All Fifty-Six Best Foreign Film Oscar Winners (with links to full reviews)Jun 16, 2004 (Updated Dec 19, 2005) Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line Use this guide to Oscar-winning foreign films to find rewarding viewing experiences that match your preferences.
From 1947-1955, foreign language films were recognized by the American Film Academy through a Special Achievement Award. This category later gave way to the Best Foreign Language Film category beginning in 1956. As of this writing, there have been fifty-six foreign language film winners. All but two are readily available from video outlets and all but three are in the Epinions database. Below is my listing of these winners with my rating, a brief description, and links to full reviews for all those in the Epinions database. Further down, you can also find my listing of the top ten (so as to be consistent with the title of this topic category) as well as a bonus section itemizing the seven foreign language films that have been nominated by the Academy for Best Film.
For more great award winning foreign films, see these other lists:
All Seventy-Seven Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Winners
All Seventy Venice Film Festival Best Film Winners
National Society of Film Critics' Awards for Non-English Language Films
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards for Foreign Films (1935-2004)
Los Angeles Film Critics' Award Winners in the Best Foreign Film Category
All One-hundred and Six BAFTA Award-Winning Films
London Critics' Circle Awards for Best Foreign Film
British Films Selected by the London Critics' Circle as Best Film or Best British Film
For more great Academy Award-winning films, see my lists:
Celebrating the Oscars: All Seventy-Seven Best Picture Oscar Winners
Celebrating the Oscar Divas: All Seventy-Seven Best Actress Oscar Winners
All Fifty-Six Academy Award winners in the Best Foreign Film Category:
1947 Shoeshine. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Vittorio DeSica.
This is an exquisitely heartrending story of two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome destroyed by a corrupt justice system and a brutally uncaring juvenile detention system. Shoeshine stands as one of the classics of Italian Neorealism.
1948 Monsieur Vincent. My Rating: * * * Country: France Director: Maurice Cloche.
A very effective biographical sketch of the man who was later canonized as St. Vincent. Best known for his efforts to organize charitable efforts for the benefit of the poor, the elderly, prisoners, and galley slaves, Vincent de Pauls life can serve as inspiration for all, regardless of religious affiliation.
1949 The Bicycle Thief. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Vittorio DeSica.
In postwar Italy, jobs are very scarce. When Ricci finds a job that depends on his having a bicycle, he and his wife are able to get his bike out of hock by literally trading the sheets off their bed. At least he now has a job until his bicycle is stolen during his first day of work. The Bicycle Thief follows Riccis desperate effort, aided by his son Bruno, to recover his stolen bicycle. Once rated as the top film ever!
1950 The Walls of Malapaga. My Rating: Out-of-print Country: France/Italy Director: Rene Clement.
This film in the Italian style of Neorealism is set in postwar Genoa. It features two strong performers, Jean Gabin (Pepe le Moko, Grand Illusion) and Isa Miranda (La Ronde). A murderer on the run gets his pocket picked by a young female pickpocket who nevertheless helps him find a dentist for his toothache. Later, the man on the run meets and falls in love with the girls mother, but the girl becomes jealous as the police close in on the fugitive. Clement won best director at Cannes for this effort and Miranda was named Best Actress. Unfortunately, this film is currently out-of-print and unlisted in the Epinions database, precluding a link to a full review.
1951 Rashômon. My Rating: * * * * Country: Japan Director: Akira Kurosawa.
On the surface, Rashômon is about the murder of a samurai and the rape of his wife by a bandit. What it is really about is the subjectivity of memory and the self-serving nature of selective memory, revealed through the disparate accounts offered by the various principals and witnesses to the crime.
1952 Forbidden Games. My Rating: * * * * * Country: France Director: Rene Clement.
A small masterpiece that features one of the greatest performances by a child performer ever the magnetic Brigitte Fossey as Paulette. It also boasts an unforgettable soundtrack provided by guitarist Narcisco Yepes. A young girl is suddenly orphaned when her parents are killed while they are evacuating Paris and forms a close friendship with a boy in the rural family that takes her in.
1953 No Award.
1954 Gate of Hell. My Rating: * * * * Country: Japan Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa.
A samurai warrior falls in love with and become obsessed with a beautiful woman. Only problem: she is the wife of another samurai. This is one of the first Japanese movies filmed in color and complements that feature with great cinematography.
