‘Amour,’ ‘Intouchables’ make academy’s foreign language film shortlist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday moved forward with nine potential nominated movies for the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 85th Academy Awards, narrowing the field from 71 qualifying films.

There were no major surprises in the winnowed-down lineup, with the list including Austria’s “Amour,” which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as France’s “The Intouchables,” which has been a worldwide box-office sensation.

A number of the films have Hollywood connections of one form or another, with familiar actors such as Mads Mikkelsen in Denmark’s “A Royal Affair,” Gael Garcia Bernal in Chile’s “No” and Lea Seydoux in Switzerland’s “Sister,” and Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur having made pictures in the U.S.


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The complete list:

Austria, “Amour,” directed by Michael Haneke

Canada, “War Witch,” directed by Kim Nguyen

Chile, “No,” directed by Pablo Larrain

Denmark, “A Royal Affair,” directed by Nikolaj Arcel

France, “The Intouchables,” directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano

Iceland, “The Deep,” directed by Baltasar Kormakur

Norway, “Kon-Tiki,” directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg

Romania, “Beyond The Hills,” directed by Cristian Mungiu

Switzerland, “Sister,” directed by Ursula Meier

Among notable films that did not make the cut were director Lasse Hallstrom’s Swedish picture “The Hypnotist,” the Italian movie “Caesar Must Die” and the German submission “Barbara.”

The shortlist of nine will be narrowed down to five nominees by specially nominated committees in New York and Los Angeles who will spend Jan. 4-6 viewing three films a day.

Nominations are to be announced on Jan. 10.


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