June 9th, 2021


Oscar-nominated International Feature

I guess they changed the name of this category again. It used to be Best Foreign-Language Feature. *shrugs* But I finally watched the last of last year's nominees (and winner). Now that Kitty is back at work and I take my walkies in the morning, I have a couple of hours to myself to watch movies that Kitty might not be interested in. I know she's not a big fan of subtitles.

"Another Round" - I think I wrote about this one several posts back. It was the winner and deservedly so. I'm also a fan of Mads Mikkelsen who was in another Oscar-nominated film almost a decade ago. He's been a Bond villain and Hannibal Lecter. Here he is a school teacher who does an experiment with some fellow teachers to see if their creativity increases with alcohol. It's an interesting take on how much is too much or when and where is it OK to drink.

"Collective" - I've already mentioned this film since it was also nominated for Best Documentary. It's the story of a fire at a nightclub in Romania that ended up killing dozens thanks to corruption in the country's medical system. It then causes a political shitstorm.

"Better Days" - A Chinese film about bullying and the pressures kids are under to succeed. A street kid helps a girl make it through high school. I was surprised how much I liked this movie. It was really powerful. It sort of falls apart at the end when they start messing with the timeline, but overall a good watch.

"The Man Who Sold His Skin" - This film takes on way too many issues from the Syrian civil war to what is human trafficking to what is art. A man lets a famous artist tattoo his back and he becomes an art piece who is bought and sold. It has a "gotcha" happy ending which seemed unnecessary. Even his cat, which is seen at the beginning of the movie, makes an appearance at the end so that you know it was OK.

"Quo Vadis, Aida?" - A local Bosnian woman translates for the UN as Serbian forces close in. She tries desperately to save her husband and 2 sons from the soon-to-be genocide. Really good acting here. I had never heard of Jasna Djuricic, but she portrayed a frustrated and desperate woman in a wonderful performance. Unlike the previous movie, no happy ending here.