Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Race - 2014 Best Foreign Language Film

76 countries made it to the shortlist for next year's OSCAR's Best Foreign Language Film. To read the complete list visit --

My top 10 early prediction or handpicks goes to the following films -- selected solely according to their track record at the moment (film trailer, festival performance, critical reviews and viewers reception). Please take note that these films are ranked in no particular order:

1. Wadjda - Saudi Arabia, Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour | Trailer
2. La grande bellezza - Italy, Directed by Paolo Sorrentino | Trailer
3. The Past - Iran, Directed by Asghar Farhadi | Trailer
4. The Hunt - Denmark, Directed by Thomas Vinterberg | Trailer
5. Transit - Philippines, Directed by Hannah Espia | Trailer
6. The Grandmaster - Hong Kong, Directed by Wong Kar-Wai | Trailer
7. Ilo Ilo - Singapore, Directed by Anthony Chen | Trailer
8. The Missing Picture - Cambodia, Directed by Rithy Panh | Trailer
9. The Rocket - Australia, Directed by Kim Mordaunt | Trailer
10. Metro Manila - United Kingdom, Directed by Sean Ellis | Trailer

So far, most of my handpicks are coming from Asia. Way to go! I am optimistic that the award will go to one of these titles. The only thing wrong in the shortlist is the absence of the obvious strong front runner "Blue is the Warmest Color" from France and Japan's "Like Father, Like Son". Both are winners from the recent Cannes Film Festival, unfortunately mishandled by their countries, jeopardizing their strong chances to take home the golden guy.

For my country's official entry, the force seems strong on Hannah Espia's Cinemalaya winning drama about the flight of Filipino contract workers in Israel and the deportation of their Israeli-born, Hebrew speaking children. Kudos to their excellent cinematography, writing and editing. I think the chances are high for the Philippines to receive their first nomination (or win) at this elusive award giving body. However, I'm not trying to be unpatriotic, but I would like to see Saudi's film entry 'Wadjda' by Haifaa al-Mansour to win at next year's OSCAR race for Best Foreign Language Film.

I'll be keeping up-to-date tabs about the nomination process, the final selection and winner for this particular category. Through the years, this is the only section at the OSCAR's that truly mattered to me.

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