The Academy trimmed 57 films from their list of possible nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film category this past Wednesday, leaving only nine. Two of the films left standing, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful from Mexico, and Susanne Bier’s In a Better Worldf rom Denmark (which took home the Best Foreign Language Film prize this past Sunday at the Golden Globes), seemed like locks for the shortlist. The other films are Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside the Law from Algeria, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies from Canada, Yorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth from Greece, Tetsuya Nakashima’s Confessions from Japan, Oliver Schmitz’s Life, Above All from South Africa, Iciar Bollain’s Even the Rain from Spain, and Andreas Ohman’s Simple Simon from Sweden. Algeria, Canada, and Greece have all only been nominated four times for this award since its inception; Greece’s last nomination came back in 1977, 33 years ago, for Michael Cacoyannis’s Iphigenia (lost to Moshé Mizrahi’s Madame Rosa. In fact, the Greeks have never won in the four times they’ve been nominated). South Africa takes the cake for least nominations, however, with only two, and those coming in the last decade.
The final five nominees for the Award will be announced Tuesday, January 25, at 5:30 am PT. The ceremony will take place on February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.