List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:38 pm

Perhaps at this point we should set this up under Nominations and Winners, but, to put a button on this thread, the shortened list:

Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, director
Germany, “In the Fade,” Fatih Akin, director;
Hungary, “On Body and Soul,” Ildikó Enyedi, director
Israel, “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz, director
Lebanon, “The Insult,” Ziad Doueiri, director
Russia, “Loveless,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director
Senegal, “Félicité,” Alain Gomis, director
South Africa, “The Wound,” John Trengove, director
Sweden, “The Square,” Ruben Ostlund, director

https://www.thewrap.com/oscars-forei...ntastic-woman/

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:12 pm

Not many here have mentioned the Lebanese entry The Insult. It was warmly received at Venice - where it also won the Best Actor award - and it has just come out in Italy, to very good reviews and unusually (for non-European, non-American movies) strong box-office results. I've seen it , it's good and I feel it could be appreciated and understood even by American viewers (and members of the Academy). A nomination wouldn't be impossible.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:32 am

Well, The Square picked up a swag of awards including Film & Actor which will make zero difference. Expect to see The Square make the shortlisted 9, likely make the nominated 5 and go no further.

The Hungarian film On Body and Soul one Best Actress.

Loveless won a couple of technical awards.

Anyway, it all here if you interested: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/europe ... 201905801/

Precious Doll wrote:Also forgot to mention that the European Film Award nominations were recently announced. Given that 2017 is one of the worst years for cinema ever the five film nominated for best film were not the least surprising. Rather depressing that each of the directors of the films have all made a better or better films in the past. They are the five best received in a tepid year:

Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Other Side of Hope (Finland)
The Square (Sweden)
120 BPM (France)

Prediction: On Body and Soul
My choice: The Square or Loveless but can live with The Other Side of Hope.

Link to nominations: http://deadline.com/2017/11/european-fi ... 202201849/
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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:09 pm

I wasn't as enraptured with Loveless to the extent that much of the critical community seems to be. It's certainly an entrancing experience visually -- Zvyagintsev has an eye for composition that's almost Bergman-esque, a gift that has been on display since The Return, and he creates a mood that's haunting and grim throughout. (The setting -- what feels like perpetual winter -- also helps.) And I see that many have interpreted the film as some kind of allegory for Russian politics/culture, given the way news plays such a prominent role in the film, and in obvious symbols (Russian flags, the track suit emblazoned with "Russia" on it). But I'm admittedly not as well-versed in contemporary (well, 2012) Russian politics to really connect with that subtext...and for me the text just wasn't as engaging as it seems to have been for others. The initial conflict between the lovers felt pretty generic -- I feel like I've watched that marriage dissolve many times before. I found myself considerably more invested once the procedural plot kicked in, but even there I didn't think this was any exemplary treatment of the genre -- the plotting is pretty simple/linear. And while the ending has its antecedents in earlier films (some of which I've genuinely loved), it felt unsatisfying for me here, as I didn't feel the central relationship had gone on enough of a journey to make a vague conclusion especially compelling. This isn't to say that the film doesn't have thoughtful ideas about the nature of relationships/parenthood -- it does, and its most powerful moments are affecting -- but I just didn't find it to be inventive enough on a story level to justify all the raves.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:16 am

To chime in on some of the submissions I've seen...

A Fantastic Woman is quite moving, with a premise somewhat similar to that of A Single Man -- the protagonist's lover dies, and her grieving process is complicated by the fact that the man's family wants nothing to do with her (in this case, because she is a trans woman.) Although I don't rate Daniela Vega quite as high as some other actresses this year -- I think you can tell this is a debut performance -- she has a very compelling presence and I doubt the film would have the emotional resonance it does without her sense of grace and strength. Not all of the plot detours work -- there were a couple times when the story went down a path that didn't lead much of anywhere -- but on the whole I found it a thoughtful portrait of grief and resilience in the face of bigotry.

BPM is the kind of film where the specific details make it engaging and compelling...but you still kind of wish the overall concept/plot were more unique. Because I thought this hit a lot of familiar beats I've seen often in AIDS-era dramas -- activism scenes full of both squabbling and enthusiasm, the ebullience of relationships between friends and lovers, the tragedy of physical degradation and death. I can't say I felt like I got much in the way of a fresh take on this type of material here. Still, the individual characters are well-drawn, on a scene-to-scene basis there are thoughtful grace notes, and for a two-and-a-half hour film, it moves along pretty briskly. Not a film that really soared for me, but a very solid effort.

I thought The Square had a ton of inventive individual scenes, ranging from the amusing to the nerve-wracking to the flat-out bizarre, but that the overall through-line connecting them all was a bit on the thin side. Part of this feeling stems from the fact that some of those scenes just feel disconnected from anything else, no matter how interesting they otherwise might be (the monkey impersonation at the banquet is probably the best example of this). But I also think one of the major threads -- the apartment building storyline -- sort of peters out, without much in the way of a satisfying climax. It's tricky to evaluate a film like this in terms of structure, simply because it clearly isn't going for a traditional three act, but I think it's fair to say it works more on moment-to-moment terms than as a fully cohesive narrative.

