After the dust settled over the Academy Board of Governors eliminating the executive committee choices for International Feature Film (what we often call the ‘saves’) we have our 15 contenders and they break down like this: Six from Europe, four from Asia, three from Central/South America and two from Africa. Theoretically, this is probably very close to how it would have broken down, by continent, with the executive committee but films like Sudan’s You Will Die at Twenty and Lesotho’s This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection might have made the cut. That said, the perennial Holocaust film (this year, Slovakia’s The Auschwitz Report) also did not, breaking from tradition.
It’s no secret that Denmark’s Another Round is the heavy favorite here even before nominations come out. It will likely be the most widely seen and since all Academy members can vote, the most ‘popular’ film now is usually the winner. But Netflix has played a shrewd game in this category with quite a few contenders and I think it could make a play with Mexico’s I’m No Longer Here but it will need to make the BAFTA cut. But it’s probably Shudder’s ghost story La Llorona from Guatemala that’s going to represent Central/South America this year.
As mentioned in the Documentary Feature predictions, three films are aiming to earn double nominations there and here. Romania’s Collective is by far the most likely to do that but Chile’s The Mole Agent could too, although that’s a longshot in both.
The Golden Globe Awards are February 28, Critics’ Choice Awards are March 7, BAFTA nominations come out March 9, Oscar nominations drop March 15 and the Screen Actors Guild Awards are April 4.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in International Feature Film for February.
Green – moves up ↑; Red – moves down ↓; Blue – new entry this month +; Black – no change ↔
1. Another Round ↔ (Denmark, Samuel Goldwyn Mayer) – GG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
2. Quo Vadis, Aida? ↑ (Bosnia-Herzegovina, NEON/SUPER LTD) – BAFTA longlist
3. A Sun ↑ (Taiwan)
4. La Llorona ↑ (Guatemala, Shudder) – GG, BFCA
5. Two of Us ↓ (France, Magnolia Pictures) – GG, BFCA
6. Collective ↑ (Romania, Magnolia Pictures) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA
7. The Man Who Sold His Skin + (Tunisia, Samuel Goldwyn Mayer)
8. Dear Comrades! ↓ (Russia, Neon/Hulu) – BAFTA longlist
9. The Mole Agent ↑ (Chile, Gravitas Ventures) – BAFTA longlist
10. I’m No Longer Here ↓ (Mexico, Netflix) – BAFTA longlist
11. Sun Children ↑ (Iran, Strand Releasing)
12. Hope ↓ (Norway)
13. Night of the Kings ↓ (Ivory Coast, Neon)
14. Better Days + (Hong Kong)
15. Charlatan ↓ (Czech Republic, Strand Releasing)
Image courtesy of the Venice Film Festival