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

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:50 am

Joy, Austria (Subadeh Mortezai) 8/10 - Joy is a Nigerian illegal immigrant working as a sex worker in Austria and takes it upon herself to break in a reluctant newcomer to the game. Not to be confused by the Jennifer Lawrence movie of the same title, this is actually a very eye-opening look into a world we never see. It goes into some surprising (and sometimes troubling) directions and gives you a lot to chew on in terms of the plight of sex workers, illegal immigrants, asylum seekers and Nigerian women. The performances are wonderfully natural and the film almost has a documentary like feel. This is definitely one to watch.

Can it get in? It would be a bit of a long shot but I can see this possibly sneaking into at least the Top 10.

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

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:34 pm

Inhuman Kiss, Thailand (Sitisiri Mongkolsir) 6/10 - This is a horror film from Thailand about a young man who falls in love with young woman who turns into "Krasue" at night, a creature that detaches itself from the body and flies around hunting flesh. It feels quite similar to the Philippines' manananggal and aswang that I almost felt like I was watching a Filipino horror flick. The film plays the entire thing straight and it is pretty cheesy but there are a few good moments and I, for one, am fascinated finding all about this legendary creature of both Thai and Cambodian folklore. It's not life-changing but it is entertaining for what it is.

Can it get in? No. I tried looking it up. The *only* straight up horror film to ever get a Best Foreign Language/International Feature Film nomination, at least as far as I can tell is Kwaidan. This film is an entertaining flick but I doubt it will stand much of a chance.

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

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:11 am

The official submission list:

