I haven't been able to see Dogtooth yet but it sounds so effing crazy that I think it would be hilarious if the notoriously ultra-conservative voters of the Foreign Language Film category picked this one...
... And yet the patriot in me is rooting for Incendies. I just saw this one last weekend and it is currently the only of the Foreign Language Film nominees that I've been able to see, so I can't really judge it against the others, but I can say that it is an excellent film.
I am wholly of the belief that Mike Leigh gets nominated because of the way the nomination process is set up (ie writers decide on the writing nominees, art directors decide on the art direction nominees, actors decide on the acting nominees, and so on) but will never win because the entire AMPAS body votes on the winner and I think a lot of people misunderstand Leigh's writing process. He's famous for working very closely with actors to develop the characters through improv. He then uses those improv sessions as the basis to construct a script but I think a lot of people assume that the final product is all improv and that there's not really a lot of writing involved at all. Because of this I don't think Leigh will ever actually win an Oscar for writing, though he certainly deserves one.
Annette Bening is long overdue for an Oscar and her performance in The Kids Are All Right is brilliant. Natalie Portman seems to have the category locked up, but I would love to see an upset by Bening.
Roger Deakins is another person long overdue for an Oscar. His work in True Grit is absolutely brilliant - hopefully so brilliant that this time it can't be ignored in favour of something else.
Nothing would make me happier on Sunday night than an INCENDIES win. Here's hoping, right?
Fingers crossed, though I suspect that it might be too violent for the foreign branch's taste.
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