By John H. Foote
In a move I applaud and have challenged for years the Academy has renamed their Best Foreign Language Film, altered the criteria slightly to include English language films from English speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and wherever English might be spoken.
The Foreign Language Oscar has been renamed Best International Feature Film.
In the past, great films from other countries have not been included among the nominees because a foreign language was not used. Thus brilliant films from Canada such as Away from Her (2007), The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz (1974), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Last Night (1998), and The Red Violin (1998) were snubbed. The brilliant Scottish film Trainspotting (1996) was ignored, as well as fine British cinema such as The Third Man (1949) and countless others.
Though many French, Inuit, and Hindi speaking films from Canada have been nominated for Foreign Language Film, no English speaking film, however deserved, has earned the honour. Great move Academy.
Seriously! Smart, inclusive move.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.