List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:50 pm

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, Brazil (Karim Ainouz) 9.5/10 - It's the 1950's. Two sisters are torn apart when their father banishes one of them for eloping and having a child out of wedlock. They live separate lives, hoping to see each other again. As I was watching this, it kind of feels like reading an amazing Latin-American novel with its sprawling narrative and its compelling characters. The characters this time are two sisters who were torn apart by the tyranny of patriarchal attitudes. It features beautiful performances by the entire cast including Fernanda Montenegro in a small but unforgettable role. The direction by Karim Aïnouz is assured and the cinematography is vibrant. Now I know why this film was picked over Bacurau to represent Brazil at the Oscars this year. It's one of this year's best.

Can it get in? Yes! And it absolutely deserves to.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:05 pm

Austria has been submitting films for decades and should have known better.
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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:24 am

Austria's entry Joy disqualified for being too much in English.

I, too, was concerned when I saw it that it would be disqualified. This one had a slightly better chance at making it at least in the semi-finals than Lionheart. Despite the reason for disqualification being obvious and clear, the fact that both of these are directed and about women of color does not make for good optics.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:19 am

Those Who Remained (Hungary) 6/10

This is a very delicate film that is basically a character study of the relationship (completely platonic) between a man who is a survivor of the holocaust and teenage girl set in the aftermath of WW2. Its very low key and beautifully acted by the two leads Károly Hajduk & Abigél Szõke. Its the sort of film that a couple of decades ago the Academy was prone to nominate but in todays more hyperactive internet environment it will probably get overlooked.

Honeyland (North Macedonia) 4/10

This fly on the wall documentary about a 'bee hunter' in rural North Macedonia could actually be mistaken at times for a fictional film using non-professionals to tell a story of survival, tradition and change. I can't say I was taken by this film - I found it very arm's length and the subject matter not particularly engaging. Having said that it must be acknowledged that this film has been widely praised by critics and audiences and must be considered a player.

Personally, I much preferred the Greek entry When Tomatoes Met Wagner which deals with similar subject matter.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:56 pm

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, United Kingdom (Chiwetel Ejiofor) 6.5/10 - Based on a true story, this film is about a 13-year-old boy who built wind turbines to help power his small village in Malawi. This film pretty much follows the formula of the "inspiring true story". I give it points for trying to break out of that formula, trying to immerse us in the African milieu, depicting the various political and socio-economic issues and problems that plague this little village in Africa. It also has some lush cinematography courtesy of Dick Pope and good performances from its cast including the writer-director himself Chiwetel Ejiofor. But all in all, it still an "inspiring true story" movie. It's commendable but nothing new.

Can it get in? It has a decent enough chance. But Angelina Jolie's name wasn't enough to put First They Killed My Father in the nominees list that year.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:11 am

Nigeria's entry has been disqualified.

Due to it being way too much in English. I was wondering about that when I saw it. A huge chunk of it was in English. It didn't have much of a shot anyway.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:44 am

Adam (Morocco) 6/10

A low key drama about a pregnant woman who enters the house of a young mother and her daughter forming a bond as secrets of the past and decisions for the future unfold. An impressive debut for director Maryam Touzani. Probably a bit too restrained for the Academy's taste.

The Chambermaid (Mexico) 6/10

Another impressive feature film debut by a woman, Lila Aviles, this low key observation piece on a maid going about her work in a large hotel in a city in Mexico. Its a film that requires no 'big scenes' to justify its laid back narrative style. Like Adam, probably too restrained for the Academy's taste but in a wide open year one never knows.

Gaza (Ireland) 6/10

This is a co-directed documentary by Garry Keane & Andrew McConnell takes the viewer to a unique placed beyond the reach of television crews reports to reveal a world we rarely see. Some have accused the film of being one sided but as primarily an observation piece it doesn't actually feel like its taking sides in the on-going conflict. It's an interesting film but nothing special to elevate it to a nomination I would think.

