If there has been one Academy Awards category which has continued to beguile, frustrate and confuse even the powers that be in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it's the best foreign language film.  Every year 65 countries or so submit their choices to complete for the prestigious award.  And while controversy surrounding a nation or two's choice is as predictable as Adam Sandler having another summer hit, who will actually win the award has turned not something of a "pick 'em" scenario. 

Over the last ten years, acclaimed films such as "Amelie," "Waltz with Bashir," "The White Ribbon" and "Hero" have lost out to films most Academy members would consider unworthy of the final prize.  However, the Academy's strict rules on only allowing those members who have seen all five nominees to vote continues to provide strange results (and to be fair, they have gotten it right at least half the time). 

This year's master submission list is full of well known pictures from the global film festival circuit including Canada's "Incendies," France's "Of Gods and Men," Greece's "Dogtooth," Mexico's "Biutiful" and Thailand's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives."  Will any of them even make the cut?  We'll find out on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m. PT.


* Albania, “East, West, East,” Gjergj Xhuvani, director;
* Algeria, “Hors la Loi” (“Outside the Law”), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
* Argentina, “Carancho,” Pablo Trapero, director;
* Austria, “La Pivellina,” Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, directors;
* Azerbaijan, “The Precinct,” Ilgar Safat, director;
* Bangladesh, “Third Person Singular Number,” Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director;
* Belgium, “Illegal,” Olivier Masset-Depasse, director;
* Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Circus Columbia,” Danis Tanovic, director;
* Brazil, “Lula, the Son of Brazil,” Fabio Barreto, director;
* Bulgaria, “Eastern Plays,” Kamen Kalev, director;
* Canada, “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve, director;
* Chile, “The Life of Fish,” Matias Bize, director;
* China, “Aftershock,” Feng Xiaogang, director;
* Colombia, “Crab Trap,” Oscar Ruiz Navia, director;
* Costa Rica, “Of Love and Other Demons,” Hilda Hidalgo, director;
* Croatia, “The Blacks,” Goran Devic and Zvonimir Juric, directors;
* Czech Republic, “Kawasaki’s Rose,” Jan Hrebejk, director;
* Denmark, “In a Better World,” Susanne Bier, director;
* Egypt, “Messages from the Sea,” Daoud Abdel Sayed, director;
* Estonia, “The Temptation of St. Tony,” Veiko Ounpuu, director;
* Ethiopia, “The Athlete,” Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew, directors;
* Finland, “Steam of Life,” Joonas Berghall and Mika Hotakainen, directors;
* France, “Of Gods and Men,” Xavier Beauvois, director;
* Georgia, “Street Days,” Levan Koguashvili, director;
* Germany, “When We Leave,” Feo Aladag, director;
* Greece, “Dogtooth,” Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
* Greenland, “Nuummioq,” Otto Rosing and Torben Bech, directors;
* Hong Kong, “Echoes of the Rainbow,” Alex Law, director;
* Hungary, “Bibliotheque Pascal,” Szabolcs Hajdu, director;
* Iceland, “Mamma Gogo,” Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, director;
* India, “Peepli [Live],” Anusha Rizvi, director;
* Indonesia, “How Funny (Our Country Is),” Deddy Mizwar, director;
* Iran, “Farewell Baghdad,” Mehdi Naderi, director;
* Iraq, “Son of Babylon,” Mohamed Al-Daradji, director;
* Israel, “The Human Resources Manager,” Eran Riklis, director;
* Italy, “La Prima Cosa Bella” (“The First Beautiful Thing”), Paolo Virzi, director;
* Japan, “Confessions,” Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
* Kazakhstan, “Strayed,” Akan Satayev, director;
* Korea, “A Barefoot Dream,” Tae-kyun Kim, director;
* Kyrgyzstan, “The Light Thief,” Aktan Arym Kubat, director;
* Latvia, “Hong Kong Confidential,” Maris Martinsons, director;
* Macedonia, “Mothers,” Milcho Manchevski, director;
* Mexico, “Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
* Netherlands, “Tirza,” Rudolf van den Berg, director;
* Nicaragua, “La Yuma,” Florence Jaugey, director;
* Norway, “The Angel,” Margreth Olin, director;
* Peru, “Undertow” (“Contracorriente”), Javier Fuentes-Leon, director;
* Philippines, “Noy,” Dondon S. Santos and Rodel Nacianceno, directors;
* Poland, “All That I Love,” Jacek Borcuch, director;
* Portugal, “To Die Like a Man,” Joao Pedro Rodrigues, director;
* Puerto Rico, “Miente” (“Lie”), Rafael Mercado, director;
* Romania, “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle,” Florin Serban, director;
* Russia, “The Edge,” Alexey Uchitel, director;
* Serbia, “Besa,” Srdjan Karanovic, director;
* Slovakia, “Hranica” (“The Border”), Jaroslav Vojtek, director;
* Slovenia, “9:06,” Igor Sterk, director;
* South Africa, “Life, above All,” Oliver Schmitz, director;
* Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”), Iciar Bollain, director;
* Sweden, “Simple Simon,” Andreas Ohman, director;
* Switzerland, “La Petite Chambre,” Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond, directors;
* Taiwan, “Monga,” Chen-zer Niu, director;
* Thailand, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul, director;
* Turkey, “Bal” (“Honey”), Semih Kaplanoglu, director;
* Uruguay, “La Vida Util,” Federico Veiroj, director;
* Venezuela, “Hermano,” Marcel Rasquin, director.