Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far .
Today, Troy Anderson of AndersonVision is here to look at the Best Foreign Language Film Category.
Shoplifters – The Foreign Language frontrunner until Roma took over the category, Shoplifters will have the best shelf life. A film that highlights the worst aspects of poverty in Japan, a new family unit emerges in the glow of petty crime. Childhood abuse, welfare scams and general petty thievery lights up the two hours of the film.
This might be the darkest Foreign Language film nominated in the recent era. If you’re expecting grimdark, then this won’t be for you. More than anything, it feels like an honest throwback to the kind of Italian neorealist films the world got to see after World War II.
Capernaum – The dullest foreign language film nominee in ages. Lebanon wants you to know that kids have it rough. From there, they keep the focus on the dullest kids to ever grace a foreign film. It’s almost a comedy routine of grim kid and slightly happier kid bouncing off each other.
If you wanted to see a film about whiny kid mad about existing, this is for you. It’s hard to disagree with the lead character, but he goes about everything in the whiniest way.
Never Look Away – Germany always has the best looking films. Just don’t ask painter Gerhard Richter about his views on the film. Richter calls it a disgusting piece of garbage that bastardizes his legacy. I’m like I just enjoy Caleb Deschanel working at his best.
For those in the quieter sections of the world, a major plot point is a botched abortion performed on a young woman by her father. Sure, everything ends well in that regard. It’s just that it’s the rare hot spot in the longest film (3 hrs and 8 mins) in this category.
Cold War – Pawel Pawlikowski pulled the Oscar nominee upset, by pulling Best Director and sneaking into this arena. Amazon Films rolled the dice on the director of IDA and paid off. How so? Well, it takes place in the same area and it show almost identically to IDA.
That being said, it’s one of the best film romances of 2018 and deserves a larger audience. I wish that more theaters got prints back into rotation during Valentine’s Day.
Roma – The black and white Netflix darling has set the arthouse world on fire. Not literally, but more of the metaphysical arthouse. Most brick and mortar theaters are banning marathon runs of the movie or didn’t even get a print of the film back in November/December. Master director Alfonso Cuaron seems hellbent on winning another Oscar by directing emotional torture porn.
You will believe that Mexican woman regardless of their station in life had a rough time in the early 1970s. It’s like Alice Doesn’t Leave Here Anymore if Scorsese shot in Spanish with more scenes of anguished females making due in quiet agony.