CULTURE

Counting down to Oscar night

With just hours to go before the curtains go up on Sunday at Hollywood?s Kodak Theater for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, Greek film buffs are waiting with bated breath to see whether Yorgos Lanthimos will walk away from the event grasping an Oscar in his hand.

Greece?s first nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category since Michael Cacoyannis?s 1977 tragic «Iphigenia,» Lanthimos?s 2009 psychological thriller «Dogtooth» is competing against «Biutiful,» Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu?s 2010 entry from Mexico, starring Javier Bardem; Danish filmmaker and 2007 Oscar nominee (for «After the Wedding”) Susanne Bier?s «In a Better World;» Canadian Denis Villeneuve?s adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad?s play «Incendies» and Algerian Rachid Bouchareb?s «Hors-la-loi» (Outside the Law), which chronicles the Algerian struggle for independence from France in the aftermath of World War II.

The jury may still be out, but the buzz from Oscar-watchers and pundits has pegged «In a Better World,» which already boasts a Golden Globe, as the favorite to win the award, with «Buitiful» as the dark horse.

But, predictions are not an exact science and some are saying that the events in North Africa may tip the jury toward «Outside the Law» or that Greece?s ongoing economic woes and the efforts of its artists to weather the storm and continue making award-worthy films may influence the panel to cast its vote for the thriller, which wowed critics, and their jury, at Cannes.