Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014
Category: Current Events, Films, Languages, Television
Lovers of both films and languages are anticipating the 86th Academy Awards, especially the nominees in the Foreign Language Film category.
First introduced in 1956, the Foreign Language Film category celebrates feature-length, non-English films produced outside the United States.
Receiving an Academy Award is a very high honor in any category. Each year, countries around the world submit films to be considered for nomination – but each country can only submit one film.
Out of all the submissions, only five are selected as nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.
2014 Oscar Nominees for Best Foreign Language Film
This year’s nominees represent the culture of film from all over the world. There’s a wide range in subject matter, genre and even medium:
“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen, this film tells the story of bluegrass performer Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) and his girlfriend Elise (Veerle Baetens). When the couple has a daughter, they have a hard time letting go of their previously carefree lifestyle.
“The Great Beauty,” Italy
In a film reminiscent of Rossellini’s “Rome, Open City” and Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” director Paolo Sorrentino follows the trend of covering a piece of Rome’s history: this time, it’s the very recent Berlusconi era.
The film stars Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella, a successful journalist who is prominent in the city’s social world. But come his 65th birthday, Jep reflects upon his life choices, which don’t seem to have fulfilled him.
“The Hunt,” Denmark
“The Hunt” explores what happens to the wrongly accused. Director Thomas Vinterberg shows audiences the life of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), an innocent kindergarten teacher. After his student Klara develops a crush on him, she falsely accuses him of having exposed himself. Lucas then must deal with the persecution from his friends, family and neighbors.
“The Missing Picture,” Cambodia
“The Missing Picture” stands out from the other films in this category by using claymation and a single narrator to recreate a particularly brutal period in Cambodia’s history. Directed by Rithy Panh, this film tells the story of his own family and experiences during the Kampuchean Revolution in 1975.
“Omar” has already gotten a bit of acclaim: It has won the “Un Certain Regard” Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Feature Film at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, and both Best Film and Director at the Dubai International Film Festival.
All in all, director Hany-Abu-Assad already has quite a few accolades for his work, which tells the story of Omar (Adam Bakri), a young Palestinian who, with the help of his friends, has decided to kill an Israeli soldier. However, plans go awry when Omar suspects that one of his friends may be an informant.
2014 Oscars: When to Watch
Until the Oscars air, you can hold yourself over by checking out the Oscar nominees from previous years.
Just be sure to tune in on March 2 to see which of these five films takes home the 2014 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film!