Acclaimed films miss out on foreign-Oscar bid
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar has stirred up some international intrigue.
Some of 2007's most acclaimed international films will not be competing for the foreign-language prize at the Academy Awards next month.
Among the rejected movies are the Romanian abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," which won the top Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and the animated French movie "Persepolis," which won a jury prize at Cannes.
Instead, organizers said on Tuesday that films including the Holocaust-related dramas "The Counterfeiters" from Austria and "Katyn" from Poland will compete for the Oscar on February 24. Joining them are the Israeli war drama "Beaufort," Kazakhstan's Genghis Khan biopic "Mongol" and Russia's "12," a loose remake of "12 Angry Men."
Each country is allowed to submit one film for consideration. Local film bodies in a record 63 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam, accepted the offer this year.
That number was whittled to nine this month by a special Academy committee. Four were dropped after committee members watched them again. They were Brazil's "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation," Canada's "Days of Darkness," Italy's "The Unknown" and Serbia's "The Trap."
But at least they got that far. "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and "Persepolis" failed to survive the first culling, as did the Spanish horror film "The Orphanage," one of the few submissions that has actually played in U.S. movie theaters. Continued...