There’s no award ceremony more exciting than the Oscars. Whether you believe they’re right or wrong, the annual awards are the most watched and arguably most influential awards in the industry.
The World Movies office is now a-buzz with who-will-win, who-lost-out and what-will-they-wear conversation – most important of which is focussed around the almighty Best Foreign Film Award.
We turn now to the zealous folks at UK betting aggregator Easyodds, for their take on who is most likely to win the coveted international award.
A Separation (Iran) – 1/14
The Iranian film has been the talk of the international film industry, after taking out the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film last week. A Separation won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, including the Golden Lion at Berlin International Film Festival, so it seems a sure bet for Oscar glory in 2012. Asghar Farhadi’s complex human drama focuses on a family that must choose between staying in Iran with their elderly patriarch or fleeing to give their children a better life.
Footnote (Israel) – 10/1
As political tensions bubble over between Israel and Iran in the real world, their films go head to head in this category. This Israeli drama tells the story of a father and son, both teaching at a Jerusalem university. It won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes 2011, and was nominated for the Palme d’Or. An intricate and well-constructed plot, as well as stellar performances, might get this film over the line.
In Darkness (Poland) – 14/1
Agnieszka Holland’s film was Poland’s official entry into this category, and it tells of a true incident during Nazi occupation. Leopold Soha was a thief who spent 14 months hiding Jewish refugees in the sewers below the town of Lvov. The film premiered in Poland in the first week of January, and its themes of war and survival are a favourite with the Oscars jury.
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) – 25/1
This poignant French Canadian film follows the interactions between a replacement teacher and his students. After a teacher commits suicide, Bachir Lazhar is brought in to lead a high school class while they are dealing with her death. An Algerian immigrant, he is dealing with his own personal tragedy after the murder of his wife. This sincere and touching film has an outside chance after receiving rave reviews around the world.
Bullhead (Belgium) – 25/1
Tying with Monsieur Lazhar as outside contenders for the award, Bullhead is a Belgian drama about a young cattle farmer who makes a shady deal and is caught in a web of crime and unstoppable consequences. As the tormented protagonist Jimmy, leading man Matthias Schoenaerts underwent two years of physical training, gained 27kgs and mastered regional dialects. This transformation alone could capture the jury’s eye and win Bullhead the award.
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