Foreign Film Watch: Biutiful, Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Undertow

November 30, 2010

From our correspondent Sam (Armchair Critic) Blair:

Friends who like good foreign films: These theater trailers should pique your interest.

Sixty-five countries submitted nominees for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award this year. From this group, five will be nominated in mid-January. The winnowing down process is a head-scratcher, with two committees appointed by the Academy viewing and evaluating half of the nominees each. They select nine or ten semifinalists, from which a third committee chooses the final five.

The five nominees usually include a couple that nobody has heard of and others that are heavy favorites to make the cut. Among the latter this year are the nominees from Canada and Mexico. Two others often mentioned in online blogs are nominees from France, Peru, and Thailand. Last year a thriller from South America, Argentina’s The Secret in their Eyes, took the award from better-known films from France and Germany.

Here are trailers from four of the submissions noted above. I like the looks of ’em all. With luck, we’ll eventually get them at Market Street Cinema. In fact I believe the poster for Biutiful with Javier Bardem is already up: Bardem is likely to be a rare Best Actor nominee from a foreign language film.

Mexico: Biutiful (Though it’s Mexico’s entry, the film is set in Barcelona)

Canada (French): Incendies

France: Of Gods and Men (This is the title of the English language-released film. Interestingly a literal translation of the French title, “Des hommes et des dieux,” is “Of Men and Gods.”)

Peru: Undertow


  • Comment by Philip Martin — Nov 30,2010 at 1:50 pm

    Of the four, I’ve seen only Biutiful, which is simply astoiunding, and possibly Iñárritu’s best movie yet. (And I am probably his biggest fan, at least among the movie critic ilk.) And I can’t see how Bardem won’t get a Best Actor nomination, though I don’t know how to pick such things.

  • Comment by levifilm — Nov 30,2010 at 2:40 pm

    I can’t wait to see Biutiful. I’m a big Inarritu fan. I think Amores Perros is probably my favorite film (aside from my Facebook avatar). I thought Babel was overwrought and a retread of similar themes when it first came out but the performances and mood really grew on me and I consider it to be a classic. The 21 Grams soundtrack is pretty badass too.

    I really thought Un Prophete was going to win last year so I’m kind of done with guessing for Foreign Films.

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