Live Poll: Oscar Doesn't Always Speak English

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  • Updated 2 months ago
  • (Edited)
This year, for the 2019 Academy Awards, two actors (Yalitza Aparicioand Marina de Tavira, both from 'Roma') were nominated for their performances, in which they speak languages other than English. This has happened 34 times before and seven of those actors, speaking languages supposedly foreign to the Oscars, have won. Of these seven winning performances, which one do you think was most deserving of the Oscar?

List: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls045813784/
Live Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/jFKKfYcv7_Y/
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Posted 3 months ago

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leavey-2

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albstein

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Oh, that's so hard to decide. When in doubt, De Niro, lol.

Sicilian is listed as one of the two languages in The Godfather - Part II on Wikipedia. There is also an article which makes the point that Sicilian is a language separate from Italian and google results lean towards this notion as well.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Do you know if he spoke Italian or Sicilian, or perhaps both? So far, I haven't found a reliable source that specifies. 

I love "when in doubt, De Niro," and I could use that as a mantra, practically, lol. 
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albstein

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This is one of the rare instances when the German Wikipedia article is more exhaustive than the English one. I translate: "The predominant part of Robert De Niro's lines were Sicilian, a language he did not understand". This trivia item references an American book.

The English article on De Niro mentions, "De Niro became the first actor to win an Academy Award speaking mainly a foreign language. In this case, several Sicilian dialects [...]".

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urbanemovies

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FYI, the Wikipedia article NON-ENGLISH OSCAR ACTING NOMINATIONS has limited language citations, as many of these performances were multi-lingual. Wikipedia predominately cites them as given in a single foreign language. Therefore, it maybe a bit misleading or inaccurate to consider the source comprehensive.

Also, IMDb TRIVIA corroborates albstein as "Robert De Niro spent four months learning to speak the Sicilian dialect in order to play Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather: Part II'. Nearly all of the dialogue that his character speaks in the film was in Sicilian. I can recall a few words that were spoken in English by the character in the film.

These other characters also had a handful of lines or even less in other languages.

1) depending which side of the border and nationality of who he is interacting with
Benicio Del Toro (as Javier Rodriguez), speaking Spanish and English, in 'Traffic'

2 )limited conversations with Dottor Lessing @ hotel and concentration camp in German and English and in German with NAZI prison guards
Roberto Benigni (as Guido), speaking Italian, German and English, in 'Life Is Beautiful'

3) a few English words
Marion Cotillard (as Edith Piaf), speaking French and a few words in English, in 'La Vie en Rose'
Marlee Matlin (as Sarah), speaking American Sign Language and a few words in English, in 'Children of a Lesser God'
Robert De Niro (as Vito Corleone), speaking Sicilian and a few words in English, in 'The Godfather: Part II'
(Edited)
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SeventhAr7

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Great poll.
For me it's hard to decide between Waltz's performance and De Niro's performance.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Thank you. And yeah, I know what you mean: I'm having a tough time between Waltz, De Niro, and Cotillard. I have an outside reason that's leaning me toward, De Niro, though: A band from the UK, Bananarama, has an old song called "Robert De Niro's Waiting" and it's partly about him "talking Italian," lol. I made a poll about it a few years ago, actually. : )
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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I did not have to think about this one.
MM for Me
Marlee Matlin as Sarah speaking American Sign Language in Children of a Lesser God Best Actress in a Leading Role 1987

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ElM.

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Sorry Ruby, I knew this has been done before:
https://www.imdb.com/poll/Bn-BfwcnavI/results
Mmm not exactly the same actually...
(Edited)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Yeah, they're certainly similar, but Urb included non-verbal performances, as well, where no language is spoken. Jess also just reminded me that DiCaprio's performance included non-English languages. 
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Jessica, Champion

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FYC:
Leonardo DiCaprio speaks Pawnee, Arikara and English in The Revenant.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Thanks, Jess! 'Added. 
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Peter, Champion

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You should update "Of these seven winning performances" to "eight".

And your number of 35 nominees should probably be updated to at least 37:

The Academy has this list with 35 nominees, but it doesn't include Waltz or DiCaprio:
http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/Help...
(Edited)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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FYC
George C Scott spoke some french and all German Scenes were in German with English Subtitles
In Patton (1970)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066206/mediaviewer/rm433788928
Patton 1970
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066206/mediaviewer/rm1608194048
He and his aide seen here speak french together in another scene.
George C Scott and Paul Stevens in Patton 1970
Will try and find the scene photo. Will get back to ya.
Could not find it..............





(Edited)
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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Oh well, too late
Congrats RF76
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Peter, Champion

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How much of the performance is in other languages?

Presumably this list is based on roles where other languages are predominant to some degree?
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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I recall him speaking a few lines of French in the movie too, but it is very limited to two or three scenes. One line was "La das, la das, tojuor la das."  was to American commander, Lucian Truscott which translates into "Audacity, audacity, always audacity.".  I agree it should not be included in the poll options, as It is too common to list every character that speaks a single line or two in another language. Does Elvis saying "Aloha" in Blue Hawaii (1961) qualify his performance as multi-lingual too? I am sure there are plenty of Oscar-winning performances that would qualify if the bar is set that low.
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Ed Jones (XLIX)

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There was an extended scene also where they were speaking french for about two minutes.

Also I figured if Marlee Maitlin was in, that this would qualify. She was speaking ASL. There are 300 or so Distinct Signing Languages. The UK uses BSL which is different. So if the poll was that loose that English in sign was in................
??
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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i remember that scene too and i get your point, it's like Michael Stuhlbarg's Dr. Robert Hoffstetler Russian speaking scenes in The Shape of Water. i think that Patton was included in the film to demonstrate how educated and cultured George S. Patton was, as well as, to demonstrate how his character prided himself on being a "Renaissance man" . As a biographical movie, I think it was done to keep it accurate, both historically and in spirit, as he spoke English, French and German fluently, as well as, passable Spanish and Italian. i would still call it a token amount, when combined it amounts to no more than 4 minutes of screen time, in a movie that has a total running time of 172 minutes. But, i can see that ultimately being a judgement call on the authors part as to where to draw the line on how much is enough to qualify for the poll.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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urbanemovies

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??? Maria Elena Best Supporting Actress: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Won Academy Award, but is left off poll options. Penélope Cruz Best Supporting Actress Vicky Cristina Barcelona Vicky Cristina Barcelona English, Spanish


???? Eight answer options are listed in poll, but question asks: Of these seven winning performances, which one do you think was most deserving of the Oscar?

???? Can one speak nonverbally?, I think so too. But, I am perplexed what makes Marlee Matlin's character, Sarah Norman different from the three other ASL Oscar-winning character speakers (Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan, Belinda MacDonald) who aren't cited. Maybe, cite Marlee Matlin is to date the only deaf performer (and possibly only ASL fluent actor) to have won an Academy Award. Sorry, for the belated comments, just seeing this suggestion now.
(Edited)
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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