OK, we know: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," which won the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and the awesome animated French movie "Persepolis," which won a jury prize at Cannes — neither film got shortlisted for the foreign film Oscar category. But you have to admit that the nominees announced today are a pretty good lot.
The best foreign film category saw a first-ever Oscar nomination for a movie from Kazakhstan, with "Mongol." Other nominees include
— Israeli director Joseph Cedar's "Beaufort," a captivating, stuffy war film
— Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky's "The Counterfeiters," which has gotten raves overseas
— Polish cinema god Andrzej Wajda's World War II episode, "Katyn"
— Nikita Mikhalkov's "12," from Russia
"Persepolis" co-director Marjane Satrapi told Reuters that she lost hope of getting any Oscar attention after the foreign-language category snub was announced more than a week ago, but she was relieved that her coming-of-age story set against the Iranian revolution was nominated this morning for best animated picture.
And judge for yourself whether the ripping of garments over "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" is worth it: The film opens at the Music Box on Feb. 8.