Albania, “The Delegation,” Bujar Alimani, director;
Algeria, “Papicha,” Mounia Meddour, director;
Argentina, “Heroic Losers,” Sebastián Borensztein, director;
Armenia, “Lengthy Night,” Edgar Baghdasaryan, director;
Australia, “Buoyancy,” Rodd Rathjen, director;
Austria, “Joy,” Sudabeh Mortezai, director;
Bangladesh, “Alpha,” Nasiruddin Yousuff, director;
Belarus, “Debut,” Anastasiya Miroshnichenko, director;
Belgium, “Our Mothers,” César Díaz, director;
Bolivia, “I Miss You,” Rodrigo Bellott, director;
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “The Son,” Ines Tanovic, director;
Brazil, “Invisible Life,” Karim Aïnouz, director;
Bulgaria, “Ága,” Milko Lazarov, director;
Cambodia, “In the Life of Music,” Caylee So, Sok Visal, directors;
Canada, “Antigone,” Sophie Deraspe, director;
Chile, “Spider,” Andrés Wood, director;
China, “Ne Zha,” Yu Yang, director;
Colombia, “Monos,” Alejandro Landes, director;
Costa Rica, “The Awakening of the Ants,” Antonella Sudasassi Furniss, director;
Croatia, “Mali,” Antonio Nuic, director;
Cuba, “A Translator,” Rodrigo Barriuso, Sebastián Barriuso, directors;
Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird,” Václav Marhoul, director;
Denmark, “Queen of Hearts,” May el-Toukhy, director;
Dominican Republic, “The Projectionist,” José María Cabral, director;
Ecuador, “The Longest Night,” Gabriela Calvache, director;
Egypt, “Poisonous Roses,” Ahmed Fawzi Saleh, director;
Estonia, “Truth and Justice,” Tanel Toom, director;
Ethiopia, “Running against the Wind,” Jan Philipp Weyl, director;
Finland, “Stupid Young Heart,” Selma Vilhunen, director;
France, “Les Misérables,” Ladj Ly, director;
Georgia, “Shindisi,” Dimitri Tsintsadze, director;
Germany, “System Crasher,” Nora Fingscheidt, director;
Ghana, “Azali,” Kwabena Gyansah, director;
Greece, “When Tomatoes Met Wagner,” Marianna Economou, director;
Honduras, “Blood, Passion, and Coffee,” Carlos Membreño, director;
Hong Kong, “The White Storm 2 Drug Lords,” Herman Yau, director;
Hungary, “Those Who Remained,” Barnabás Tóth, director;
Iceland, “A White, White Day,” Hlynur Pálmason, director;
India, “Gully Boy,” Zoya Akhtar, director;
Indonesia, “Memories of My Body,” Garin Nugroho, director;
Iran, “Finding Farideh,” Azadeh Moussavi, Kourosh Ataee, directors;
Ireland, “Gaza,” Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell, directors;
Israel, “Incitement,” Yaron Zilberman, director;
Italy, “The Traitor,” Marco Bellocchio, director;
Japan, “Weathering with You,” Makoto Shinkai, director;
Kazakhstan, “Kazakh Khanate. The Golden Throne,” Rustem Abdrashov, director;
Kenya, “Subira,” Ravneet Singh (Sippy) Chadha, director;
Kosovo, “Zana,” Antoneta Kastrati, director;
Kyrgyzstan, “Aurora,” Bekzat Pirmatov, director;
Latvia, “The Mover,” Davis Simanis, director;
Lebanon, “1982,” Oualid Mouaness, director;
Lithuania, “Bridges of Time,” Audrius Stonys, Kristine Briede, directors;
Luxembourg, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” Sameh Zoabi, director;
Malaysia, “M for Malaysia,” Dian Lee, Ineza Roussille, directors;
Mexico, “The Chambermaid,” Lila Avilés, director;
Mongolia, “The Steed,” Erdenebileg Ganbold, director;
Montenegro, “Neverending Past,” Andro Martinović, director;
Morocco, “Adam,” Maryam Touzani, director;
Nepal, “Bulbul,” Binod Paudel, director;
Netherlands, “Instinct,” Halina Reijn, director;
Nigeria, “Lionheart,” Genevieve Nnaji, director;
North Macedonia, “Honeyland,” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, directors;
Norway, “Out Stealing Horses,” Hans Petter Moland, director;
Pakistan, “Laal Kabootar,” Kamal Khan, director;
Palestine, “It Must Be Heaven,” Elia Suleiman, director;
Panama, “Everybody Changes,” Arturo Montenegro, director;
Peru, “Retablo,” Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, director;
Philippines, “Verdict,” Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, director;
Poland, “Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa, director;
Portugal, “The Domain,” Tiago Guedes, director;
Romania, “The Whistlers,” Corneliu Porumboiu, director;
Russia, “Beanpole,” Kantemir Balagov, director;
Saudi Arabia, “The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al Mansour, director;
Senegal, “Atlantics,” Mati Diop, director;
Serbia, “King Petar the First,” Petar Ristovski, director;
Singapore, “A Land Imagined,” Yeo Siew Hua, director;
Slovakia, “Let There Be Light,” Marko Skop, director;
Slovenia, “History of Love,” Sonja Prosenc, director;
South Africa, “Knuckle City,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director;
South Korea, “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho, director;
Spain, “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodóvar, director;
Sweden, “And Then We Danced,” Levan Akin, director;
Switzerland, “Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa,” Michael Steiner, director;
Taiwan, “Dear Ex,” Mag Hsu, Chih-Yen Hsu, directors;
Thailand, “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” Sitisiri Mongkolsiri, director;
Tunisia, “Dear Son,” Mohamed Ben Attia, director;
Turkey, “Commitment Asli,” Semih Kaplanoglu, director;
Ukraine, “Homeward,” Nariman Aliev, director;
United Kingdom, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Chiwetel Ejiofor, director;
Uruguay, “The Moneychanger,” Federico Veiroj, director;
Uzbekistan, “Hot Bread,” Umid Khamdamov, director;
Venezuela, “Being Impossible,” Patricia Ortega, director;
Vietnam, “Furie,” Le Van Kiet, director.

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

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:18 pm

Furie, Vietnam (Lê Văn Kiệt) 7/10 - When a woman's young daughter is kidnapped by a child trafficking syndicate, she stops at nothing to bring her back which means of course kicking ass and taking names. This is an action film from Vietnam (yes, it is) and it's pretty much Taken meets The Raid: Redemption with a female lead. It's pretty much pure formula for an action picture but very entertaining. Veronica Ngo, in the lead role, is quite excellent and is pretty bad ass in her action scenes. It's apparently the highest grossing Vietnamese film in Vietnam. It's currently streaming on Netflix and you could do worse that check this out.

