The Oscars race for foreign language cinema is hotting up. Apart from India's Liars Dice, the biopic on the renowned French fashion designer, Saint Laurent from France, is the latest to hit the list. Now there are close to 60 films that will vie for nominations, and there can be more additions, since the last date for submissions in this category is October 1.
Israel's Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Directed by Bertrand Bonello, Saint Laurent stars Gaspard Ulliel as the legendary designer and the movie premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. It was undoubtedly well-made, but Saint Laurent was stiff and stodgy and left one wondering why France could not think of any other work to send up for the Academy Awards.
Interestingly, Saint Laurent was the second biopic on the fashionista to be released this year in France. The other, Yves Saint Laurent, was helmed by Jalil Lespert, and this was expected to have an edge over Bonello's work after being distributed by Weinstein Company in the US.
Also watch: Saint Laurent trailer
In the foreign language section, the strongest entries - at least till now - appear to be Belgium's brilliant film Two Days, One Night by the Dardenne Brothers. Their creation with Marion Cotillard was received with much ecstasy at Cannes. The two other strong contenders are the Cannes Palm d'Or winner, Winter Sleep, by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Poland's Ida, an almost hysteric family drama by Pawel Pawlikowski.Some of the others looking to be on the short list of five - that will eventually throw up the winner - are Xavier Dolan's much-admired Mommy, submitted by Canada; Israel's Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a selection at Cannes and Toronto, by sister-brother moviemakers Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz and Mauritania's Timbuktu, a Cannes hit for director Abderrahmane Sissako.
After the deadline on October 1 the Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Committee will whittle down the list to nine semi-finalists. A second panel will then chose the final five finalists and announce them on January 15, 2015 along with the various other nominations. The winner will be voted on by all the Academy members.
The Oscars will pop out of the envelopes on February 22, 2015 in a grand ceremony at Los Angeles.
Also watch: Mommy trailer