Oscar Predictions: Best International Feature – With ‘Godland’ and ‘RRR’ Out of the Race, All Eyes Are on Denmark, France and Mexico

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Sept. 20, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best International Feature

Courtesy of FILM AG

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: A large wave of official submissions have been announced with some expected and a few surprising choices. Some early favorites are already out of the running after not being chosen by their respective countries. Pan Nalin’s “Last Film Show” will represent India instead of the global box office smashRRR” from S.S. Rajamouli, while Monica Stan and George Chiper’s “Immaculate” will define Romania in the race instead of Cristian Mungiu’s “R.M.N.” The Telluride and TIFF hit “Godland” from Hlynur Pálmason was also passed over for “Beautiful Beings” from Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Countries that are typically Academy favorites like Argentina, Denmark, France and Mexico have yet to announce. We expect to see Santiago Mitre’s “Argentina, 1985” going forward for its title country, especially with the backing of Amazon Studios to help usher it along. Denmark is expected to choose Ali Abbasi’s vivacious crime-thriller “Holy Spider,” even though it’s not spoken in its native language.

Even though “Bardo” got off to a rough start at Telluride and Venice, Mexico would be foolish not to move forward with a big name like Alejandro González Iñárritu, who was nominated for the country with his masterful “Amores perros” (2000) and “Biutiful” (2010). The first and only time Mexico took home the prize was for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” (2018). The streamer also has Edward Berger’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” that will go forth for Germany.

France will be a nail-biter with plenty of quality selections to choose from including the Venice Silver Lion winner “Saint Omer” from Alice Diop, which was picked up by Neon’s boutique label Super. They could also go with Mia Hansen-Løve’s “One Fine Morning” or Claire Denis’ “Both Sides of the Blade.” The country seems unlikely to go with Romain Gavras’ “Athena,” given the distribution of Netflix nor the Dardenne’s “Tori and Lokita,” which could have gone either way as France or Belgium’s selection. The latter opted for Lukas Dhont’s “Close.”

