After ‘Parasite’ and ‘Roma,’ What Can the Oscars International Race Do for an Encore?


On the heels of two of the most successful non-English films in Oscar history, the category is facing a year of production halts and theater closings

These should be the best of times for the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category. After all, last year’s winner, “Parasite,” went on to win additional Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. The year before, “Roma” won in the category that was then called Best Foreign Language Film, then added Best Director and Best Cinematography awards.

With the Academy adding more members outside the United States every year, the international category is becoming more and more of a powerhouse. But can it continue that clout this year, when production and exhibition has been curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and there may well be fewer entries than usual? And regardless of the number of entries, is there anything out there that feels like the next “Roma” or “Parasite”?

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Steve Pond

Awards Editor • • Twitter: @stevepond