Lionsheart (Nigeria) 2/10

Virtually a one woman show as Genevieve Nnaji directs and stars as a woman taking over the running of her fathers company when he becomes ill and the challenges she must endure to succeed. I found this really lame and to be honest only watched it because its in the running and its on Netflix. Won't get anywhere in this category.
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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:10 am

The Mover (Latvia) 4/10

A WW2 drama based on a true story of Zanis Lipke who saved the lives of more than 50 Jews and went on to be honoured as one of the 'Righteous Among the Nations' for his heroic actions.

Though I have something of a weak spot for WW2 dramas this one despite the best of intentions is ultimately a dull affair that never engages and as a result is rather distancing - it also doesn't have a sense of character or motivation and a rather crude sex scene is jarring thrown into the mix to show our hero either letting off steam or his frustrations (or something else for all I know).

The Academy has a liking for WW2 dramas but have a checkered history when nominated them. Some wonderful ones have made the final five, some wonderful films haven't. And some mediocre and awful films have made the final five and some haven't so anything is possible with this one.

Dear Son (Tunisia) 6/10

This is the first film I have seen that deals with the issue of a young person leaving their family (without their knowledge) to go and join ISIS and fight in Syria. However, the film isn't really about the son but his fathers devotion to his son, how he deals with this development and the effect that it has on his life and that of his wife.

Its a solid drama that premiered at Cannes last year (I've been missing screening for more than a year so it was pleasing to actually be able to finally catch-up with the film). Helping to ground the film is an excellent central performance by Mohamed Dhrif.

It would not surprise me if this sneaked in.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:27 pm

Lionheart, Nigeria (Genevieve Nnaji) 5/10 - After her father falls ill, a woman must work with her eccentric uncle in order to save the family's failing bus company. Thanks to the magic of Netflix, I was able to see my very first film from Nigeria, which also happens to be Nigeria's first entry to the Oscars International Feature Film category (apparently, this one had enough non-English dialogue to qualify). It's also why I was kind of disappointed that it wasn't great. The film is well-intentioned, sure but also kind of dull. The star of the film, Genevieve Nnaji, pulls quadruple duties by also directing, co-writing and co-producing the film does give a good performance and holds the thing together. Ultimately, it lands on "just okay, I guess."

Can it get in? Nah, I don't see this being a factor at all.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:35 pm

I think outside of Parasite & Pain and Glory it's very open this year.

What has made it harder is that the Berlin winner Snonyms wasn't selected by Israel (not that it would have made it anyway) and Venice awarded Joker.

Also, France had a number of possible candidates and only being able to submit one film per country can muddy the selections if only a couple of countries have any standout years. I really do think the remaining 8 will spring some surprises because aside from Parasite & P&G nothing really feels like its anywhere near being called a strong possibility.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby mrhoyer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:29 pm

I am making a conscious effort to see all those shortlisted this year and to get ahead of the curve as early as possible.

Already checked off

Parasite (South Korea)
Pain & Glory (Spain)
Monos (Colombia)
Joy (Austria)

From what I've gathered. The following have a certain amount of talk behind them. Who has seen any of the following? Which ones can I axe without seeing? Which big hitters am I missing?

Beanpole (Russia)
Gully Boy (India)
Queen of Hearts (Denmark)
Honeyland (North Macedonia)
Those Who Remained (Hungary)
Instinct (Netherlands)
Atlantics (Senegal)
Les Miserables (France)
And Then We Danced (Sweden)
Corpus Christi (Poland)


Side note just saw Portrait of a Lady on Fire and all I can say is Les Miserables better be INCREDIBLE.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:32 am

Buoyancy, Australia (Rodd Rathjen) 8/10 - A fourteen-year-old Cambodian boy is duped into forced labor in a fishing boat under harsh and harrowing conditions. This is yet another dark, eye-opening coming-of-age film about humans being inhuman to fellow humans. I sometimes find it hard to believe these things still happen in the world, but, yet they do. Although this film does little more than straightforwardly tell you these bad things happen, it is still a very well-made at times even thrilling drama with very naturalistic performances. This is definitely worth a look. It's a Cambodia/Thai story but an Australian production.

