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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its shortlist of nine semifinalists for the best foreign language Oscar, and for the second year in a row there was controversy over a film left off the list.

Last year, the fuss over the omission of Romania’s “Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days” was so strong that the academy made changes in the foreign language category’s voting procedures.

Though this year’s list is a solid one, it is notable for omitting Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah,” the riveting Italian film that has been a critical favorite in its limited U.S. release and won the runner-up award at Cannes.

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The film that beat it for the Palme d’Or, France’s “The Class,” is one of the nine films on the academy’s list, as is another Cannes favorite, Israel’s “Waltz With Bashir.”

The other seven have yet to appear in American theaters. They are “Revanche” from Austria, “The Necessities of Life” from Canada, “The Baader Meinhof Complex” from Germany, “Departures” from Japan, “Tear This Heart Out” from Mexico, “Everlasting Moments” from Sweden and “Three Monkeys” from Turkey.

The five Oscar finalists will be announced next week.


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