I didn't hate Foxtrot the way Uri did, because there were scenes that genuinely caught me off guard in intriguing ways (the twist at the end of the first act, the big mid-film disaster). But there is still much about it that just doesn't work for me. I found much of the first act to be a very generic grief drama, at least until it switches gears. Once the film shifts to the military scenes, I thought it struggled for a while to find a narrative -- it's really hard to convey the boredom of these soldiers' lives without actually being boring -- until finally some incident kicks in. But then the last act probably frustrated me the most -- the film seems to want the viewer to make an assumption about what's going on, but it's REALLY coy about the details, in a way that feels like too obvious an attempt at audience manipulation once the story finally shows its cards. It's hard to discuss this any more without getting into spoiler territory, so I'll just say that I thought the film flirted with some interesting themes, and had some exciting story turns, but was overall too clumsy as narrative and too vague in its ideas to feel fully successful.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:25 am

Precious Doll wrote:Pity the poor people that actually have to sit through all of the submitted films.


I may be wrong but I think I read somewhere that one only needs to sit through at least 2/3rds of all the submissions to be eligible to vote at least in preliminaries. There's a retired Academy member named Ken Rudolph who actually sits through all the Foreign Language Film entries and blogs his brief thoughts about them. He's in Letterboxd now.

I saw an Australian film today called Sweet Country by Warwick Thornton and starring Bryan Brown and Sam Neill. I'll post my complete thoughts in my review thread but I will say it's really, really good. Though there's quite a bit of the Aboriginal language, it is mostly in English so it's not eligible but had it been, it would've gotten in for sure.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:21 am

Glad to read you enjoyed A Fantastic Woman so much Anonymous. Whilst I don't think it is the 'best' of the submitted films I do think at this point it is the one to beat and would make a terrific winner.

Found your thoughts on Zama interesting. Together with The Floria Project are the two films from 2017 that I most want to see. Lucrecia Martel is an extraordinary filmmaker, probably the best female one working in the world right now. Jane Campion has lost some her way recently, most notably with the Top of the Lake series. The first episode of Top of the Lake: China Girl is pretty much the worst thing Campion has ever committed to film.

Martel has such a unique vision of the world. Her ability to tackle stories at arm's length but revealing so much without ever shoving it into the audiences faces is so refreshing. I highly recommend without reservations La Cienaga, The Holy Girl & The Headless Woman.

I've seen two further submitted films in the last couple of days neither of them of any note: Guilty Men from Colombia & Woodpeckers from the Dominican Republic. They are the type of films that could slip in as the Academy does have a tendency to nominate a couple of head scratchers most years.

So I'm standing at 19 films with the best being The Square, Loveless, Glory, A Fantastic Woman, Summer 1993, Spoor and Happy End and In the Fade with some major reservations. I suspect On Body and Soul will probably make the cut, though I found that a rather silly experience.

Pity the poor people that actually have to sit through all of the submitted films. The only other films that I will actually seek out in the future are Zama (Argentina), Scary Mother (Georgia), Foxtrot (Israel), Thelma (Norway) & The Wound (South Africa). I've heard good things about Ice Mother (Czech Republic) though I have not been impressed with the past work of the director.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:21 am

A Fantastic Woman, Chile (Sebastián Lelio) 9.5/10 - After her older male lover dies, a trans woman must deal with his less-than-accepting family on his property and funeral arrangements. Okay, this is the last of the Foreign Language Film Oscar entries I will see in at least a while and as it turns out, it is also my favorite. I would like to call this the trans woman version of Boys Don't Cry but it's not really. It is certainly a compelling look into what trans people go through a lot in their lives. Daniela Vega, i have to say, is amazing. The Oscar talk about her is warranted. I hope she gets in. I love her subtlety and the way her character refuses to be the victim. The final scene took it over the top for me. It's one of the best films of the year.

Will it get in? Yes, if I have anything to say about it. I think it could even win. Yes, it's about a trans woman but it isn't graphic and is exactly the type of film that will win passionate votes.