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ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:
Rank Name Director(s) Country
1 “Close” Lukas Dhont Belgium (OFFICIAL)
The intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother. “Close” is a film about friendship and responsibility.
2 “Holy Spider” Ali Abbasi Denmark
A journalist descends into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called “Spider Killer”, who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners.
3 “Argentina, 1985” Santiago Mitre Argentina
A team of lawyers take on the heads of Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship during the 1980s in a battle against odds and a race against time.
4 “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” Alejandro González Iñárritu Mexico
A renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country.
5 “Decision to Leave” Park Chan-wook South Korea
(OFFICIAL)
A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.
Next in Line
6 “Saint Omer” Alice Diop France
Follows Rama, a novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court to use her story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected.
7 “EO” Jerzy Skolimowski Poland (OFFICIAL)
Follows a donkey who encounters on his journeys good and bad people, experiences joy and pain, exploring a vision of modern Europe through his eyes.
8 “Corsage” Marie Kreutzer Austria (OFFICIAL)
A fictional account of the later years of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. On Christmas Eve 1877, Elisabeth turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman and starts trying to maintain her public image, once idolized for her beauty.
9 “Klondike” Maryna Er Gorbach Ukraine (OFFICIAL)
The story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia and Ukraine during the start of the war. Irka refuses to leave her house even as the village gets captured by armed forces. Shortly after they find themselves at the center of an international air crash catastrophe on July 17, 2014.
10 “All Quiet on the Western Front” Edward Berger Germany (OFFICIAL)
A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.
Other Top-Tier Contenders
11 “The Quiet Girl” Colm Bairéad Ireland
(OFFICIAL)
12 Utama Alejandro Loayza Grisi Bolivia (OFFICIAL)
13 “Alcarràs” Carla Simón Spain (OFFICIAL)
14 “Girl Picture” Alli Haapasalo Finland (OFFICIAL)
15 “Goddamned Asura” Lou Yi-an Taiwan
(OFFICIAL)
16 “One Fine Morning” Mia Hansen-Løve France
17 “Beautiful Beings” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson Iceland (OFFICIAL)
18 “The Eight Mountains” Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groenigen Italy
19 “Return to Seoul” Davy Chou Cambodia
20 “Cinema Sabaya” Orit Fouks Rotem Israel (OFFICIAL)
Also In Contention
21 “Boy from Heaven” Tarik Saleh Sweden
22 “Both Sides of the Blade” Claire Denis France
23 “A Piece of Sky” Michael Koch Switzerland
(OFFICIAL)
24 “The Employer and the Employee” Manolo Nieto Uruguay
(OFFICIAL)
25 “The Box” Lorenzo Vigas Venezuela (OFFICIAL)
26 “Lo Invisible” Javier Andrade Ecuador (OFFICIAL)
27 “Mars One” Gabriel Martins Brazil (OFFICIAL)
28 “Our Brothers” Rachid Bouchareb Algeria (OFFICIAL)
29 “A Ballad” Aida Begić Bosnia and Herzegovina (OFFICIAL)
30 “Darkling” Dušan Milić Serbia (OFFICIAL)
All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)
“A Cup of Coffee and New Shoes On” Gentian Koçi Albania (OFFICIAL)
“Our Brothers” Rachid Bouchareb Algeria (OFFICIAL)
“Aurora’s Sunrise” Inna Sahakyan Armenia (OFFICIAL)
“Corsage” Marie Kreutzer Austria (OFFICIAL)
“Close” Lukas Dhont Belgium (OFFICIAL)
“Utama” Alejandro Loayza Grisi Bolivia (OFFICIAL)
“A Ballad” Aida Begić Bosnia and Herzegovina (OFFICIAL)
“Mars One” Gabriel Martins Brazil (OFFICIAL)
“Mother” Zornitsa Sofia Bulgaria (OFFICIAL)
“Eternal Spring” Jason Loftus Canada (OFFICIAL)
“Domingo and the Mist” Ariel Escalante Costa Rica (OFFICIAL)
“Safe Place” Juraj Lerotić Croatia (OFFICIAL)
“Il Boemo” Petr Václav Czech Republic (OFFICIAL)
“Lo Invisible” Javier Andrade Ecuador (OFFICIAL)
“Girl Picture” Alli Haapasalo Finland (OFFICIAL)
“A Long Break” Davit Pirtskhalava Georgia (OFFICIAL)
“All Quiet on the Western Front” Edward Berger Germany (OFFICIAL)
“Magnetic Fields” Yorgos Goussis Greece (OFFICIAL)
“The Silence of the Mole” Anäis Taracena Guatemala (OFFICIAL)
“Blockade” Ádám Tõsér Hungary (OFFICIAL)
“Beautiful Beings” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson Iceland (OFFICIAL)
“Last Film Show” Pan Nalin India (OFFICIAL)
“Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap” Bene Dion Rajagukguk Indonesia (OFFICIAL)
“World War III” Houman Seyyedi Iran (OFFICIAL)
“The Quiet Girl” Colm Bairéad Ireland (OFFICIAL)
“Cinema Sabaya” Orit Fouks Rotem Israel (OFFICIAL)
“Plan 75” Chie Hayakawa Japan (OFFICIAL)
“Life” Emir Baigazin Kazakhstan (OFFICIAL)
“Looking for Venera” Norika Sefa Kosovo (OFFICIAL)
“January” Viestur Kairish Latvia (OFFICIAL)
“Pilgrims” Laurynas Bareiša Lithuania (OFFICIAL)
“The Elegy of Laurei” Dušan Kasalica Montenegro (OFFICIAL)
“Butterfly on the Windowpane” Sujit Bidari Nepal (OFFICIAL)
“Narcosis” Martijn de Jong Netherlands (OFFICIAL)
“Muru” Tearepa Kahi New Zealand (OFFICIAL)
“Birthday Boy” Arturo Montenegro Panama (OFFICIAL)
“Eami” Paz Encina Paraguay (OFFICIAL)
“EO” Jerzy Skolimowski Poland (OFFICIAL)
“Alma Vivia” Cristèle Alves Meira Portugal (OFFICIAL)
“Immaculate” Monica Stan, George Chiper Romania (OFFICIAL)
“Darkling” Dušan Milić Serbia (OFFICIAL)
“Victim” Michal Blaško Slovakia (OFFICIAL)
“Orchestra” Matevž Luzar Slovenia (OFFICIAL)
“Decision to Leave” Park Chan-wook South Korea (OFFICIAL)
“Alcarràs” Carla Simón Spain (OFFICIAL)
“A Piece of Sky” Michael Koch Switzerland (OFFICIAL)
“Goddamned Asura” Lou Yi-an Taiwan (OFFICIAL)
“Tug of War” Amil Shivji Tanzania (OFFICIAL)
“Under the Fig Trees” Erige Sehiri Tunisia (OFFICIAL)
“Kerr” Tayfun Pirselimoğlu Turkey (OFFICIAL)
“Tembele” Morris Mugisha Uganda (OFFICIAL)
“Klondike” Maryna Er Gorbach Ukraine (OFFICIAL)
“The Employer and the Employee” Manolo Nieto Uruguay (OFFICIAL)
“The Box” Lorenzo Vigas Venezuela (OFFICIAL)
“Argentina, 1985” Santiago Mitre Argentina
“Return to Seoul” Davy Chou Cambodia
“Holy Spider” Ali Abbasi Denmark
“Tori and Lokita” Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne France
“One Fine Morning” Mia Hansen-Løve France
“Athena” Romain Gavras France
“Both Sides of the Blade” Claire Denis France
“Saint Omer” Alice Diop France
“The Eight Mountains” Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groenigen Italy
“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” Alejandro González Iñárritu Mexico
“Boy from Heaven” Tarik Saleh Sweden

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: “Drive My Car” (Japan) – dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

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