Oscar nominees: Foreign Language

Why it’ll win: Zeitgeist elements pepper this German effort with notions of American imperialism and the motives of terrorists. Conventional storytelling makes it the most accessible of the nominees.

Maybe not: Then again, it’s a new era. Such themes might be seen as stale as all eyes look forward to the new administration.

Critical quote: “Most of all, it manages to make the turbulent era in which the RAF flourished come alive for a new generation who might regard it as prehistoric. The gang’s members are shown as raw and idealistic, trapped as much as inspired by the logic of their political beliefs,” says Sukhdev Sandh of the Telegraph (U.K.).

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