Sunday, January 31, 2010


Well, well, well....All five favorites made it in, but four dark horses did too!

GERMANY's "The White Ribbon" is the most awarded foreign film of the year, winning at Cannes and the Golden Globes....
FRANCE's prison drama "Un Prophete" got even more solid reviews proving that the French really know how to pick a winner in this category....
ARGENTINA's myster-suspense drama "Secret of Her Eyes" hasn't had a single bad word said against it.
ISRAEL, with multi-character drama "Ajami", is going for three nominations in a row with a politically fascinating drama about Jewish-Arab people-to-people relations
NETHERLANDS's "Winter in Wartime" is the only one of the World War II submissions to get's a baity film about a teenaged boy fighting alongside the Resistance
BULGARIA's awkwardly titled charmer "The World is Big and Salvation Lies Around the Corner", about a road trip between an old man and his amnesiac grandson was the likely sixth film chosen by the Larger committee....

The three surprises (and likely choices of the smaller, elite committee) were PERU's Berlin Film Festival winner "The Milk of Sorrow", AUSTRALIA's Aboriginal teen drama "Samson & Delilah" and "Kelin", an obscure drama from KAZAKHSTAN told without dialogue, which is potentially the real Cinderella story of the Awards.

Once again, I'm most disappointed in the snub of the fine Asian films....IRAN's "About Elly" and JAPAN's "Nobody to Watch Over Me" and KOREA's "Mother" were all given short shrift....

The nominations come out tomorrow and it's obvious the favorites are ARGENTINA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ISRAEL, and the NETHERLANDS, but how boring would that selection be? In such an unpredictable category, one of them may be knocked out by the dark horse from BULGARIA. Although they've been sending films since 1971, they're fighting for their first-ever Oscar nomination....

My predictions (in order):

1. ARGENTINA- "The Secret of Their Eyes"
2. FRANCE- "Un Prophete"
3. GERMANY- "The White Ribbon"

4. ISRAEL- "Ajami" (too confusing? too many plotlines?)
5. BULGARIA- "The World is Big & Salvation Lurks Around the Corner" (too low-budget?)
6. NETHERLANDS- "Winter in Wartime" (too treacly? too "old hat"?)

7. AUSTRALIA- "Samson & Delilah"....Dreary teen angst...Little dialogue...
8. PERU- "Milk of Sorrow"....Overly arty...Weakest reviews of the nine films...
9. KAZAKHSTAN- "Kelin"....Silent? Kazakh? Too weird.


Bostons Obscurity said...

I'd take 'Milk of Sorrow' over "The Secret of Their Eyes" any day of the week.

The only inspiring part of "secret" was the incredible sequence from above the stadium into the stands on the chase. The flashbacks were stylised as badly as a 'days of our lives'episode.

Un Prophete and The White Ribbon were both brilliant and deserve a win. I was surprised to not see any mention of 'Broken embraces' or even 'Nord' in there.

Bostons Obscurity said...

I saw Kelin too.. average..2.5 stars at best.

The World is Big and Salvation Lurks was decent enough, a nice heart warming tale. 4 stars.