Oscars Predictions: Best International Feature – Can ‘Drive My Car’ Become the Eighth Film Nominated for International and Best Picture?

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The glaring snub of France’s “Titane” from Julia Ducournau, who became the second woman ever to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, isn’t that surprising, but rather disheartening. It was a divisive film among many, and it was assumed that the film would be a difficult sell to Academy members but was expected to make the shortlist.

Two films that tied for second place at Cannes did make the shortlist – Iran’s “A Hero” from Asghar Farhadi and Finland’s “Compartment No. 6” from Juho Kuosmanen. Both have the backing of Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Classics respectively and should be able to keep them in the conversation.

The surge for Japan’s “Drive My Car” from Ryûsuke Hamaguchi is palpable, bringing into the conversation in major categories like best picture, director and adapted screenplay. Seven films have been recognized for both picture and international feature: “Z” (1969), “The Emigrants” (1971/72), “Life is Beautiful” (1998), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Amour” (2012), “Roma” (2018), and “Parasite” (2019). Besides “Parasite” being the only one to win best picture prize, “The Emigrants” is the only film to receive its two nominations in separate years. In addition, it lost the international feature prize, then called best foreign language. It brings about a question for the three-hour Japanese film that’s won the top prize at Los Angeles and New York Film Critics – if nominated for best picture, could Japan feasibly lose the international award?

Four of the films on the shortlist are helmed by women (“Playground,” “I’m Your Man,” “Hive” and “Prayers for the Stolen”). In addition, there are three countries making entry onto the shortlist for the first time — Bhutan, Kosovo and Panama. The latter was the big surprise on the list with “Plaza Catedral.”

The list included the usual suspects among pundits and analysts, which had “Flee,” the only crossover from the documentary race, and the first film in history to be eligible in animated, doc and international (“Waltz With Bashir” was disqualified from documentary in its respective year). It’s widely expected that the Denmark entry (which won last year with “Another Round”) will be nominated in all three while also making a play for best picture with the help of Neon, the distributor of the aforementioned “Parasite.” The distributor is also behind Norway’s “The Worst Person in the World” from Joachim Trier, which I suspect is the most accessible for all members to watch, and could feasibly be the spoiler in the category.

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022.

Precursor Awards Leader: “Drive My Car” (Japan)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2021-2022) – coming soon
Awards Season Calendar

. - Credit: Courtesy of Neon
. - Credit: Courtesy of Neon

Courtesy of Neon

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

FILM

COUNTRY

DIRECTOR

1

“The Worst Person in the World”

Norway*

Joachim Trier

2

“Drive My Car”

Japan*

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

3

“Flee”

Denmark*

Jonas Poher Rasmussen

4

“I’m Your Man”

Germany*

Maria Schrader

5

“Hive”

Kosovo*

Blerta Basholli

NEXT IN LINE

6

“A Hero”

Iran*

Asghar Farhadi

7

“Compartment No. 6”

Finland*

Juho Kuosmanen

8

“The Hand of God”

Italy*

Paolo Sorrentino

9

“Prayers for the Stolen”

Mexico*

Tatiana Huezo

10

“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”

Bhutan*

Pawo Choyning Dorji

ALSO IN CONTENTION

11

“Playground”

Belgium*

Laura Wandel

12

“The Good Boss”

Spain*

Fernando León de Aranoa

13

“Great Freedom”

Austria*

Sebastian Meise

14

“Plaza Catedral”

Panama*

Abner Benaim

15

“Lamb”

Iceland*

Valdimar Jóhannsson

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (International Feature)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Italy is the most winning country in the category’s history, with France right behind.

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022

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