Foreign Filmmakers Win Big at the 87th Annual Academy Awards

International filmmakers and performers took home awards in more than ten categories at the 87th annual Academy Awards. Although the Oscar is an American award, it is known around the world as the ultimate achievement in film excellence.

Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) walked away with the most statuettes after being recognized for best picture, director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, original screenplay, and cinematography; the film was also nominated for best actor, Michael Keaton, best supporting actor, Edward Norton, best supporting actress, Emma Stone, best sound editing, and best sound mixing. Iñárritu, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, personally took home three oscars for his work on the film, his first ever academy wins.

Australian actress Kate Blanchett presented the oscar for best actor in a leading role to English actor Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne received the only award of the night for The Theory of Everything; however, the film was also nominated for several other awards with international contenders. English actress Felicity Jones was nominated for best actress; New Zealand writer Anthony McCarten contended for best adapted screenplay; Jóhann Jóhannsson of Iceland was nominated for best original score. The film was also nominated for best picture.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, a Wes Anderson creation filmed in Germany, won four awards of its nine nominations. French-Greek composer Alexandre Desplat was honored for best original score, while Milena Canonero of Italy won the Oscar for best costume design, her fourth win and ninth nomination. In the category of best film editing, British editor Barney Pilling lost out for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel to Tom Cross for Whiplash. The film was also nominated for best picture, best director, best original screenplay, and best cinematography.

In the category for best foreign language film, Ida was awarded the Oscar. The Polish film uses Polish, French and Latin to tell the story of a woman in the 1960s who discovers her family’s past after leaving the orphanage she grew up in. The film was directed by Poland native Paweł Pawlikowski and written by Paweł British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Ida also stars a Polish cast, including Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska. The remaining nominees in the category were Leviathan (Russia, Russian language), Tangerines (Estonia, Estonian language), Timbuktu (Mauritania, French language), and Wild Tales (Argentina, Spanish language).

Mat Kirkby and James Lucas took home the award for The Phone Call, a UK short film, for the best live-action short film category. The additional four nominees were also foreign imports, Aya (France/Israel), Boogaloo and Graham (UK), Butter Lamp (France/China, Tibetan language), and Parvaneh (Switzerland, German language).

International nominees were also recognized in several prominent categories.

The Imitation Game, a UK film loosely based on the life of Alan Turing, was nominated for eight awards including best picture. Among the nominees were actor Benedict Cumberbatch and actress Keira Knightly, both of English descent. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum was also nominated for best director for the film.

Felicity Jones was among three actresses nominated for their performances in a leading role. Rosamund Pike, also from England, was nominated for her turn in Gone Girl, and French actress Marion Cotillard was recognized for her work in the French language film Two Days, One Night. Previously Cotillard famously won her first Oscar for La Vie En Rose, another French film.

Many other talented international filmmakers were recognized for their work at this year’s ceremony— see the full list here!

Kate Joseph

Kate Joseph

Kate is a junior at Simmons College in Boston, Mass., studying Communications with a focus in Journalism and Media Arts. She can’t stop watching stand up comedy and adding an unrealistic amount of books to her ever growing “to read” list. In her spare time she likes to go kayaking, explore new places and make videos. She hopes to pursue a career that combines her passion for writing, film and global equality.

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