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Israeli film 'Foxtrot' snubbed as 90th Oscar nominations announced

The Oscars -- set for March 4 -- are the climax of Hollywood's awards season
Christopher Polk (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File)
The Mexican film "The Shape of Water" dominated the competition

The highly acclaimed Israeli film "Foxtrot", which was named last month as one of the nine films on the Oscar's shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film, did not make the cut on Tuesday as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its final list of nominees in all Oscar categories.

The five films nominated for the best foreign language category are: "A Fantastic Woman" (Chile), "The Insult" (Lebanon), "Loveless" (Russia), "On Body and Soul" (Hungary), and "The Square" (Sweden).

The Academy Awards will take place in Hollywood on March 4th, 2018.

Foxtrot, which is a three-act tale hinging on the death of an Israeli soldier, has been harshly criticized by the Culture Minister Miri Regev's for portraying the military in a negative light while having received public funding under the previous culture minister.

"It's astounding that Israeli artists are contributing to incitement of the younger generation against the most moral army in the world by spouting lies . . . These are the films that put win in the sails of the BDS organization and to the oppressors of Israel all over the world and win the applause of our enemies," Regev said in a statement at the time of the film's release.

In an interview Tuesday on Israel's Army Radio, Regev reveled in the academy's oversight of the film.

"Not only am I happy that "Foxtrot" did not make it into the Oscars, the decision avoids a great deal of frustration [if it had won]," Regev said.

Antonin THUILLIER (AFP)

"A film that harms the name of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF], presents Israeli soldiers as murderers and harms the good name of the army, cannot represent Israel," she added.

"I could create a (story of) horrible crime in the Israeli police and nobody would say (anything),”Foxtrot's director Samuel Maoz told AP. “But if you touch the army, this is very, very sensitive."

Foxtrot won the Venice Film Festival's Silver Lion award, second only to the Golden Lion, which was awarded this year to Mexican Director Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water",

Maoz's previous film, "Lebanon", won the the Golden Lion award back in 2009 but also failed to be nominated for an Oscar.

The Shape of Water, which also dominated the Oscar competition, is a Cold War-set love story between a mute cleaning woman and a mystery merman-like creature.

"Dunkirk" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" also led the pack in this year's Oscar nominations.

- Female filmmakers recognized -

The 7,000-plus voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences managed to remember this year that women make movies too.

Greta Gerwig, recognized for "Lady Bird," is only the fifth female best director nominee, and the first since Kathryn Bigelow won for "The Hurt Locker" in 2010.

Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS (AFP/File)

Rachel Morrison, the director of photography on "Mudbound," is the first woman to receive a nomination for cinematography.

- Long live Queen Meryl -

Meryl Streep increases her lead as the most nominated performer in history with her 21st nod for Steven Spielberg's "The Post."

Her three wins were for "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979), "Sophie's Choice" (1982) and "The Iron Lady" (2011).

- All hail the maestro -

John Williams adds to his record number of music scoring nominations with his 46th for "Star Wars: The last Jedi."

His overall total of 51 nominations -- including five for original song -- is the most for any living person, and second only to Walt Disney at 59.

- Kobe Bryant: Oscars MVP? -

Basketballer Kobe Bryant, an 18-time NBA all-star, is an Oscar nominee thanks to his collaboration with artist Glen Keane and composer John Williams for the short "Dear Basketball."

ELSA (Getty/AFP/Archives)

"What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination," Bryant, 39, tweeted following the announcement.

- Additional snubs and surprises -

Among this year's big snubs were Golden Globes nominees Armie Hammer ("Call Me by Your Name") and Hong Chau ("Downsizing"), as well as "Wonder Woman," which didn't get a single nomination.

"Mudbound" and "The Big Sick" were conspicuously absent from the best picture category, though they received other nominations.

Steven Spielberg ("The Post") and Martin McDonagh ("Three Billboards") were both left out of the best director category, despite helming two of the most acclaimed movies of the year.

On the other side of the coin, Denzel Washington picked up a surprise 8th nomination for acting, expanding his own record as the most-nominated black actor in Oscars history. He has won twice, for "Glory" and "Training Day."

Washington also has a nomination for best picture for "Fences," which he directed and co-produced.

(Staff with AFP)

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