The Oscars go global

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the Academy Awards this morning. The Oscars will be announced with all the usual hoopla on Feb. 25, but one winner is already clear: internationalism in film. For best supporting actor, we’ve got an actor from Benin playing a miner in Sierra Leone ...

604605_academyAward_15.jpg
604605_academyAward_15.jpg

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the Academy Awards this morning. The Oscars will be announced with all the usual hoopla on Feb. 25, but one winner is already clear: internationalism in film. For best supporting actor, we've got an actor from Benin playing a miner in Sierra Leone (Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond). For best supporting actress, there's a Mexican and Japanese pair of co-stars (Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi in Babel), as well as an Australian playing a Brit (Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal). For best actor, we've got two Americans playing Africans (Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond and Forrest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland), plus a Brit (Peter O'Toole in Venus). Those looking for an Oscar for pseudo-Kazakh prankster Sacha Baron Cohen will be disappointed; the best the genius behind Borat could muster was a nomination for best adapted screenplay. And for best actress, there are three Brits (Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren in The Queen, and Kate Winslet, playing an American in Little Children) and a Spaniard (Penelope Cruz in Volver). And what about the grand prize, best picture? Well, The Queen is about British royalty after the death of Diana. Letters from Iwo Jima is in Japanese, but is directed by the quintessential American, Clint Eastwood. And Babel, the most international of them all, was helmed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and filmed in four countries in English, Berber, Spanish, Japanese, and Japanese sign language. Kinda makes you wish Esperanto had taken off.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the Academy Awards this morning. The Oscars will be announced with all the usual hoopla on Feb. 25, but one winner is already clear: internationalism in film. For best supporting actor, we’ve got an actor from Benin playing a miner in Sierra Leone (Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond). For best supporting actress, there’s a Mexican and Japanese pair of co-stars (Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi in Babel), as well as an Australian playing a Brit (Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal). For best actor, we’ve got two Americans playing Africans (Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond and Forrest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland), plus a Brit (Peter O’Toole in Venus). Those looking for an Oscar for pseudo-Kazakh prankster Sacha Baron Cohen will be disappointed; the best the genius behind Borat could muster was a nomination for best adapted screenplay. And for best actress, there are three Brits (Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren in The Queen, and Kate Winslet, playing an American in Little Children) and a Spaniard (Penelope Cruz in Volver). And what about the grand prize, best picture? Well, The Queen is about British royalty after the death of Diana. Letters from Iwo Jima is in Japanese, but is directed by the quintessential American, Clint Eastwood. And Babel, the most international of them all, was helmed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and filmed in four countries in English, Berber, Spanish, Japanese, and Japanese sign language. Kinda makes you wish Esperanto had taken off.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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