Tag Archives: Language

82nd Annual Academy Awards ~ Oscars® ~ Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by: Audiegrl

Ajami
Ajami(Israel) Directed by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani

Click here for complete coverage of Ajami, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

El Secreto de Sus Ojos
El Secreto de Sus Ojos(Argentina) Directed by Juan José Campanella

Click here for complete coverage of El Secreto de Sus Ojos, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Milk of Sorrow
The Milk of Sorrow(Peru) Directed by Claudia Llosa

Click here for complete coverage of The Milk of Sorrow, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Un Prophète
Un Prophète(France) Directed by Jacques Audiard

Click here for complete coverage of Un Prophète, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The White Ribbon
The White Ribbon(Germany) Directed by Michael Haneke

Click here for complete coverage of The White Ribbon, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
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Academy Award® Nominated: The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada) ~ Peru

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

The Milk of Sorrow Peru
Fausta is ill with a disease contracted from her mother’s breast milk known as “the milk of sorrow”. However, this is not a sickness caused by bacteria or infection: it is a condition that only affects those women in Peru who were abused or raped during the years of terrorist struggle. Although this horrific period is now history, Fausta is nonetheless a living reminder of this time. Her sickness is called fear – and it has robbed her of her soul. But then, when her mother suddenly dies, Fausta is forced to face her fears.
This is the first nomination for Peru.

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Credits

Director/Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Claudia Llosa
Producers . . . . . . . . . Antonio Chavarrías, José María Morales and Claudia Llosa
Cinematography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Natasha Braier
Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Gutiérrez
Production Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patricia Bueno and Susana Torres
Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fabiola Ordoyo
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Selma Mutal
Production Company . . . . . . Wanda Visión/Oberon Cinematogràfica/Vela Films

The cast includes: Magaly Solier (Fausta), Susi Sánchez (Aída), Efraín Solís (Noé), Marino Ballón (Lúcido), Delci Heredia (Carmela), María del Pilar Guerrero (Máxima).

Reviews

IMDB member from Spain
Winner of the first award at the Berlinale, La Teta Asustada is the second film made by Claudia Llosa, director of the brilliant and exotic Madeinusa. The movie shows an interesting picture of a village in Peru, the life of a family, the things they do to earn a living, and the fears of Fausta, a girl whose mother taught her the power of songs to send away tears.Fausta keeps a secret, and she wants no one to discover it. Meanwhile, he tries to save money to make a wish come true.Magaly Solier plays a gorgeous role, like she did in Madeinusa, and makes us share her feelings through her eyes and her voice. Besides, the film shows the customs of a family and the way every member helps doing his best with a smile. Don’t miss it.

One Nomination

Best Foreign Language Film~Peru

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Academy Award® Nominated: The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) ~ Germany

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

The White Ribbon

The action takes place in a German village in the fifteen months that precede World War I. Among the people who live there are a baron, who is a large landowner and a local moral authority, his estate manager, a pastor with his many children, a widowed doctor and a schoolteacher who is thinking of getting married. It is he who, many years later, tells this story.

Though everything seems to be quiet and orderly, as it always has been, with the seasons following each other, and good harvests following bad ones, suddenly some strange events start to occur. If some appear to be quite ordinary, even accidental — a farmer’s wife dies falling through rotten floorboards — others are inexplicable and may well be malevolent. Thus, a wire placed at knee-height has brought down the horse being ridden by the doctor, who is severely wounded.

There’s more of the same: an unknown hand opens a window to expose a newborn baby to the intense cold of the winter. A whole field of cabbages, on the baron’s land, are beheaded with a scythe. One of the Baron’s sons disappears: he is found his feet and hands bound, his buttocks lashed by a whip. A barn belonging to the manor is set on fire. A farmer hangs himself. A midwife’s handicapped child is found tied to a tree, in a forest, seriously beaten, with a threatening message on his chest speaking of divine punishment.

The village is worried, and at a loss as to what to do. The schoolteacher observes, investigates and little by little discovers the incredible truth…

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Credits

Director/Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Haneke
Producers . Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, Margaret Menegoz and Andrea Occhipinti
Cinematography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christian Berger
Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monika Willi
Production Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christoph Kaner
Costume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moidele Bickel
Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Guillaume Sciama
Production Company . X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film/Les Films du Losange/Lucky Red

The cast includes: Christian Friedel (The Schoolteacher), Leonie Benesch (Eva), Ulrich Tukur (The Baron), Ursina Lardi (Marie-Louise, the Baroness), Burghart Klaussner (The Pastor), Steffi Kühnert (Anna, the Pastor’s wife).

Reviews

IMDB member from Germany
Few film auteurs can match the consistency of Michael Haneke, and once again the Austrian filmmaker has come up trumps with an exquisite and brooding mediation on repression, tradition and the sins of the father.

Shot in stunning black and white, the film chronicles a series of mysterious events in a town leading up to the outbreak of WWI. The pace is slow and thoughtful, and the film is reference to August Sander while being a respectful throwback to the German expressionists whose work would come out of the horrors the film’s narrative seems to foreshadow.