Can it get in? No. It's very much an action movie and though very entertaining, there's nothing in it that would suggest it will win votes.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:45 am

Buoyancy (Australia) 5/10

This drama of slave labour set the fishing industry of South East Asia takes sometime to really get into. Certainly as it progresses it becomes more powerful but the end title card about slave labour is the most disturbing moment in the film. Its certainly very well meaning and it could be a player.
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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:29 pm

Dear Ex, Taiwan (Mag Hsu/Hsu Chih-yen) 6/10 - After her ex-husband dies, a woman is livid to learn that his life insurance money was left to his gay lover rather than their teenage son. Complications ensue. This film does want to be a lot of things all at once. It starts out as a wacky comedy then it evolves into a drama about family, loss, grief, coming out, love, parents and children, so many things. So much so that I think it bit off more than it could chew. There are some great moments here (thanks to the great performances of the two leads, the gay lover and the ex-wife of the deceased) and there but in their wanting to be about so many things, they dropped the ball on some of them. The arc of the teenage son in particular, I don't think was handled as well as it could have been.

Can it get in? Highly doubtful. It feels too lightweight. It will easily get lost in the shuffle.

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

Postby dws1982 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:56 pm

Russia is submitting Kantemir Balagov's Beanpole. This got great reviews out of Cannes and won Balagov (who seems to be on the verge of a major career) a directing award in Un Certain Regard. Guy Lodge is a huge fan but said on Twitter that it probably would need help from the committee to even make the first cut.

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

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm

A Land Imagined, Singapore (Yeo Siew Hua) 6.5/10 - A cop in Singapore investigates a mysterious disappearance of a Chinese construction worker. This film as it turns out is Singapore's entry to this year's Best International Feature Film race. It is a beautifully shot mystery/neo-noir that really captures that neo-noir feel. I have to admit that I'm not so sure I particularly liked where it headed though. Perhaps there's a Singaporean/Chinese cultural or historical subtext that I needed to know to fully appreciate this film and/or to completely get the ending. I do respect its narrative choices highly and it's still remarkably crafted piece of work. It's on Netflix.

Can it get in? Highly doubtful. I think AMPAS members may be lured in by its neo-noir look and feel but like me, will not know what to do with the ending. I don't see this landing as a top five in a lot of ballots.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:47 am

A White, White Day (Iceland) 4/10

A sombre, beautifully directed and shot but ultimately alienating affair thats akin to watching something through a thick haze. The story basically involves a man who becomes obsessed that his recently deceased wife was having an affair and the film get grimmer and more relentless to little effect as it progresses to its rather vague ending.

It was very well received at Cannes so though I was found it rather underwhelming its very much the sort of film that could sneak into this category. And the irony if it does when some far more worthy films from Iceland in recent years such as Rams & Woman at War filed.
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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Reza » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:22 pm

The entry from India

Gully Boy (Zoya Akhtar, 2019) 9/10

Also posted my review on a different thread earlier this year.

