Eye on the Oscars: The Contenders II

Eightysomething thesps Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant might not have the look of Muhammad Ali or Joe Frazier, but they have helped make “Amour” the heavyweight in the Oscar foreign-lingo film category.

The Michael Haneke-directed film, competing under the Austrian flag, has gotten the most serious discussion of any international pic as far as the main Academy Awards best picture category is concerned, giving the impression that a foreign-lingo film nom is a fait accompli.

Though there can always be a surprise, the presence of “Amour” probably leaves room for eight others to make the shortlist for foreign films. (Six of those films will be chosen by eligible voters within the Academy, while three others then be added by the foreign-language exec committee.)

Among the leading candidates to find a shortlist opening are French smash “The Intouchables,” Belgian entry “Our Children” and Gael Garcia Bernal starrer “No” from Chile. Buzz also surrounds Australia’s “Lore,” Canada’s “War Witch,” China’s “Caught in the Web,” the Czech Republic’s “In the Shadow,” Denmark’s “A Royal Affair,” Germany’s “Barbara,” Israel’s “Fill the Void,” Norway’s “Kon-Tiki,” Switzerland’s “Sister” and the Netherlands’ “Kauwboy,” a recent European Film Awards honoree for European discovery.

Getting a leg up from strong festival showings at Cannes were Mexico’s Un Certain Regard honoree “After Lucia” and Romania’s “Beyond the Hills,” a winner in actress and screenplay and a Palme d’Or finalist. South Korea’s “Pieta,” something of a surprise Golden Lion champ at Venice, also lurks.

Eye on the Oscars: The Contenders II
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