‘Bardo,’ ‘Close,’ ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ Make Oscars’ Entirely Predictable International Shortlist

New voting rules made it harder for dark horses to advance and helped almost all the favorites make the 15-film shortlist

Bardo False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
"Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths" . Netflix

Belgium’s “Close,” Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” South Korea’s “Decision to Leave” and Mexico’s “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” have made the 15-film shortlist in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars, the Academy announced Wednesday.

Other films on the list include movies from Argentina, Austria, Cambodia, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland and Sweden. The shortlisted films are from five different continents, with Pakistan making the list for the first time for “Joyland.”  

Three of the films – Austria’s “Corsage,” France’s “Saint Omer” and Morocco’s “The Blue Caftan” – are directed by women. Mexico’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu is the only director who has previously appeared on the shortlist or been nominated.

With voting taking place under a new system that favors the best-known films and makes it hard for dark horses to garner enough votes, the list was made up almost entirely of the films that were favorites going into the vote. The omission of Norway’s “War Sailor” was the biggest surprise, while Ukraine’s “Klondike” was another favorite that failed to make the list.

None of the films that were shortlisted could be considered surprises or dark horses.

Ninety-two films had qualified in the category, one short of the record. For voting, the films were separated into 11 different groups, with voters assigned to a group and required to see every one of the eight or nine films in that group in order for their vote to count. They were also allowed to see any films outside their group.

One of the groups ended up containing three shortlisted films, four contained two, four contained one and two did not have any movies that advanced.

A second round of voting that begins on Jan. 12 will narrow the 15 films down to the final five nominees. Only voters who have seen all 15 of the shortlisted films will be allowed to vote.

The films, in alphabetical order by country:

Argentina, “Argentina, 1985”
Austria, “Corsage”
Belgium, “Close”
Cambodia, “Return to Seoul”
Denmark, “Holy Spider”
France, “Saint Omer”
Germany, “All Quiet on the Western Front”
India, “Last Film Show”
Ireland, “The Quiet Girl”
Mexico, “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”
Morocco, “The Blue Caftan”
Pakistan, “Joyland”
Poland, “EO”
South Korea, “Decision to Leave”
Sweden, “Cairo Conspiracy”

The final Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, with the 95th Academy Awards airing on ABC on March 12, 2023.