Friday, January 21, 2011

Awards-Nazi Award nominations: Foreign Film

My picks for the Best Foreign Film of the year are always subject to change because so many of them don't even get exposed in North America until much later. But as of the moment this was typed, my five are:

All That I Love (Jacek Borcuch):
Poignant coming of age for the youth of 1980s Poland as seen through the eyes of a budding punk rock music movement. Wonderfully captures the tumultuous thoughts of both the nation and the individual characters.

Biutiful (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu):
A densely depressing existential essay, told with sure-handed restraint and tact by Inarritu and his star Javier Bardem. It's beautifully shot throughout, creating a beautiful sense of place with textured, carefully composed shots.

Dogtooth (Yargos Lanthimos):
If nothing else, Dogtooth is at the very least a hard film to forget (for better or worse). Lanthimos' style is simple, intimate, gives proper focus to his actors, and features some really sumptuous cinematography.

I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino):
A fervent but ultimately pessimistic interpretation about the dangers of succumbing to your passions and exploring beyond the societal norm, framed as a stylish melodrama. Tilda Swinton owns it.
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve):
Denis Villeneuve's back-and-forth chronology may bother some, but I think it succeeds at highlighting the passage of time and the values that differ as a function thereof. Performances are strong, as is Villeneuve's confident direction, which is unafraid to jar or disturb us.

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