Israel bypassed in Oscars race


Israel is out, but a Polish Holocaust-related film is in, as movies from nine countries advanced on Nov. 19 in the Oscar race for best foreign-language film.

“Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem,” Israel’s entry, did not make the cut. The film depicts the five-year legal struggle of an Orthodox wife to obtain a divorce from her reluctant husband.

However, “Ida,” an early favorite, made the short list. The sparse but powerful Polish movie traces the evolution of a young novitiate in a Catholic convent who, about to take her vows, learns that she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed during the Holocaust.

Among other strong contenders are Russia’s “Leviathan,” in which a simple worker battles a corrupt city hall, and Sweden’s “Force Majeure,” depicting a happy family on a ski vacation that is confronted by an avalanche.

While such traditional cinematic power houses as France, Italy and Germany failed to qualify, outsiders Mauritania (“Timbuktu), Estonia (“Tangerines”) and Georgia (“Corn Island”) made the cut.

Rounding out the list of nine are Argentina (“Wild Tales”), Holland (“Accused”) and Venezuela (“The Liberator”).

The slate of nine nominees will be winnowed down to five finalists when the 87th Academy Award nominations are announced on Jan. 15.

Oscar winners will hoist their trophies on Feb. 22 in a glamorous Hollywood ceremony, televised to 225 countries and territories throughout the world.

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