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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 10:14 GMT
Crouching Tiger leads Oscars assault
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from acclaimed Taiwanese director Ang Lee
A record number of countries have entered movies for the Oscar for best foreign language film.

Forty-six countries will compete for the Academy Award, which was won last year by Spain's Pedro Almodovar, for his film All About My Mother.

One of the early favourites is Ang Lee's film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, starring Chow Yun Fat.

Ang Lee is best known for his Oscar-winning movie of the Jane Austen classic novel Sense and Sensibility.

Almodovar's All About My Mother
Almodovar's All About My Mother was last year's winner

His new movie is set in early 19th Century China. The film marks Lee's first Chinese-language feature since 1994's Eat Drink Man Woman.

It tells the romantic, martial arts saga of two women whose fates are intertwined with a subplot of undeclared love.

Another hot contender for the Oscar is Amores Perros by Mexican director Alenjandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

The movie won the Grand Prix de la Semaine internationale de la critique at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

France's entry is Le Goût des Autres by Agnes Jaoui.

Other countries submitting films so far include Argentina, India, Denmark, Italy and Norway and Yugoslavia.

The previous highest number of foreign films in contention at the annual Academy Awards was 45, set in 1994 and equalled last year.

The Academy stipulates that submitted movies must be made mainly in a language or languages other than English.

It also says that foreign films should have been in commercial circulation in their countries for at least seven days between November 1999 and 31 October 2000.

Shortlisted nominees will be announced on 14 February 2001 and the Oscars ceremony will be held at LA's Shrine Auditorium on 21 March.

See also:

31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
17 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Missing Oscars' new plot twist
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