News: Oscars 2014 Foreign Film Nominees

This post is of no worth. It was written for The Mancunion magazine as part of an Oscars special, but they chose not to use it, so now it’s here. None of the other gazillion categories will be covered in such detail, but there will be an overall Oscars report tomorrow night.

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If your reaction to a subtitled film is; ‘I didn’t watch no movie to do no reading!’, then this list is not for you. The first nominee is musical drama The Broken Circle Breakdown. Sort of like a bluegrass version of current folky favourite Inside Llewyn Davis, this toe-tapping romance follows a fairly predictable trajectory; boy meets girl, love happens, then there are problems. It’s Dutch – isn’t that weird?! Moving on to what is technically the strongest contender, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty sees Italian Rapscallion Jep Gambardella (Tony Servillo) as a past-it play boy who, upon reaching his 65th birthday, chooses to ditch the high-life and embrace reality. Sorrentino’s painterly Rome-set character study is artistic and absurdist as they come, and it’s already nabbed the best foreign film award at both the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

Hailing from Palestine, Omar  is the nominee least likely to get the award for best foreign film. Freedom fighter Omar is forced into the snitching game when he’s apprehended for the murder of an Israeli soldier. Imagine Four Lions, except not funny. Even though it has no chance, it’s encouraging to see the Oscars paying heed to the Middle-East’s burgeoning indie cinema circuit. The Missing Picture  is the only documentary in the category, and it tackles similar issues to the sickeningly surreal BAFTA winner The Act Of Killing,  although it’s a far more sombre affair. Utilising a variety of mediums, Cambodian narrator Rithy Panh recounts the genocidal atrocities of the Khmer Rouge Communist party in the mid to late 70’s. Finally, there is the slow-burning Danish drama The Hunt, which examines the devastating impact of a child molestation accusation against a teacher in a tightknit back woods community. The Hunt has an astonishing lead performance in Mads Mikkelson and it’s Movie Quibble’s top pick(kelson).

Look out for the (almost) live Oscar coverage on Movie Quibble tomorrow evening, which will list the nominees and winners of each category and document the highs and lows of this most prestigious awards event. There Will Be Puns.

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