Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in "Amour." (Darius Khondji )
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday moved forward with nine potential nominated movies for the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 85th Academy Awards, narrowing the field from 71 qualifying films.
There were no major surprises in the winnowed-down lineup, with the list including Austria's "Amour," which won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, as well as France's "The Intouchables," which has been a worldwide box-office sensation.
A number of the films have Hollywood connections of one form or another, with familiar actors such as Mads Mikkelsen in Denmark's "A Royal Affair," Gael Garcia Bernal in Chile's "No" and Lea Seydoux in Switzerland's "Sister," and Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur having made pictures in the U.S.
PHOTOS: 2012 Oscar winners
The complete list:
Austria, "Amour," directed by Michael Haneke
Canada, "War Witch," directed by Kim Nguyen
Chile, "No," directed by Pablo Larrain
Denmark, "A Royal Affair," directed by Nikolaj Arcel
France, "The Intouchables," directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
Iceland, "The Deep," directed by Baltasar Kormakur
Norway, "Kon-Tiki," directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
Romania, "Beyond The Hills," directed by Cristian Mungiu
Switzerland, "Sister," directed by Ursula Meier
Among notable films that did not make the cut were director Lasse Hallstrom's Swedish picture "The Hypnotist," the Italian movie "Caesar Must Die" and the German submission "Barbara."
The shortlist of nine will be narrowed down to five nominees by specially nominated committees in New York and Los Angeles who will spend Jan. 4-6 viewing three films a day.
Nominations are to be announced on Jan. 10.
Signs of life for foreign-language films in the U.S.
Golden Globes 2013: Foreign category flies to France
"Rust And Bone" helps keep french films highly visible
PHOTOS: Memorable red carpet moments
VIDEO: Go behind the scenes with the awards contenders
THE ENVELOPE: Awards insider