The hallmarks of Haneke’s body of work are all there – elegiac tone, clinical editing, wincingly frank dialogue – but in many ways The White Ribbon stands alone in the canon. It is a challenging work that will polarize audiences but represents a breathtaking new wave not just in the director’s career but in European cinema.

Did You Know?

The White Ribbon is the ninth predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for Cinematography since 1967, when the separate category for black-and-white cinematography was eliminated. Previously nominated films were In Cold Blood (1967), The Last Picture Show (1971), Lenny (1974), Raging Bull (1980) Zelig (1983), Schindler’s List (1993) The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) and Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) This is also the ninth nomination for Germany.

Two Nominations

Best Foreign Language Film~Germany
Best Cinematography

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Academy Award® Nominated: El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret of Her Eyes) ~ Argentina

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

El Secreto de Sus Ojos
The story, set in 1999, is told in flashback form: in June 1974 a federal justice agent, Benjamín Espósito, becomes spellbound by and subsequently entangled in the investigation of the crime of a young woman, brutally raped and murdered inside her house in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood. Her widowed husband, bank employee Ricardo Morales, is shocked by the news; Espósito vows to find the killer and bring him to justice. In his ordeal he is aided by his alcoholic assistent Pablo Sandoval and a newcomer, the upper class lawyer Irene Menéndez-Hastings, who takes over as department chief. Espósito’s rivaling partner Romano pins the murder on two immigrant workers so as to get rid of the matter – an issue that enrages Espósito, who attacks Romano in a fury.

He finds a tip soon enough while looking over some old pictures provided by Morales: he comes across a dubious young man – identified as Isidoro Gómez – who looks at the victim in a suspicious way in several photos. Espósito investigates the whereabouts of Gómez, and determines that he is living and working in Buenos Aires, but fails to locate him.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juan José Campanella
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juan José Campanella and Eduardo Sacheri
Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mariela Besuievsky and Juan José Campanella
Cinematography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Félix Monti
Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juan José Campanella
Production Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marcelo Pont
Costume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cecilia Monti
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Federico Jusid
Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . José Luis Díaz Ouzande
Production Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haddock Films

The cast includes: Ricardo Darín (Benjamín Espósito), Soledad Villamil (Irene Menéndez Hastings), Pablo Rago (Ricardo Morales), Guillermo Francella (Pablo Sandoval), Javier Godina (Gómez).

Reviews

IMDB member from Spain
This is quite frankly an astonishing film. One that fills your entire array of senses and sensitivities, and the praise from Argentine reviewers here is 100 percent justified. Ricardo Darín turns in another majestic performance as a Buenos Aires court employee who is fiercely affected by the rape and murder of a young girl in 1974, a tragedy that dominates his life. Overlapping this theme is the powerfully sensual but never physical relationship between Darín and his superior, the investigating judge played by the superb Soledad Villamil. The connection between the two is electric. It’s a pity this film cannot easily transcend the language barrier, if it was an English-language film of the same quality it would already be hailed as a masterpiece. The blending of tragedy, love, violence and humour is brilliant, and the comedy dialogue fantastic. One scene where Ricardo Darín is balled out for having searched an old lady’s house is priceless in terms of comic timing and delivery. A wonderful performance also from Guillermo Francella as the court clerk with a drinking problem, in fact the secondary acting is all first-class. The camera-work is impressive, especially the swoop down into the football stadium and the closeups, and the script is also superb. Argentina has nominated the film as its candidate for best foreign film at the Oscar’s, it deserves to walk it.

Did You Know?

This is the sixth nomination for Argentina. As of 2009 El Secreto de Sus Ojos is Argentina’s most viewed cinema movie since 1983, with nearly 3 million viewers. This is the second movie directed by Juan José Campanella to receive an Oscar nomination. The first one was El Hijo de la Novia (2001).

One Nomination

Best Foreign Language Film~Argentina

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Academy Award® Nominated: Un Prophète (The Prophet) ~ France

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Un Prophéte France
Set largely within prison walls, the film details the prison career of Malik el Djebena (Tahar Rahim), a 19-year-old man of North African origin but estranged from the Muslim community. Sentenced to six years for what appears to be violence against police (albeit denied by Malik), he is chosen by Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup), feared kingpin of the prisons reigning Corsican gang, to kill a prisoner named Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi) who had initially offers Malik drugs in exchange for sex. Reyeb is in prison awaiting testifying against the mob. Malik commits the bloody murder, and thanks to Luciani’s near-total control of the prisons internal workings – gets off scot-free. This makes him a lieutenant in the prisons Corsican gang, initially entrusted only with menial duties and disparaged as an Arab outsider.

