In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, the headlines coming out of this year’s Oscar nominations were inevitably going to focus on the prevalence – or lack thereof – of persons of color. There was therefore much to celebrate when this year’s nominations featured an unusually diverse slate. Particularly in the acting categories, it was a pleasant surprise to see a record-breaking six black actors receiving nods.
Related to this push for inclusion was another significant nomination in the form of Isabelle Huppert. With her Best Actress nod for “Elle,” she became one of only 33 foreign language performances to be nominated in the 89-year history of the Academy Awards. And if she were to pull off the upset, she would join an elite group of only five winners.
Suffice it to say, the Academy’s collective taste tends to favor English-language performers. But it’s certainly not for a lack of deserving candidates. Indeed, when you look back on the history of world cinema, you’ll find that some of the most iconic performances were given in languages other than English. But even when the precursors have offered up contenders, they’ve often fallen short at the last hurdle. In this article, we’ve highlighted some of these instances where the Academy snubbed worthy contenders in foreign cinema.
Here are 10 Great Foreign Language Performances Overlooked by Oscar: