The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences today unveiled its list of the nine films that are eligible for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The films include Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster, the Belgian film The Broken Circle Breakdown, and Denmark’s The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen. We already knew that Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color would be deemed ineligible given that it wasn’t released in France until after the theatrical run deadline, but one of the most glaring omissions is A Separation director Asghar Farhadi’s new film The Past. There was some controversy surrounding the pic given that it’s officially Iran’s entry even though the film’s primary spoken language is French.
Also absent is Saudi Arabia’s well-received Wadjda. That film marked the country’s very first entry in the Oscar race, directed by a woman (Haifaa Al-Mansour) no less. Alas, trying to make sense of the Best Foreign Language category year after year, given the Academy’s strict and strange rules, is a fruitless endeavor. Hit the jump to see the full list of contenders.