Can it get in? It's not impossible. I can definitely see this landing on the top 5 of a few ballots.

I missed the screenings for the Ukraine entry (arrived too late) and the Swedish entry (no convenient schedule). There's another film festival next month with a few more entries being screened including the Brazilian one.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:51 pm

Beanpole, Russia (Kantemir Balagov) 8.5/10 - It is shortly after World War II. A young woman returns from the war to reunite with her three-year-old son left under the care of her friend but tragedy strikes. This is a remarkable film from an extraordinary (and very young) director. The film is a brutal meditation on loss and the consequences of war. Yes, it is a downer but it still lures you in and surprises you in ways you never expect. The ending, in particular, is quite moving. The performances of the two main actresses are extraordinary (it's a great year for actress outside the U.S.). It's a bit of a tough sit but I found the film ultimately quite rewarding (and low-key queer as well).

Can it get in? I would say yes. I think it can get in the Top 10 semi-finals but it's no lock for the three remaining spots.

The Whistlers, Romania (Corneliu Porumboiu) 7.5/10 - An undercover cop infiltrates a Spanish mob and in the process learns about a language based on whistling (hence the title). Apart from that unique whistling language angle, this film is pretty much a cool crime heist film. But it is an extremely well-crafted and entertaining heist film and very well-acted by its fine ensemble cast. It has a lot of twists and turns and they did manage to put a bit more depth into the characters. I've seen a number of Romanian films and this is probably the fastest pace one I've seen so far (heh). It's overall a solid film.

Can it get in? It's not impossible but it feels a bit lightweight and too genre-y compared to the heavy hitting competition.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:50 am

System Crasher, Germany (Nora Fingscheidt) 7/10 - A ten-year-old girl with anger management problems (to put it mildly) pretty much brings the entire government foster and child care programs and system to their knees. At first, I was thinking this is an excellent film but it just went on and on and on and on. It began to feel rather repetitive and frustrating which was probably on purpose. But still, it is a rather draining film. It did, however, give me a lot of things to chew on. I appreciated the fact that the central character is tough to love but you still feel sympathy for her since a lot of it is not entirely her fault. Helene Zengel, the child actress who plays the titular role, is simply amazing, the best child performance of 2019.

Can it get in? I think this film would've had a much better chance in the old system/Academy. But as it is, I think it could sneak into the Top 10 as a surprise candidate.

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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:44 pm

When Tomatoes Met Wagner (Greece) 7/10

Its always a bit odd when countries submit documentaries in this category because its extremely difficult for the films, no matter the quality, to break through. And its not like Greece didn't have alternatives. In the last few days I have also seen Pause (Tonia Mishiali) & Her Job (Nikos Labot) from Greece and both a good solid dramas. Both films also owe something to both the New Greek Weird Wave as it is known but also to neo realism and both films are downers to a large degree.

However, having also now seen When Tomatoes Met Wagner, a 72 minute documentary about a village community, mainly made up of elderly women trying to survive austerity and revive their tiny village by marketing their organic tomato goods. The film is a small treasure and a joy to wait with charm to spare. Being a documentary it has little hope of gaining any traction but a nomination would be so nice.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (United Kingdom) 4/10

I saw this a couple of months ago on Netflix. Its the feature film directorial debut of Chiwetel Ejiofor and its one of those against all odds/triumph of the impossible type films that the world film industry has been churning out since nearly the beginning of cinema. Its totally serviceable undemanding stuff but is very generic and has nothing special to set it above its genre. However, as its very middle of the road stuff and the sort of film that the Academy sometimes embraces I wouldn't rule it out but frankly it doesn't deserve any consideration.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)


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