It's time for my annual rant against the rules behind the Best Foreign Language film Oscar category. As it stands, each country may submit a single film to the foreign film committee, and each film must come from a single country. No international productions, like Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, are allowed. (Although recently, the rules were changed so that multiple languages within a film are allowed. Ugh.) Also, if one country has produced two standout films, as Taiwan did in 2000 (with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Yi Yi), one of them is disqualified.
This makes it easy on the committee, as they really only have to consider a predetermined pile of films, and needn't bother doing any reading or research or going out to the movies to see anything that falls outside their little boundaries. But two things end up happening. Firstly, each movie submitted tends to be something that can properly "represent" its country, with very little room for negative or outrageous portrayals or anything personal from a unique filmmaker. Thus, something bland like The Chorus represented France in 2004 rather than the much more interesting films Kings and Queen or The Intruder.