest/most sentimental of the lot, often period pieces, often about war... but there are plenty of exceptions to this, too, and even the ones that fit the cliche can be worthy (No Man's Land wasn't sentimental, and it was a very deserving winner).

Anyway, thanks.

Wiley Wiggins

Evidently Before Sunset is an 'adapted' screenplay because it's a sequel.


Is that right?
I guess there's some logic to that - pre-existing characters, from another story - even if that story was written and created by the same people... Still seems a bit odd. But if it helps give the film a chance at an Oscar, that's a good thing, I guess. Anyway, thanks.

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