5 Oscar-Worthy International Feature Films – Daily Trojan
“And the Oscar goes to…” Well, we don’t know yet!
For those interested in Hollywood happenings, the start of the year is particularly exciting because it signifies “awards season.” From the Screen Actors Guild Awards to the Golden Globes to the Oscars, moviegoers around the world are tuning in to see who this year’s winners will be.
On December 21, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced shortlists in 10 categories for the upcoming Oscars: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, International Feature, Makeup & Hair, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short, Live Action Short, Sound and Visual Effects. While this doesn’t guarantee a nomination, it does give the audience a chance to anticipate what the nominees might be.
Specifically, international films give people the opportunity to cross cultural boundaries and language barriers and connect based on feelings and emotions. Check out these five potential Oscar nominees in the International Feature Film category ahead of the March 27 ceremony:
Norway, “The worst person in the world” (2021)
Lead actress Renate Reinsve won the ‘Best Actress Award’ at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in ‘The Worst Person in the World’. Although Reinsve isn’t what the title suggests, her character, Julie, does feel like it at times as she navigates a complicated and uncertain love life. Julie’s emotions and experiences are not uncommon, which is what makes her so relevant to so many people.
But even if you’re not in your thirties and stuck in a love triangle between your comic book artist boyfriend and a younger, likable stranger, there’s something captivating about this film that will make you laugh and cry. As Julie’s other life experiences unfold, the audience learns that her problem of being stuck between these two men isn’t as simple as it originally seems. Watch it in select theaters across the United States now.
Mexico, “Prayers for the Stolen” (2021)
An adaptation of Jennifer Clement’s novel that delivers harsh material in a soft lens, “Prayers for the Stolen” focuses on the violent reality of three young girls – main character Ana (Ana Cristina Ordóñez González and Marya Memberño) and her best friends. friends Paula (Camila Gaal and Alejandra Camacho) and María (Blanca Itzel Pérez and Giselle Barrera Sánchez) – as they grow up in a place terrorized by drug cartels. After a young girl goes missing from their town, Ana and Paula have to cut their hair and wear boy’s clothes as protective measures.
Available on Netflix, the adaptation is an honest reminder of the effects violence has on people, especially young women, as they navigate the normal stages of growing up: menstruating and having crushes. The cinematography is extremely well done, with slow moving visuals that provide brilliant contrast to the subject matter.
Italy, “The Hand of God” (2021)
“Hand of God,” set in 1980s Naples, follows an awkward teenager and his experiences growing up as he navigates freedom and loss. It’s not a film for everyone – the combination of eerie sex scenes demonstrating the protagonist’s innocent fascination with footballer Diego Maradona can be off-putting, but director Paolo Sorrentino roots the autobiographical tale in heartbreak and love, which makes it very personal and intimate.
Navigating lust, friendship, and a number of other emotions, the protagonist, Fabietto (Filippo Scotti) is goofy yet charming. Scotti’s acting is brilliant and powerfully emotional scenes show off his range. The soundtrack to this piece stood out a lot, with violin-heavy compositions that help frame the artistic scenes. The cinematography is comparable to “Spencer” (2021) which masterfully juxtaposes darker lighting with a lighter color palette. “The Hand of God” is currently available on Netflix.
Iceland, “Lamb” (2021)
Powerhouse A24’s “Lamb” is simply unsettling. Is it a horror? Is it a comedy? Answer: It’s both. It’s a funny, weird, sad movie that’s purely innovative. At its core, it’s a story of parenthood, but it becomes clear that Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) aren’t the parents of a child but rather a strange animal-human hybrid born from a sheep named after their dead daughter. , Ad. It’s a must-have watch based on sheer inventiveness, but presenting something completely new and captivating is no stranger to A24. What’s so special about this film are the visual effects, which add to the absurdity when the audience finally lays their eyes on Ada. Hitting heartbreak points but also adding gruesome moments, the takeaways from “Lamb,” which is on Amazon Prime, are ones every viewer needs to discern.
Bhutan, “Lunana: a yak in the classroom” (2022)
Bhutan’s official entry into the 94th Academy Awards follows Ugyen, a young schoolteacher who is assigned to teach in the mountains of Bhutan but longs to go to Australia instead. With less than 100 inhabitants, Lunana is a remote village in northwestern Bhutan. To get to his classroom, Ugyen has to travel for eight days.
Available in theaters nationwide, the film is heartwarming and illustrates the positive impact a caring and dedicated teacher can have on the lives of their students. Not only are the kids adorable, but their sincere desire to learn makes watching the slice of life absolutely worthwhile. Lunana’s expansive landscape helps create these wide shots that contrast with the intimacy of the city itself. It’s particularly monumental because it’s also the first time Bhutan has made the shortlist for the Oscars.