Great job by Deepa Mehta. Her movie, Water, a Canadian entry under the "Best Foreign Language Film" category, is nominated for an Oscar.
This movie was brilliant in many ways. First, it showed how strict, fundamentalist and literal interpretation of religious texts is a danger to human civilization's progress. Second, it cast a light on discrimination that many Indians face in India even today.
Second, rather than disparage India, it cast her in a more progressive light as Gandhi is shown as a religious man who is also liberal. Mehta's statement that "water is good only when it's flowing, and stagnant water is a danger", is so apt and true.
What are the chances of its win?
It's a tough question to answer. The Academy is mostly white and India is big now, so rewarding Water might be seen as a slap to India's face.
Its first rival, Days of Glory, is a good movie that already had one practical result - the picture has shamed the French government into granting pension increases to Algerian soldiers who fought for the French before being discarded by them. The Academy also loves movies about war and its aftermaths.
After the Wedding is more of a personal/family drama type of movie. It also has part of its setting in India, but is mostly about a Danish person. I would be surprised if this won. It's a good film, but not that good.
The Lives of Others is a German movie, set before the fall of the Berlin wall, about a spy, the lives he spies upon and how he becomes involved. Just like many European movies it has lots of closet sex, dark and gritty scenes and a slow narration. Maybe some members of the Academy might vote for this movie to send a message to the current US administration about spying and civil rights.
The final rival is Pan's Labyrinth, a Mexican movie. Another war movie. Latin setting. Won lots of awards at Film Festivals. Could just sneak this one too.