We begin our first Annual Oscar Handicap since 2014 with the Best Foreign Language Film category.
They might not have the audiences they once enjoyed during the days of Antonioni, Fellini and Rossellini, but films made outside of the United States often tell us stories American filmmakers can not or will not tell. This year’s batch, from German POWs during World War II forced to dig up landmines with their bare hands to how a group a natives on a remote Pacific island deal with their fellow tribesmen, continues the fine tradition of honoring some of the best films from the rest of the world.
As always, we track a variety of historical voting patterns since the Academy Awards for the films of 1979. Some years, categories may be removed if all five films qualify or do not qualify for one of our tracking categories.
1) As long as your film does not have the shortest running time, you’ve won 33 of the last 38 ceremonies (86.84%). Advantage: A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Tori Erdmann
2) Films submitted from a country in Western Europe have won 23 of 38 (60.53%). Advantage: A Man Called Ove, Toni Erdmann, Land of Mine
3) Stories set predominantly outside the past twenty years have won 22 of 38 (57.89%). Advantage: Land of Mine
4) In years when at least one film in this category was also nominated in another category, that film has won 12 of 20 (60%). Advantage: A Man Called Ove
By The Numbers
It looks like the man from Sweden will slightly edge out the lady from Germany.
“Land of Mine” (Denmark): -1, +2, +3, -4 (58 of 134, 43.28%)
“A Man Called Ove” (Sweden): +1, +2, -3, +4 (84 of 134, 62.69%)
“The Salesman” (Iran): +1, -2, -3, -4 (72 of 134, 53.73%)
“Tanna” (Australia): -1, -2, -3, -4 (42 of 134, 31.34%)
“Toni Erdmann” (Germany): +1, +2, -3, -4 (80 of 134, 59.70%)
All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature