The months leading up to the big film awards shows can feel overwhelming — which of the year’s top films to watch? This year, many films are easier to find than ever due to quick streaming releases in light of pandemic theater closures. And what better time to dive into the impressive slate of foreign films than a long holiday weekend, starting with the five Golden Globe nominees for best foreign language film?
Three of those films — “Another Round,” “La Llorona” and “Two of Us” — also made the Oscars shortlist of 15 movies for best international feature film, unveiled this week. The academy will cull the list to five finalists when nominations are unveiled on March 15.
In the meantime, catch up on the Golden Globe nominees ahead of the Feb. 28 awards ceremony. Below, a look at the five foreign language nominees and where to watch them.
(The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, in collaboration with American Cinematheque, is also offering the general public an opportunity to apply for screening links of the films, through its virtual foreign language nominee screening series taking place Feb. 22-26.)
“Another Round” (Denmark)
Danish director Thomas Vinterberg — a founder of the Dogme 95 filmmaking movement — premiered his latest film, “Another Round,” at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen (who also starred in Vinterberg’s 2012 movie “The Hunt,” which was also nominated for a Golden Globe) as one of four teachers who decide to test whether daily alcohol consumption can elevate them out of their respective life ruts. The film is available to rent on Vudu.
“La Llorona” (France, Guatemala)
Horror genre streamer Shudder picked up a nomination with Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante’s artful “La Llorona.” (Not to be confused with the recent and poorly reviewed thriller, “The Curse of La Llorona.”) Bustamante’s film pairs the Latin American fable of La Llorona (“the weeping woman”) with the aftermath of the Guatemalan genocide. The result is a nuanced film that takes audiences past jump scares and into the realm of sociopolitical horror.
“The Life Ahead” (Italy)
Sophia Loren stars in this Italian film as a Holocaust survivor and former prostitute, who befriends a young street kid after he robs her. The film was directed by Loren’s son, Edoardo Ponti, and is based on the 1975 French novel “The Life Before Us.” “The Life Ahead” is available to be streamed on Netflix.
“Minari” is regarded as one of the best films of the year, and a strong contender for several top Academy Awards categories. The Golden Globes, however, decided to relegate the American-made movie to its foreign film category due to its use of Korean in the film — a move that generated a fair bit of controversy. The film, which stars Steven Yeun, is has been released by A24 in theaters and via its online screening room.
“Two of Us” (France, USA)
Martine Chevallier and Barbara Sukowa star as a lesbian couple secretly in love in this French film directed by Filippo Meneghetti. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, but its release — February 2020 in France, and February 2021 in the U.S. — qualifies the movie for this year’s round of awards. The film, distributed Stateside by Magnolia, is available to rent now through YouTube.
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