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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday's Top 5... Foreign Language Film Winners

#5: The Lives of Others

Even though it's not the film I would have chosen to win Best Foreign Language Film in 2006, I must concede that if any film had to beat Pan's Labyrinth, I'm glad it was this one. It's a great, great movie.

#4: The Official Story

This Argentinian film about a woman who discovers that her adoptive daughter may be the stolen child of a murdered counter-revolutionary is heavy but well worth watching. The lead performance by Norma Aleandro is absolutely extraordinary.

#3: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

One of the best films of the last decade and arguably the most successful non-English film ever as far as the Oscars go. It received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, which it totally should have won.

#2: The Nights of Cabiria

My favourite Fellini film (well, maybe tied with La Dolce Vita). It stars Giulietta Massina as Cabiria, a prostitute just trying to get by and live her life while faced with obstacles and tragedy at every turn. The film would be a great winner in pretty much any year.

#1: The Shop On Main Street

When I first saw this movie a couple of years ago, it totally blew me away. It takes place during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and involves the relationship between a Czech man and an old Jewish woman whose shop he's given ownership of. It starts out almost as a comedy (she's hard of hearing and totally doesn't get that he now legally owns her store because of Nazi rules) and then ends on a deeply dramatic tone as the Nazis start rounding up Jews. I honestly could not recommend this movie more, it's amazing.


The Mad Hatter said...

So many great ones, where is one to begin?? My list might go like so...

8 1/2

Alex said...

Wow I haven't even heard of The Shop on Main Street but it sounds excellent!

I think I'd have All About My Mother, Rashomon, The Lives of Others, and The Counterfeiters in my list, but honestly looking at the list of Best Picture Winners I haven't seen very many, or others I don't like very much.

Norma Desmond said...

@Mad Hatter: believe me, I had a hard time taking it down to 5. There are some WTF? choices in the Foreign Language winners history, but there's a lot of good ones, too.

@Alex: The Shop on Main Street is awesome. If you ever get a chance to see it, take it!

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

I agree with Mad Hatter -- "The Sea Inside" deserves a place on any great foreign films list, as does "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days." Alex makes a good call as well with Pedro Almodovar's "Todo Sobre Mi Madre." I also think "Show Me Love," a Swedish coming-of-age film, is very good.