The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have reduced the number of eligible foreign films to nine. For those who don’t know how the Best Foreign Language Film category works, every foreign country can submit one movie for consideration. That list has now been whittled down to nine movies, and five of these nine will get Oscar nominations. The films on the shortlist are Amour (Austria), War Witch (Canada), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), The Intouchables (France), The Deep (Iceland), Kon-Tiki (Norway), Beyond the Hills (Romania), and Sister (Switzerland).
Amour is the frontrunner for the win based on critical acclaim, but I’ll put my money on The Intouchables since I think the Academy will go with the feel-good caretaker movie as opposed to the remind-us-of-our-fragile-mortality caretaker movie.
One cold night in Iceland in March 1984, a man accomplished the impossible: he survived five hours in the freezing ocean after the fishing boat he was on sank and then managed to swim ashore. Yes, I said five hours. If you’re not aware, most people can only last a few minutes in the winter ocean, with some able to endure ten or fifteen minutes. But lasting an hour is unheard of, let alone five! This is the true story of director Baltasar Kormákur’s film The Deep, and it’s also Iceland’s official Academy Award selection for Best Foreign Language Film.
Recently I sat down with Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns) for an extended video interview and every night this week I’ll be posting part of it. Tonight covers The Deep. During this portion Kormákur talked about how he first became aware of the story, how much was fictionalized, what the success of the film in Iceland means to him along with it being the national submission for the Academy Awards, deleted scenes, the challenges of filming with a small budget, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
The line-up for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been announced and it is a doozy. The festival will play host to some of the year’s biggest world premieres including Rian Johnson‘s Looper (which will be the festival’s opening night film), The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer‘s Cloud Atlas, Ben Affleck‘s Argo, David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, and Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium. Films making their International/North American debuts (which means that they’ll like show up at the Venice Film Festival first) include Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina, Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, and Billy Bob Thornton‘s Jayne Mansfield’s Car.
Hit the jump for the first wave of announced films. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
British director Peter Yates has passed away at the age of 81. The AP reports that the filmmaker died in London yesterday after an illness. Yates had an eclectic filmography that ranged from fantasy (Krull) to horror (The Deep) to drama (The Dresser) to one of the all-time great action films, Bullitt. With Bullitt, Yates directed one of cinema’s best car chase scenes as Bullitt (Steve McQueen) races through the streets of San Francisco. Yates also directed one of my personal favorite films, Breaking Away. He received four Oscar nominations during his lifetime, two for Breaking Away (director and producer) and two for The Dresser (director and producer).
Our condolences go out to Mr. Yates’ friends and family.