Foreign Oscar Shortlist Down To Nine

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced its shortlist for the year’s best foreign language film award at the upcoming Oscars, a list that is already inciting outrage not just for its inclusions but its surprising omissions.

Those that have reached this semi-final round ahead of the five final nominees to be announced on Tuesday include:

– Asghar Farhadi’s Golden Globe-winning drama “A Separation” (Iran)
– Agnieszka Holland’s sewer-set Holocaust drama “In Darkness” (Poland)
– Joseph Cedar’s Talmudic dueling academics tale “Footnote” (Israel)
– Philippe Falardeau’s dramedy “Monsieur Lazhar” (Canada)
– Wim Wenders’ 3D dance documentary “Pina” (Germany)
– Michael R. Roskam’s crime-drama “Bullhead” (Belgium)
– Ole Christian Madsen’s light comedy “SuperClasico” (Denmark)
– Roschdy Zem’s drama “Omar Killed Me “(Morocco)
– Wei Te-sheng’s 2-part epic “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” (Taiwan)

As only one film per country can be submitted, certain films were already ruled ineligible months ago including Luc Dardenne’s Cannes Grand Prix winner “The Kid With a Bike” and Pedro Almodovar’s acclaimed thriller “The Skin I Live In”.

Yet some big titles that were put up don’t seem to have made the cut. These include Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre” (Finland), Nadine Labaki’s “Where Do We Go Now?” (Lebanon), Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War” (China), Bela Tarr’s “The Turin Horse” (Hungary), Valerie Donzelli’s “Declaration of War” (France), Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Turkey), and Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala” (Mexico).