The Foreign Film category in the Golden Globes could be a major indicator of what the final Oscar contenders could be. This battle really comes down to two films, though the remaining three could pull a surprise upset.
Amour (Austria, Directed by Michael Haneke)
Austria's film tells the story of an elderly couple whose relationship is put to the test when one suffers a stroke and the other must become her full-time caretaker. Michael Haneke's film has won a plethora of praise and has won an astounding 11 best foreign film awards from numerous critics circles including the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review. If that figure is not impressive enough, the film has been award the best picture of the year award by two critics circles including the Los Angeles Film Critics and European Film Award which makes an even better case for the film than the 11 best foreign film wins. The 2012 Palme D'Or winner has already been selected as one of the top nine foreign films in contention for an Oscar nomination. Haneke has never received a Golden Globe nomination.
A Royal Affair (Denmark, Directed by Nicolaj Arcel)
The Danish romance tells the story of a triangle between the Queen of Denmark, her deranged husband, and a German doctor. The film stars up and coming actress Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelsen and has been shortlisted as one of the top nine foreign films competing for the Oscar. Since it was released in 2012, it is also eligible for all categories at the Oscars. It has not won any precursor awards and is likely not in major contention to win the award.
The Intouchables (France, Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano)
The first of two French films tells the story of a wealthy man who hires a black Muslim ex-con as his caretaker. The film has been a major hit on the awards circuit with six foreign film victories. It has also been shortlisted on the top nine foreign films competing at the Oscars. If any film will defeat "Amour," it will be this film.
Kon-Tiki (Norwary/UK/Denmark, Directed by Joachinning and Espen Sandberg)
The film dramatized the 1947 voyage of Thor Heyerdahl. The film has received relatively little buzz up to this point. However, it was shortlisted as one of the top nine Foreign Films at the Oscars and could be a surprise winner at the Globes.
Rust and Bone (France, Directed by Jacques Audiard)
The second French film on this list is also the only one not to get shortlisted for the top foreign film at the Oscars. However, the film's exclusion from that list is mainly due to the fact that each country picks one film to submit and since France chose to go with The Intouchables, "Rust and Bone" was excluded. However, the film will see a nomination for Actress Marion Cotillard which could propel it to Golden Globe victory. Since the Hollywood Foreign Press likes stars, then it is a huge possibility that Marion Cotillard's stardom propels this film in the voters' eyes. This film is the wildcard.
Prediction: Logic dictates that "Amour" is the clear cut front-runner, but "Rust and Bone" could potentially take the win. "Rust and Bone" has not won a single precursor and the Globes generally pick the film leading the pack in precursor victories. Expect Michael Haneke to take the win.