I *think* the South Korean entry, A Taxi Driver, might get a theatrical run here but apart from that, these are all the entries I will be seeing before the announcement of the Top 9 and the announcement of the nominees. My final(ish) verdict:

In order of preference:
1. A Fantastic Woman
2. On Body and Soul
3. Loveless
4. The Square
5. Thelma
6. Zama
7. BPM (Beats Per Minute)
8. Birdshot
9. First They Killed My Father
10. Tom of Finland
11. Newton

In order of their chances to be nominated:
1. A Fantastic Woman
2. BPM (Beats Per Minute)
3. Loveless
4. First They Killed My Father
5. The Square
6. On Body and Soul
7. Zama
8. Thelma
9. Tom of Finland
10. Birdshot
11. Newton

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:43 am

Thelma, Norway (Joachim Trier) 8/10 - A devout Christian girl goes to college. She begins to have feelings for another girl. This triggers seizures and some strange, dangerous powers. This is a genre film but it defies classification. Is it a science-fiction film? Yes and no. Is it a horror film? Yes and no. Is it a fantasy? Yes and no. It has elements of everything mentioned and you can throw in some religious allegory in there too. It's a very intriguing, very mesmerizing piece of work that sort of plays out like an artier version of Carrie in a way. It's a bit cold and calculating but it takes you on a rather bizarre and unpredictable ride.

Will it get in? Doubtful. It's a genre film and might be too weird for them. It will definitely need committee help.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:33 am

Zama, Argentina (Lucrecia Martel) 8/10 - Based on a novel, this is about a "corregidor" named Don Diego de Zama and his deteriorating situation as he's stationed in a South American colony for the Spanish Empire in his dealings with both rebellious fellow Spaniards and the natives. This is actually my very first foray into the films of Lucrecia Martel whom I've been hearing good things about for the past couple of years. It took me a while to really get into it but once I did, it's a pretty trippy, Aguirre, Wrath of God-type journey where you're not quite sure where this is going to go. It is beautifully shot and handsomely mounted. Lucrecia Martel is really one interesting filmmaker. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her films.

Will it get in? It has a shot. Beautiful historical pieces and exotic locales have made it in before plus I think there are some admirers of Lucrecia Martel in the Academy.

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:16 am

Newton, India (Amit V. Masurkar) 6.5/10 - A young man, the titular character, who refuses to go along with an arranged marriage decides to volunteer as an election officer. He is assigned to a tiny rural village plagued by Maoist rebels. This film certainly has lofty ideas. It attempts to blend black comedy and some satire with a social drama. The results are somewhat mixed at best. It doesn't quite live up to its goals. But I can see where they were actually going with this, it just didn't have enough teeth to put it over the top. The elements keep holding each other back, it seems. Maybe I had to be Indian to completely get this film. The performances are pretty good but it's just an overall okay film at best.

Will it get in? No. I don't think this will be in a lot of voters' top 5 picks. I'd be shocked if it even makes the 9.

NOTE: Woo! 5,000th post!

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:12 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:
You really think it can win, Precious Doll?


People really love the film. More passion for it than anything else so I think it's a strong candidate.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:49 am

On Body and Soul, Hungary (Ildikó Enyedi) 9.5/10 - An intelligent but autistic (I think) woman and a man with a crippled hand both work in a slaughterhouse. They find out they share the same recurring dream every night. They dream that they're deer and they meet in the forest. That's the only thing you need to know. It's a much more rewarding and surprising experience where you really don't know where it's headed and it's superb. Despite using an unusual, fanciful magical realism element, the film's story beats remain firmly on the ground whilst being compassionate to both its lead characters without sentimentalizing them. I've seen a lot of gore in movies in my life but there's a scene that made me queasy (no, not the slaughterhouse scenes), just fair warning. This is probably my favorite of the Oscar entries so far this year.

Will it get in? It definitely has a shot. Not a complete lock though.

You really think it can win, Precious Doll?

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:01 am

Also forgot to mention that the European Film Award nominations were recently announced. Given that 2017 is one of the worst years for cinema ever the five film nominated for best film were not the least surprising. Rather depressing that each of the directors of the films have all made a better or better films in the past. They are the five best received in a tepid year:

Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Other Side of Hope (Finland)
The Square (Sweden)
120 BPM (France)

Prediction: On Body and Soul
My choice: The Square or Loveless but can live with The Other Side of Hope.

Link to nominations: http://deadline.com/2017/11/european-fi ... 202201849/
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: List of submissions to the 90th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film (coming soon)

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:54 am

Her Love Boils Bathwater from Japan is an overlong soap that essentially deals with motherhood and at best would make an interesting double bill with Jane Campions Top of the Lake: China Girl, despite being polls apart in style and execution. It is terribly typical of the type of film Japan submits these days and has zero chance of making it onto the short list.

Such a shame that Japan doesn't take more chances with their submissions. Of late they have gone for 'safer' films ignoring the likes of Sion Sono, Kiyoshi Kurosawa & Takashi Miike. The last film of any note that they submitted, Confessions, back in 2010, which at least managed to make the shortlist. They also need to be more open to submitting films by Hirokazu Koreeda who has only ever had one of his film submitted, Nobody Knows, but has made great film after great since film, only to have the Japanese selectors ignore them.

Also, really wished they had the balls to submit Sion Sono's Guilty of Romance back in 2011. If anything it would have rocked the boat of the selectors as it makes something like Dogtooth look like a Disney film.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One


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