The news just came in that Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem in a career-best performance – co-written and directed Alejandro Gonz√°lez I√±√°rritu,was just chosen as Mexico’s official entry to the foreign language Oscar race.

Biutiful was one of the best films I saw at Cannes this year. Most bloggers were down on it, unfortunately, which caused me to freak out and act like a bitch on Twitter (“sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.”) One tends to feel defensive of films they loved, and Biutiful was one of those to me. It reminded me of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez short story, so strange and mysterious it was. This news means there’s a much better chance the film will make an appearance at this year’s Oscars. Bardem is sure to get some notice for his performance.

No one compiles as thorough a list as Nathaniel Rogers every year for foreign language submissions. He’s put them up, many of them with posters, for your reference:

Albania to France
Germany to the Netherlands
Norway to Vietnam

Nathaniel has also compiled a short list of foreign films he thinks will be nominated and I think I agree 100% on his police work, Lou.

Of Gods and Men – France
Biutiful – Mexico
Incendies – Canada
Sons of Babylon – Iraq
Life Above All – South Africa

Dominik tips us to Germany’s announcement of its choice for Oscar submission, Die Fremde (When We Leave).

Umay is a young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life in Germany against the resistance of her family. Her struggle initiates a dynamic, which results in a life-threatening situation.

(Low-quality video with sketchy hand-made English subs, after the cut.)

Continue reading…

(Official trailer in Hungarian but for those of us who don’t speak Hungarian there are subtitles in Czech.)

In order to regain custody of her daughter, whom she left in the care of her fortune-telling aunt, Mona must tell a social worker her story. The tale she spins—and the movie we watch—is a wild, surreal adventure in which people are able to project and enter each other’s dreams, and our heroine is sold into slavery and lands in a swank, debauched Liverpool brothel where the patrons enact their literary/sexual fantasies with Lolita, St. Joan, and Desdemona. Rendered with dazzling tracking shots, striking CGI effects and a pulsing soundtrack, Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu’s risk-taking fantasia has style to spare. But under the seductive surface lurks the very human story of a woman who uses fantasy to cushion the pain of life.

Szabolcs Hajdu’s Berlin Forum title Bibliotheque Pascal is Hungary’s submission for the Academy Award for best foreign language film. Clip (in English) after the cut.

Continue reading…

Sign In


Reset Your Password

Email Newsletter