The Oscar Awards ceremony had been a personal holiday for me for the past years. I confess that I do not go to work just to watch it live. In this Internet age, you really need to watch live if you want the suspense of watching any competition event anymore since spoilers come out as it happens.
I have already ranked the Best Picture nominees HERE.
I have already ranked the Best Animated Feature nominees HERE.
I have already ranked the Best Animated Short Film nominees HERE.
So in this post I will rank how I thought the nominees for Best Foreign Language Films stack up. All the nominees this year are excellent, so I fully recommend that you watch them all if you can. A couple are a bit difficult to watch because of their sensitive themes and scenes. This ranking is based on my own enjoyment of each film, and not how I think the Academy will award the winner.
1. A ROYAL AFFAIR (Denmark) 8/10 CLICK TO READ MY FULL REVIEW
This film is a lavish historical costume drama about how important political reforms were instituted in Denmark as a result of an illicit affair between the Queen and the court physician. I enjoy movies of this type, especially the history aspect. The story here was told very well and clearly, holding my interest despite my unfamiliarity with Danish history and the very small screen of the airplane where I watched this.
2. NO (Chile): 7/10 CLICK TO READ MY FULL REVIEW
This film starring international star Gael Garcia Bernal tells us about the ad campaigns for the 1988 referendum held in Chile, asking the voting public whether they would like to further extend the mandate of President Augusto Pinochet. This film plays almost like a real documentary film as its scenes were shot in a grainy style as would be expected from news footage from the 80s. If you do not know if YES or NO would win, there is real suspense.
3. WAR WITCH (Canada) 7/10 CLICK TO READ MY FULL REVIEW
This is a gritty dirty realistic drama set in sub-Saharan Africa in the midst of a bloody civil war. We follow two traumatic years in the life of 12-year old Komona as she is forced to grow up in a most violently hellish way. Of all the films, this was the most difficult to watch because of the graphic violence. But one cannot deny the excellence of the film in general and especially the compelling bold performance of child actress Rachel Mwanza as Komona.
4. KON TIKI (Norway) 7/10 CLICK TO READ MY FULL REVIEW
This is a good old-fashioned adventure film based on the published memoirs of Norse adventurer Thor Heyerdahl as he sailed from Peru to Polynesia on a raft made from ancient materials, as he thought aboriginal explorers did before. I thought the scenes were shot with great cinematography. However, the obvious lack of dramatic tension makes everything almost too perfect to be believed, but it was certainly not boring.
5. AMOUR (Austria): 6/10 CLICK TO READ MY FULL REVIEW
This film is among the nominees of Best Picture AND Best Director this year! The lead actress, 86-year old Emmanuelle Riva, is also nominated for Best Actress. It almost goes without saying that "Amour" by Michael Haneke is the favored film to win the big prize. The first two-thirds of the movie was an excellent poignant portrayal of how a debilitating stroke devastates the lives of an elderly couple (portrayed with perfection by Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant). However, the radical climax is not to my liking, thus negatively affecting my overall ranking.