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9 foreign films move on to next round for Oscars

January 16, 2008|Robert W. Welkos | Times Staff Writer

Nine films advanced Tuesday to the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 80th annual Academy Awards, but one of the year's most acclaimed foreign films -- Romania's submission, "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" -- did not make the cut.

The Oscar shortlist includes Austria's "The Counterfeiters," Brazil's "The Year My Parents Went on Vacation," Canada's "Days of Darkness," Israel's "Beaufort," Italy's "The Unknown," Kazakhstan's "Mongol," Poland's "Katyn," Russia's "12" and Serbia's "The Trap."

"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," a small film with a dark subject matter -- the agonies of getting an abortion in Communist Romania circa 1987, when abortion was legally banned in that country -- has captured the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival and best film honors at the European Film Awards. The National Society of Film Critics and critics' groups in Los Angeles and Chicago also named it best foreign language film.

Another foreign film that won a prize at Cannes but wasn't selected Tuesday was the animated French entry "Persepolis."

Other films that failed to make the sublist were Spain's "The Orphanage," Lebanon's "Caramel" and Germany's "Edge of Heaven."

A committee of several hundred Los Angeles-based members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screened 63 eligible films before determining the shortlist. A "Phase II" committee will select the five nominees for the category. The final nominees will be announced next Tuesday.

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