Haunted by visions of a ghostly Reyeb, and determined to get on, the illiterate Malik not only learns to read, but teaches himself Corsican, surreptitiously learning the ins and outs of Luciani’s business. Another inmate, Ryad (Adel Bencherif), becomes Malik’s friend, later his ally on the outside. When Luciani arranges periods of leave for Malik, entrusting him with various criminal missions, Malik takes the opportunity to do some business of his own, setting up a drugs trade with Ryad’s aid. Life gets increasingly dangerous for Malik, both inside and outside prison walls, but he seems partly through Reyeb’s benign, unearthly influence – to lead a charmed life. Powers of prophecy are attributed to him after surviving a bizarre car crash an incident presaged in an enigmatic fantasy sequence.

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Credits

Directer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacques Audiard
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard, Abdel Raouf
Cinematography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stéphane Fontaine
Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juliette Welfling
Production Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michel Barthélemy
Costume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Virginie Montel
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexandre Desplat
Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brigitte Taillandier
Production Company . . . . . . . . . . . . .Why Not Productions/Page 114/Chic Films

The cast includes: Tahar Rahim (Malik El Djebena), Niels Arestrup (Cesar Luciani), Hichem Yacoubi (Reyeb), Adel Bencherif (Riad).

Reviews

IMDB member from France
At times hard to watch but in the end you come out with the feeling of having watched a masterpiece. Perfect acting, scenario, directing, cinematography & sound…This is definitely not a Hollywood production, but the best of what french cinema can be. Audiard is a great director, having previously made Read My Lips which I also recommend. The main actor Tahar Rahim is a revelation, keep an eye on him in the future. Niels Arestrup is also quite good in his role as a Corsican crime boss.

Did You Know?

Un Prophète is the 36th nomination for France. It has taken home nine Oscars for My Uncle (1958), Black Orpheus (1959), Sundays and Cybele (1962), A Man and a Woman (1966), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Day for Night (1973), Madame Rosa (1977), Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978) and Indochine (1992).

Additionally, France received three Special/Honorary Awards prior to the establishment of Foreign Language Film as a regular category in 1956: for Monsieur Vincent (1948), The Walls of Malapaga (1950) [shared with Italy] and Forbidden Games (1952). Other nominations were for Gervaise (1956), Gates of Paris (1957), La Vérité (1960), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Live for Life (1967), Stolen Kisses (1968), My Night at Maud’s (1969), Hoa-Binh (1970), Lacombe, Lucien (1974), Cousin, Cousine (1976), A Simple Story (1979), The Last Metro (1980), Coup de Torchon (“Clean Slate”) (1982), Entre Nous (1983), Three Men and a Cradle (1985), Betty Blue (1986), Au Revoir Les Enfants (Goodbye, Children) (1987), Camille Claudel (1989), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Ridicule (1996), East-West (1999), The Taste of Others (2000), Amélie (2001), The Chorus (Les Choristes) (2004), Joyeux Noël (2005) and The Class (2008).

One Nomination

Best Foreign Language Film ~ France

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The Outrage Pandemic by Jeffrey Feldman

Op-ed by Jeffrey Feldman

Author Jeffrey Feldman

Author Jeffrey Feldman

HP/Jeffrey Feldman—Forget the Swine Flu. America is suffering from an outrage pandemic.

Like everybody else in America, I was surprised when the Nobel committee awarded the 2009 Peace Prize to Barack Obama. I was pleased, but surprised. Apparently, just about the only living creature not surprised was Bo the First Dog. But the outrage that flowed from every corner of the political conversation was far more depressing than learning about the award was surprising.

When did American optimism succumb to this constant outrage?

Less than a year ago, tens of millions of Americans descended on Washington, DC, just so they could say, “I was there,” on the day Barack Obama became President. Nine months later, a majority of Americans seem convinced that this same man–who once inspired them so deeply–has personally slighted them.

The right-wing is certainly responsible in part for the spread of the outrage pandemic.

The right has reached a level of outrage at Barack Obama that already exceeds what the left mustered after eight years of George W. Bush. The result is that right-wing politics in America now follows one general argument: If Obama wants it, then it is so bad it must be stopped or it will destroy America.

The insanity in this approach became clear in the health care reform debate where we have heard Republicans on Medicare say crazy things like, “I’d rather die than see this country adopt government-run health insurance” (e.g., I would rather die than have the kind of government health insurance that I currently have, which keeps me from dying).

When people shake their fists in protest at the very things they say they will die to defend, the result is far worse than a nation divided along political lines. It is a form of national schizophrenia.

While the outrage pandemic may have reached critical levels on the right, the left has done its part in the past nine months, too.

Try talking to anyone in the left-wing, nowadays, and it seems everyone has a bone to pick with Barack Obama. Whatever Barack Obama does, more and more people on the left are outraged by him. First it was the bank bailout program, then the auto-industry rescue, then the health care bill. Then it was not moving fast enough on closing Gitmo, then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then withdrawal from Iraq. Now the left is outraged at Obama’s Afghan policy and his view on cap and trade and home mortgage relief and marriage equality and the prosecution of past administration officials.

Is there anyone left on the left who is not outraged at Barack Obama for something? If they’re out there, I never come across them.

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