Oscar History

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Entries in foreign films (423)


Interview: Director Petra Volpe on Swiss Oscar Submission 'The Divine Order'

By Jose Solís

I don’t remember exactly what horrible thing the new US administration had announced it wanted to do the day I found myself walking into The Divine Order at the Tribeca Film Festival. I knew nothing about the movie and decided I’d give it ten minutes to capture my attention and help me escape whatever ghastly reality was shaping outside. I didn’t want to watch anything about war, genocide etcetera.

All I wanted was hope, and boy did Petra Volpe’s lovely film deliver...

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Interview: Nikolaj Lie Kaas on Playing the Complex Lead in Denmark's Oscar Submission 'You Disappear'

By Jose Solís.

Since his breakthrough performance in The Idiots, where he played the sensitive, tragic Jeppe, Nikolaj Lie Kaas has remained one of the most interesting male actors in the world. Jumping from genre to genre, and from big Hollywood productions, to intellectual television series, his body of work is as varied as it’s complex. He’s played real life people, an assassin trying to thwart Tom Hank’s plans, a romantic hero, and one of the most beloved literary characters in contemporary Scandinavian fiction. But in Peter Schønau Fog’s You Disappear he reveals layers previously unseen as he plays Frederik Halling, a school headmaster whose world is shaken when he’s accused of embezzlement. Could it be that the brain tumor affecting his personality is to blame, or has Frederik always been this way?

The late, great Michael Nyqvist plays Frederik’s lawyer, and Trine Dyrholm plays his loving wife. You Disappear has been selected to represent Denmark at the Academy Awards next year, so I caught up with leading man Kaas, to discuss his work in the film, the way in which he approached a character like Frederik, and his opinion on awards season.

Read the interview after the jump.

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Interview: Dir. Hana Jusic on How a Best Actress Winner Inspired Croatian Oscar Submission 'Quit Staring at My Plate'

By Jose Solís

Marijana, the heroine of Quit Staring at My Plate, doesn’t know she’s allowed a life away from her controlling family. Even though she has a full time job, and is of age, she gives her mother all her wages, spends more than half the day working, and dutifully sits at the dinner table as her parents and unemployed brother criticize her lifestyle. Then one day Marijana finds a sidejob that takes her the furthest she’s been from home in a very long time, and her many awakenings begin. Anchored by a breakthrough performance by Mia Petricevic, the film plays like a moral fable seen through an unsentimental lens. In her first feature film, director Hana Jusic proves that not only does she have an eye for talent (the story of how she found Mia is film worthy) but she also has the kind of confidence in her voice that the world craves. I spoke to Husic about creating Marijana and how two Oscar winning performances inspired the world of her film.  

Read the interview after the jump. 

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111 days 'til Oscar

Can you believe Germany's WINGS OF DESIRE (1987) was not nominated for Best Foreign Film? It won numerous prizes that year but Oscar skipped it.

According to numerologists 111 is a very powerful number, sometimes called an "angel number" for spiritual guidance. It signifies that a gate of opportunity is opening -- your dreams can become manifest with positive thinking. (Or some such. Don't ask me I'm not a numerologist. I'm just trying to find cute ways to count down to Oscar, okay?)

In other words those current long shot Oscar campaigns need to be harnessing all their positive thinking on this very day! So tell us your #1 dream for Oscar night this coming March 4th. What reality shall you will into being, nomination-wise or statue win? You know mine already


26 Films Eligible for Oscar's "Best Animated Feature" 

by Nathaniel R

Italy's "Cinderella the Cat" which is aimed at adults

Twenty-six films have been deamed eligible for this year's Animated Feature Oscar competition which means we'll have 5 nominees yet again (only 16 eligible features are required to trigger the maximum category size). The only mild surprise was that Leap!, Nut Job 2, and Spark were not submitted --usually, even if an American picture doesn't have a prayer in hell, the studios will submit it anyway. This year the rules are slighly different for the category as people that aren't within the animated branch can also take part in the nominating process. Consider this year a test to see if this new rule crowds the little seen but artful deserving foreign titles, that the category has become known for, out of the race. We fear that it might though we're currently predicting business as usual (three US pictures, two foreign) anyway...

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Interview: Ferenc Török of "1945" on making a Western about the aftermath of WW2

On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox Jewish man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful, and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back.

In the new film 1945 director Ferenc Török tells the story of a society trying to come to terms with the recent horrors they’ve experienced, perpetrated, or just tolerated for personal gain. Based on the short story ‘Homecoming’ by Gábor T. Szántó and shot in gorgeous black and white cinematography, 1945 is a historically detailed drama that plays like a ticking clock Western. We recently spoke to Török in New York.


MURTADA ELFADL: I’m curious about the inception of the project. How did you come about it?

FERENC TÖRÖK: I read the short story by Gabor in 2004. It was visual without too much dialogue, but I thought there wasn’t enough for a feature. The timing especially was good - 1945 in the summer, after the war. It takes place in only a 2-3 hour span of time, like an old greek drama, Antigone or something. Like a western. I’ve always wanted to make a movie in real time with different points of view from different characters like a Robert Altman movie.

You mentioned westerns, I thought of High Noon while watching because of the ticking clock structure...

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