Oscar Handicap 2010: Foreign Language Film

We continue our annual Oscar Handicap with the Best Foreign Language Film category.

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

They might not have the audience they once enjoyed, but films made outside of America often tell us stories American filmmakers can not or will not tell. This year’s batch, from strange events happening in a small German to an epic tale of modern mafia life in Italy, continue the fine tradition of honoring some of the best films from the rest of the world.

The Breakdowns

1) Films submitted from a country in Western Europe have won 21 of 31 times (67.74%). Advantage: A Prophet, The White Ribbon

2) As long as your film does not have the longest running time, you’ve won 21 of 31 times (67.74%). Advantage: Ajami, The Secret in Their Eyes, The Milk of Sorrow, The White Ribbon

3) Stories set predominantly in the past have won 20 of 31 times (64.51%). Advantage: The White Ribbon

4) Films released in the United States prior to the start of final balloting have won 19 of the past 31 times (61.29%). Advantage: Ajami, A Prophet, The White Ribbon

5) In years where at least one film in this category was also nominated for another Oscar, that film has won here 8 of 14 times (57.14%). Advantage: The White Ribbon

By The Numbers

It’s looks to be the successful end of a very good year for the provocative German director Michael Haneke

Ajami (Israel): -1, +2, -3, +4, -5

The Milk of Sorrow (Peru): -1, +2, -3, -4, -5

A Prophet (France): +1, -2, -3, +4, -5

The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina): -1, +2, -3, -4, -5

The White Ribbon (Germany): +1, +2, +3, +4, +5

Personal prediction for Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon

All articles in this series:

Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories