My thoughts on the world around me

Five Foreign Films (Maybe More) Show Hollywood’s a Bit Soft

Below are the five nominees for the Golden Globes Best Foreign Language Film. After seeing all five trailers, a couple issues came to mind:

(1) Why are these foreign language films not competing against the likes of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Frost/Nixon” for Best Picture contention? If my memory serves me correctly, “Il Postino” has been the only foreign film, at least in recent years, to be among the five nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These films are, in my opinion, far more raw, intense, provocative, and ultimately more gratifying to a film lover. While there are exceptions (“Scent of a Woman” and “Brokeback Mountain” to name just a couple), I feel that terms like “grittiness” and “beautiful,” while commonplace among foreign films, are still not usually associated with Hollywood pictures.

My final thought is that Hollywood is much too safe; it focuses on the bottom line rather than on satiating our appetites as human beings.

(2) How was “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime” nominated over “Entre les Murs” (“The Class”)? “Entre les Murs” won the Palme d’Or (Best Picture) at the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival, and it’s France’s official entry to the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film! Interesting…

Going back to the movie trailers, I’ve arranged them from worst to best based on my own personal preferences.

Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (“I’ve Loved You So Long” – France):

I will say this about Kristin Scott Thomas: she’s perfect for this kind of role (the character who carries pain silently, or has a mysterious or troubled past). There is a melancholy look to her blue eyes, most emblazoned in my mind by the movie “The English Patient.”

Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick (“Everlasting Moments” – Sweden):

For other artistic works based on female liberation or empowerment (at least that’s what I got out of the trailer), I particularly find relevant Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (“The Baader Meinhof Complex” – Germany):

Gomorra (“Gomorrah” – Italy):

Vals Im Bashir (“Waltz With Bashir” – Israel):


January 13, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Intelligent questions. And yes, Hollywood is $afe. Just look at art-imitates-life HBO’s “Entourage” to get a glimpse of what really moves the industry: profit. I am not naive and know that making a major production needs financing, but the point is well made, why can’t Sundance meet Hollywood at some closer point? The truth is that behind a Hollywood project there is an ROI (return on investment)-driven team of producers anxious to get paid well. And maybe that is the way is supposed to be.
    The issue could be discussed in more broader terms. I was recently reading a blog about how Architecture has become a luxury in America that only riches can afford –a total disconnect of its origins. Cinematography started as an art, a connection between an artist and his audience, but it became a mega buster industry in America. That is why we venerate Woody Allen, Tarantino, Scorsese, Coen brothers, and few others. Hey, we have junk food and we have real food…nothing wrong with having options, but expecting McDonald’s to fix you fresh made pasta and pomodoro sauce will not happen.

    BTW: the YouTube embedded clips are not working, but thanks for the list.

    Comment by GR | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. You may want to refresh the page. When I tried clicking the videos, they all worked. Thank you for letting me know, though.

    Comment by socialvox | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  3. Dear Friend!
    Welcome to my “Blog”, with electronic adress URL:
    In the new variant of the blog there are very much new informers, themes, banners and analisys by the variouse problems of the military history and policy. They will be very interesting for you! In the world system of the cybersytes, the blog received a high mark “600,5”.
    Your friend Nikolay Kotev

    Comment by Nickolay Kotev | January 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thank you; it was my computer. YouTube videos now work.

    Comment by GR | January 14, 2009 | Reply

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