top ten films of the year then the Academy goes and snubs it completely, not just omitting it from the Best Foreign Language Film nominations, but bouncing it from the category's nine-title long short list altogether. There's usually one or two howlers every year in the categories with short list bake-offs and this snub definitely qualifies. I have little doubt the test of time is going to make this omission look increasingly boneheaded in the years to come.
Of course, it's poor form to write about snubs when I haven't seen all the short listed films but
A) If I waited around for all the foreign titles to find American distribution I would just now be discussing Pan's Labyrinth's competition, and
B) I find it nearly inconceivable that there are nine more compelling, powerful, stylistically alive entries this year that Naranjo's film. It deserved to have its name read at the ceremony and to reap all the free publicity that entails. I only hope that its reputation among cinephiles and its attention grabbing subject matter can propel it to wider viewership.
Of course, the sting of this snub was softened by the inclusion of Asghar Farhadi's brilliant A Separation on the short list. I can't stay too mad at any organization that is going to provide Farhadi an opportunity to take the stage in front of an international audience of millions (Separation can't lose, right? Right?)
And as long as we're on the subject, why not link to this while I still can:
A Separation for Best Picture!