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Oscars 2017: Which Country Nominated For Best Foreign Language Film Has the Best Track Record of Winning?

‘The Salesman’ (Courtesy: Amazon Studios and Cohen Media Group)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

The one chance for the entire world to get involved with the Academy Awards has always been the best foreign language film category. Since any country can submit a film each year, though, that means the competition is intense. Let’s take a look at the countries that have snagged nominations this year and see how they’ve performed in the past in the hopes of shedding some light on what might happen come February 26.

This year the five nominees for best foreign language film are Land of Mine from Denmark, A Man Called Ove from Sweden, The Salesman from Iran, Tanna from Australia, and Toni Erdmann from Germany. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg lists The Salesman as the frontrunner in this category — obviously due to the film’s merits and also potentially due to its director,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Ten Oscar-Nommed Foreign-Language Films About Jewish WWII Experiences

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Set in 1960s Poland, Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white drama Ida focuses on faith and identity after family secrets are revealed. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is a young orphan brought up in a convent preparing to take her vows to become a nun. When told she must visit her aunt, her only living relative, Anna discovers she’s Jewish, her name is actually Ida and her parents were killed in WWII. Anna/Ida and her aunt embark on a journey to learn more about the family’s history and discover the truth about what happened.

The film landed on the Oscar shortlist for best foreign-language film and was nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category.

A number of foreign films focused on WWII have done well at the Oscars throughout the years. Ones based on real events include The Counterfeiters (2007), about the Nazis’ attempt to
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Toronto Film Review: ‘Labyrinth of Lies’

Toronto Film Review: ‘Labyrinth of Lies’
A principled young prosecutor in post-wwii Germany uncovers inconvenient truths about his country’s recent past in “Labyrinth of Lies,” an intelligent and arresting fact-based drama that plays like a more streamlined version of the high-minded, blunt-spoken, socially conscious “prestige pictures” made by Stanley Kramer and similarly ambitious American auteurs during the 1950s and ’60s. , the campaign to identify, locate, and bring to trial some 22 “very normal Germans” who had actively facilitated the Final Solution at Auschwitz — but remained unpunished, and largely forgotten, long after the war ended. Commercial prospects and awards potential are such that Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American distribution rights for the film shortly after its Toronto Film Festival premiere.

Alexander Fehling (“Inglourious Basterds”) evinces an effective mix of naivete, idealism and implacable dedication — along with flashes of self-righteousness, and bottled-up rage that occasionally is uncorked – in the lead role of Johann Radmann, a composite of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2014 Foreign Language Oscar Breakdown

By Terence Johnson

Managing Editor

The Oscar race is never a dull one and that couldn’t be any more apparent than in the race for Best Foreign Language film. This year is certainly shaping up to be a battle of David vs. Goliath if you looked at the histories of the countries competing. In one corner, you have Italy, with a whopping 12 wins in this category, facing off with a country like Cambodia, with no Oscar nominations. But such is the beauty of the awards season and the Oscars. So before the nominations come out, here’s an Oscar primer to get you caught up on the Foreign Language films.

Belgium – 2013 Nominee: The Broken Circle Breakdown

Logline/Synopsis: Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

The Unknown Soldier

The Unknown Soldier
First Run Features

NEW YORK -- In this documentary, German director Michael Verhoeven applies a nonfiction approach to themes explored in such films as The White Rose and the Oscar-nominated The Nasty Girl.

This exploration of the uproar stirred up in Germany by a touring exhibition that made the case for the complicity of ordinary soldiers in the Holocaust lacks stylistic distinction, but the relevancy and importance of its subject matter more than compensate. The Unknown Soldier is playing at New York's Quad Cinema.

The Wehrmacht exhibition, which began in 1997 Munich and proceeded to tour German cities for the next several years, was a wake-up call to a country that had long comforted itself with the idea that only specific entities of Hitler's military forces carried out the policy of mass extermination.

Using home movies, photographs and documents, the exhibition made a strong case that many German soldiers were not only aware of what was going on but also took part in it without hesitation.

Needless to say, the exhibit stirred great controversy, which Verhoeven elucidates with interviews with many of the historians who contributed to it, as well as those who oppose its assertions. Ordinary citizens, including several military vets, weigh in as well, often in turbulent fashion.

The film's momentum becomes somewhat bogged down by the daunting procession of talking heads, and the issues are not always made clear enough for those not intimately familiar with World War II history. But ultimately Unknown Soldier emerges as a complicated and troubling portrait of the diverse aspects of the German national psyche.

Verhoeven tapped for lifetime nod

Verhoeven tapped for lifetime nod
COLOGNE, Germany -- Michael Verhoeven, one of Germany's most prolific political filmmakers, best known for his films dealing with Germany's Nazi past, will receive a lifetime achievement honor at next year's Bavarian Film Awards, organizers announced Wednesday. The award will be presented Jan. 19 at a gala ceremony in Munich.

Verhoeven, a director, actor, writer and producer, told the story of the failed anti-Nazi resistance group led by siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl in The White Rose, (1982), a film that was an inspiration for Marc Rothemund's Oscar-nominated "Sophie Scholl -- The Final Days." (2005).

The director's My Mother's Courage (1995) is the true story of how one woman escaped the Nazis' deportation of 4,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in 1944. And 1990's Nasty Girl, which won a Berlin Silver Bear and a U.K. Bafta award for best foreign-language film, follows a German high school student who uncovers her town's secret collaboration with the Nazis during the war.

Verhoeven's latest film, the documentary The Unknown Soldier, is an examination of the German army's involvement in the Holocaust.

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