It is strange when a film of high acclaim such as that of Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color manages to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes, yet has failed to clear one hurdle. Thanks to ordinarywiseguy on Tumblr for bringing it to my attention, I have become aware that while I speculated the film's actual Oscar chances (and technically, there are still some), it turns out that due to one small loophole, the film has become ineligible for the Best Foreign Film nomination. It all has to do with a release date.
The intriguing thing that could have happened with Blue is the Warmest Color is that provided in a hypothetical situation, it could have followed in the footsteps of last year's Best Foreign Film winner Amour and won the category as well as the coveted Palme d'Or. In fact, there was speculation that it was going to take it. A film with this much buzz and praise is bound to just win on recognition alone, even if it wasn't the greatest foreign film this year. On a consolation note, it is still eligible for a Golden Globe, but comparatively that isn't much.
The reasons are simple. According to the Academy Awards rules and regulations, Best Foreign Film entrees can only be accepted if they opened before September in their home countries in wide release. Yes, it played at Cannes and there was talk of it playing a small run in the city that it was shot in, but according to Kecihiche, they had a great release date that they didn't want to mess with. Opening on October 9, the date was clearly past the qualification date and thus makes it ineligible for this year's ceremony. Theoretically, it could come back next year, but assumptions should keep in mind potential other contenders for France to nominate.
Despite this surefire win being stripped, the film isn't out of the race just yet. As stated in a recent post, Adele Exarchopolous has gotten some traction in the Best Actress category as well as the script in Best Adapted Screenplay. Even then, the contenders who dominate the field already look too strong to sway voters to go with the Cannes winner. It may just end up going overlooked, which isn't the worst thing, as it at least has earned a top prize in the realm of world cinema and potential win at the Golden Globes.
This is old news and I apologize for not realizing it upon initial write-ups of Blue is the Warmest Color. I want to make it clear that I do not know all of the rules that goes into how a film can be considered and thus was unaware of the September deadline. With that said, I am still unsure of what this year's Best Foreign Film category looks like and probably won't until a list is revealed. I hope to cover a broader array of topics, but due to lack of knowledge, I am proving that I have to be careful.