You know it’s an uphill battle when the competition is also nominated in the Best Picture category!
Austria’s “Amour” surprised absolutely no one by winning the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award on Sunday night, beating out Canada’s “War Witch” (“Rebelle”) and nominees from Denmark, Chile, and Norway. With nominations in several other Oscar categories (including Best Actress for Emmanuelle Riva and Best Director for Michael Haneke), “Amour” was considered the frontrunner in the international category from the get go.
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This meant that an Oscar win for “War Witch” was always a long shot, but as the old saying goes, it’s an honour to even be nominated. Filmed mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, “War Witch” follows a 14-year-old child soldier and mother-to-be (Rachel Mwanza) as she recounts her life story to her unborn baby. The movie was selected as Canada's official Oscar selection over another Quebecois film, Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways."
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Montreal director Kim Nguyen’s film is only the sixth Canadian movie to ever be nominated for the Best Foreign Language prize, and the third consecutive Canuck nominee in the category following 2011’s “Monsieur Lazhar” and 2010’s “Incendies.” Denys Arcand’s 2003 film “The Barbarian Invasions” was the last Canadian movie to take home the Best Foreign Language Oscar. There's always next year, Canada!