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Oscars: 'A Separation,' 'Footnote' top foreign language film nominees

January 24, 2012 |  5:49 am

A Separation

Iran's "A Separation," from director Asghar Farhadi, topped the list of nominees for the foreign-language film Oscar early Tuesday morning. Competing against the acclaimed movie about a couple's unraveling marriage at the 84th Academy Awards will be Belgium's "Bullhead," from director Michael R. Roskam, Canada's "Monsieur Lazhar," from director Philippe Falardea, Israel's "Footnote," from director Joseph Cedar, and Poland's "In Darkness," from director Agnieszka Holland.

"A Separation" is considered the favorite in the category. The film, which nabbed a Golden Globe last week, centers on a couple who must decide whether to leave Iran to offer their child a better life, or stay to take care of an ailing parent. The film has been universally embraced by critics: It currently has a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You can read Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan's review here.


"Footnote" also scored well with critics when it bowed at the Toronto and Cannes film festivals last year. The film tells the story of father-and-son Talmudic scholars in Israel and the rivalry that sprouts up between them. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in March. SPC also will release "In Darkness" in February. The Polish film centers on Nazi-occupied Poland and one man's efforts to hide a group of Jews in the sewer. It played for a one-week awards-qualifying run last year.

Drafthouse Films will release Belgium's "Bullhead" later this year, while Canada's “Monsieur Lazhar” will be released by Music Box Films in April, or possibly earlier now that the film has earned an Oscar nomination.

The Oscars will be handed out Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the ceremony, which veteran Billy Crystal will host.

-- Gina McIntyre and Nicole Sperling


And the nominees are...

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Photo: Leila Hatami and Peyman Moadi in "A Separation." Credit: Sony Pictures Classics