Comment From Indira: Could there be an overhaul to the Foreign Language award to get better movies into consideration?
Richard Brody: Absolutely; first, the initial nominations shouldn't be made by the official cinema organizations of each country; foreign films should be nominated here, among films released, by an Academy board that sees lots of them.
David Denby: As you probably know, each country submits a film, which no doubt reflects political as well as commercial considerations. Funny that the Iranian authorities are both pleased by the success of “A Separation” and afraid of it in some way. They are so screwed up.
Richard Brody: Exactly; it makes it impossible for a film that's in political opposition to the regime ever getting nominated from many countries. I can think of some Iranian films that are even better than “A Separation” that would never, ever get past the local governing body
David Denby: I don't think the Iranians will nominate Panahi's “This Is Not a Film,” which he shot under house arrest.
Richard Brody: “This Is Not a Film” is at the head of the list.