For almost thirty years, there was no competitive category for foreign language films at the Oscars. Modern critics feel that the ceremony is overly biased towards English-language films and that creating a category for foreign films might offer some recognition, it also prevents them from having a chance to compete with the mostly American films in the larger categories. I am at a slight disadvantage in this category, in that I have only seen 3 of the 5 nominees, but all three were standout hits which deserve their place here.
The nominees for Best Foreign Language Film are:
- A Fantastic Woman (Chile) – I have not seen this film, so I’ll be brief. This film address issues related to the Transgender community and is a supremely topical choice for this year’s awards.
- The Insult (Lebanon) – A thrilling legal drama that perfectly illustrates the tension between the Christian and Muslim communities. This film fosters tension in a truly natural way and the actors perform as if their parts were written specifically for them. The twists of this movie make it one of the best of the year and easily one of the best legal dramas ever.
- Loveless (Russia) – Sadly I wasn’t able to see this one either. This film follows a child whose parents are on the verge of divorce and how it affects him throughout the process.
- On Body and Soul (Hungary) – Probably the strangest film in this year’s batch, but in the best possible way. This film focuses on the unlikely pairing of two completely different people who find love in their dreams, but fall short in the real world. There are a lot of great moments in this film and a lot of cringe-worthy ones too, but it strikes a good balance between them.
- The Square (Sweden) – An unusual film, but not as out there as it might seem. This film follows an art museum curator whose life begins to unravel after his phone is stolen, which might not seem like enough to destroy his life, but the narrative works perfectly to illutstrate how so small an act can profoundly affect him. A phenomenal film with a talented, international cast.
My Prediction to win is…