Passionately directed coming-of-age story is set in Dharavi, a slum right in the center of Mumbai, where thousands of people live in extremely cramped quarters. These are people whose lives are ordained by abject poverty, petty crimes, drug dealing and who are too scared to dream of a better life simply because they know this is the only way of life they will live. The sensitive screenplay uses this milieu while focusing on Murad (Ranveer Singh), a young Muslim student fond of American rap music, who to his delight discovers that his city has an underground Hindi hip-hop scene where young men and women weave their sad, angry, poverty ridden lives into songs which talk about injustice and humiliation that surrounds them. This is also a vivid story of the slum dwelling itself - small living quarters housing entire families - which is superbly photographed by a camera that weaves snake-like through narrow streets and in and out of small homes in the densely populated slum. Every character, big or small, is written with such vivid detail that just looking at them on screen one can easily etch out their life arc. The story charts the defiant course taken by Murad to follow his dream of becoming a rap singer and this brings him into conflict with his violent father (Vijay Raaz) who not only tells him to stop dreaming big but who has also disturbed their family equilibrium by marrying a second time and moving his younger wife into their one bedroom home which already houses his first wife, elderly mother and two sons. On a lighter side is Murad's intense romance with Safeena (Alia Bhatt), a possessive Med-student, who dresses conservatively and wears a hijab. The film's myriad of characters surrounding Murad include Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) his rap mentor, Moeen (Vijay Varma) his close friend who is a petty thief and drug dealer and Sky (Kalki Koechlin) a rich girl who encourages him to make a video and with whom he has a one night stand which complicates his relationship with Safeena. Superbly acted film has career high performances by both the leads. Ranveer Singh completely tones down his familiar flamboyance giving a remarkably restrained portrayal while Bhatt matches him every step of the way playing a vivacious and sharp witted young woman who knows with great precision the path she has chosen in life - to be a surgeon and to marry Murad her childhood sweetheart. Their scenes together have great heart as their romance plays through various ups and downs. No Bollywood film would be complete without its songs and this is where the story soars through the exciting use of over 20 rap songs which provide hard hitting social commentary through their lyrics. This heartfelt film, full of vibrant energy, uses its long running time to lovingly create characters, atmosphere and also manages to observe Mumbai's sharply contrasted Westernised elite and contrast them with the servant underclass. Superb film is a must-see.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:06 pm

Beanpole (Russia) 6/10

Kantemir Balagov's second feature film is a rather strikingly told story of two women struggling with multiple difficulties after WW2. Whilst Beanpole is a more accessible film than Balagov's little seen first feature film Closeness its nevertheless a very confronting film. Its main failing is that when it reaches it climatic moment it all turns out to be rather 'so what'. This could make the shortlist but a spot in the final five is going to be harder.

Queen of Hearts (Denmark) 9/10

Another second feature this one by May el-Toukhy is a drama of forbidden love and desire. A happily married middle aged couple with two young daughters have their lives altered when the husbands teenage son from an earlier marriage comes to live with them. His wife (in what is the knockout performance of 2019 so far) played by Trine Dyrholm unwittingly begins sexual relationships with her underage teenage step-son. The film has a along way to go from this point and the on-going drama piles up beautifully. Its a very confronting piece of work, sexually explicit and emotionally devastating.

This film certainly deserves a place in the final five but it just hard to see what Academy selectors will think of this. Maybe in the era of #MeToo this may be considered too hot to go near particularly as the guilty party is unquestionably the adult and makes for very uncomfortable and shocking viewing.

That Breaking Glass Pictures have secured the US rights illustrates that the major minor distributors didn't want to go near this film and I doubt Breaking Glass would have a clue how to mount a campaign.

Despite the brilliant of the film I think its chances a minimal. I hope I'm proven wrong.
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Re: List of submissions to the 92nd Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:08 pm

It'll probably hurt Portrait that it has the same distributor as Parasite, which was already going to get the lion's share of the push in the main categories. With this category officially hopeless, Neon may just play for art-house audiences for Portrait, and not throw trade money at a not-impossible best actress run.

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

Postby dws1982 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:51 pm

Precious Doll wrote: (You can hear EVERY noise the audience makes during it, not to mention the soundtrack of any film that may be playing in the cinema next store - my next viewing will be a home in a very quite environment thanks, I can assure you watching Portrait of a Lady on Fire with Rocketman playing in the neighbouring cinema is not a happy experience, even if it only lasted about 5 minutes).

This reminds me of two of the three times I saw First Man. The second viewing was in a cheap not very well-maintained theater in my home town. The scene where they exit the spacecraft and go onto the moon had really resonated with me, partially because of the way the soundtrack mostly goes silent when he first steps onto the moon. The soundtrack went silent, and instead of the silence, we got Lady Gaga in the room next door singing about how she'll never love again. The second time it was at a nice theater in Nashville, and it was my fault for getting there so late that the only seats were right by the walkway to one of their other screening rooms, which was showing Gaspar Noe's Climax, which apparently had a very hyperactive soundtrack.


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