I was delighted this evening to read that Norway has chosen the wonderful O'Horten to represent them in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. The film by Bent Hamer, which I (sorta) reviewed a couple of months back, definitely gets the funny bone working with it's dry Scandinavian humour and features a wonderful lead performance by Bård Owe. It's definitely a film I'll be hoping gets a nomination. O'Horten alread has an early-2009 release date slotted in so they're obviously thinking it could go the distance to a nomination.
Some of the other titles selected by their respective countries are recently-released animated docu-drama Waltz with Bashir (Israel), Cannes-winners The Class (France) and Three Monkeys (Turkey), Inuit drama The Necessities of Life (Canada), Uli Edel's The Baader Meinhof Complex (previously discussed here) and road trip comedy Dunya and Desie (The Netherlands). The full list (so far) is available at Hollywood Reporter.
I am wondering if Australia will submit anything like they have for the past two years (albeit without success). The only film in a language other than English that I can think of is Benjamin Gilmour's Son of a Lion, which was filmed in Pakistan and has quietly made a bit of pocket change for the incredibly independent movie of a gunmaker and his son.