The most intriguing bit about the long list for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar lurks at the bottom:
In addition to the above, Finland submitted Aki Kaurismakiâ€™s â€œLights in the Dusk,â€ which the director subsequently indicated he wanted to withdraw from the competition. Foreign Language committee chair Mark Johnson has initiated a dialogue with Kaurismaki in an effort to persuade him to reverse that decision.
Not that Kaurismaki could possibly win this endlessly frustrating award, but do we wonder what led to that decision.
Nothing surprising on this list that hasn’t already been announced. Both the Chinese and Hong Kong entrees are big glitzy affairs intended for export; Canada’s entry is Deepa Mehta‘s controversy-courting "Water," which is in Hindi â€” an interesting development following last year’s rule change about films no longer having to be in the official language of the submitting country. The heavies are Guillermo del Toro‘s "Pan’s Labyrinth" and Pedro AlmodÃ³var‘s "Volver." "Pan’s Labyrinth" has our heart, but "Volver" is certain to cut a wide swath through the Academy Awards this year.
+ 61 Countries Seeking Foreign Language Film Oscar (Oscars.org)