9 Films in Contention for Best Foreign Language Oscar Including THE HUNT, THE GRANDMASTER, and BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences today unveiled its list of the nine films that are eligible for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.  The films include Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster, the Belgian film The Broken Circle Breakdown, and Denmark’s The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen. We already knew that Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color would be deemed ineligible given that it wasn’t released in France until after the theatrical run deadline, but one of the most glaring omissions is A Separation director Asghar Farhadi’s new film The Past.  There was some controversy surrounding the pic given that it’s officially Iran’s entry even though the film’s primary spoken language is French.

Also absent is Saudi Arabia’s well-received Wadjda.  That film marked the country’s very first entry in the Oscar race, directed by a woman (Haifaa Al-Mansour) no less.  Alas, trying to make sense of the Best Foreign Language category year after year, given the Academy’s strict and strange rules, is a fruitless endeavor.  Hit the jump to see the full list of contenders.


by     Posted 1 year, 108 days ago


We are limited.  We are limited in how much we can endure; how much we can depict; how much we can feel.  There is a futility in trying to break beyond those bonds because while it would nice and uplifting if we could go always surpass our limitations, then there would be no such thing as limitations.  Rithy Panh’s The Missing Pictures explores the limits of human suffering, the limits of depicting that suffering, and the limits of our empathy when witnessing those depictions.  This deeply personal film melds textbook history and a first-person account into a story that can only be brought out of the earth, painted, and stand for a record that was either lost or never existed in the first place.

GRAVITY, LABOR DAY, NEBRASKA, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, and More Grace the Line-up of the 2013 Telluride Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 116 days ago


The Telluride Film Festival gets under my skin.  It’s incredibly expensive to attend, and you don’t know the line-up until the day before the festival begins.  Its major advantage is that it’s become the place where awards films attempt to pick up a little steam.  Telluride equivalent of a Preview Night.  Rather than drop the films at the Toronto International Film Festival, they can start picking up some buzz from a smaller audience, which could potentially guide the much larger audience at the  TIFF.  Not all of the films are making debuts.  Most notably, Cannes favorites Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and All Is Lost will be playing at Telluride, skipping TIFF, and then playing at the New York Film Festival.  Gravity just had its premiere at Venice, but Telluride is now its North American debut.  Other notable movies that will now be making their world premiere at Telluride are Jason Reitman‘s Labor DayJonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin,  and Errol Morris‘ documentary The Unknown Known.

Hit the jump for the full line-up.  The 2013 Telluride Film Festival runs from August 29 – September 2nd.

Full New York Film Festival Lineup Includes INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, NEBRASKA, THE IMMIGRANT, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 125 days ago


Each year, the fall film festival season is where studios present their awards fare and kick off months of rigorous campaigning in hopes of Oscar glory.  We recently examined this year’s contenders in the inaugural installment of our new column Oscar Beat, and at the time it appeared that the Toronto International Film Festival was poised to once again be the heavy hitter.  However, the 2013 New York Film Festival has now announced its full lineup, and it definitely gives TIFF a run for its money.

In addition to previously announced films Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Her, NYFF will play host to screenings of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, James Gray’s The Immigrant, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and plenty more.  Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.  The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.

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