1955 Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto. My Rating: * * * * Country: Japan Director: Hiroshi Inagaki.
The first segment in a film trilogy, this film features Toshiro Mifune as the lead character, Takezo. This first installment begins with Takezo as a young man yearning for glory in battle and follows his difficult maturation into a full-fledged samurai.
1956 La Strada. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Federico Fellini.
A picturesque fable about itinerant carnival performers in postwar Italy, focusing especially on the brutish strongman, Zampanò, and his dim-witted but pure-hearted assistant, Gelsomina. Add The Fool into the mix, and the stage and prepared for tragedy. This great film demonstrates that we often dont appreciate what we have until it is lost.
1957 Nights of Cabiria. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Federico Fellini.
Like a number of Fellini films, this one stars his wife Guiletta Masina, and here she gives what is probably her most sublime performance as Cabiria, an irrepressible spirit despite a difficult life of street prostitution. From Fellinis Neorealism period, this film brilliantly explores the difference between person and persona.
1958 Mon Oncle. My Rating: * * * Country: France Director: Jacques Tati.
This delicate comedy is reminiscent of Chaplin films of the silent film era. Built mainly on clever sight gags, Mon Oncle features Jacques Tati as both star and director. His low key style of humor elicits bemusement more than outright laughter. The subject matter of this film is the encroachment of excessive mechanization.
1959 Black Orpheus. My Rating: * * * * * Country: France Director: Marcel Camus.
This film is bursting at the seams with energy and Samba music. How can a film mix together Greek tragedy and the carnival atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro? Quite effectively, thank you very much! This low-budget marvel is fully entertaining and even the lack of polish adds to its extraordinary charm.
1960 The Virgin Spring. My Rating: * * * * Country: Sweden Director: Ingmar Bergman.
This powerful film with great performances explores innocence, sin, retribution, and forgiveness. An innocent and beautiful Swedish girl is raped and murdered while passing through the forest in order to deliver the Virgin Mary candles to the church. The hapless trio of assailants soon find themselves unknowingly seeking shelter at the household of their victims family and their possession of her dress and shoes give them away. The retribution exacted by the girls father is swift, sure, and indiscriminant. Is this Christian man entitled to Gods forgiveness?
1961 Through a Glass Darkly. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Sweden Director: Ingmar Bergman.
One of the finest psychodramas ever made, this film follows the descent of a young woman into schizophrenia and the impact of her illness on the three men closest to her her husband, father, and brother. Harriet Andersson provides one on the best renditions on celluloid of the reality of mental illness. As always, Bergman uses the set-up to explore profound questions about the nature of human existence.
1962 Sundays and Cybele. My Rating: * * * * * Country: France Director: Serge Bourguignon.
One of my personal favorites, this psychodrama examines a sexually-chaste but romantically-intense relationship between an amnesic former fighter pilot and a young girl, Cybele, who has been abandoned by her family. It is about intolerance and the inability to conceive of innocence in a world traumatized by stories of violence and perversion.
1963 8 1/2. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Federico Fellini.
This widely praised film became the ultimate realization of the Felliniesque style, with its surrealism and autobiographical elements. It revolves around Guido, a successful director (Fellinis alter ego), who seeks renewal and release from his writers block at a health spa, but is continually hounded by his producer, actresses, his wife, and the public.
1964 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. My Rating: * * * Country: Italy Director: Vittorio DeSica.
Although not one of DeSicas best films, it does feature the magnificent Sophia Loren and the handsome and talented Marcello Mastroianni in three entertaining vignettes about how women use sex to manipulate men. Be warned that currently available prints are very poor quality and detract from the films potential value.
1965 Shop on Main Street. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Czechoslovakia Director: Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos.
Ida Kaminska wowed the world and received a Best Actress nomination for her touching performance as an elderly Jewish shop owner in a small town in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1942. When an Aryan controller is appointed to oversee the operation of her shop, a remarkable relationship develops between the old widow and the unambitious and unassuming Czech national. Yet, the insanity that was to become the Holocaust is welling up around them.
1966 A Man and a Woman. My Rating: * * * * Country: France Director: Claude Lelouch.
Middle-aged people can fall in love too, but can it be depicted in a manner that will appeal to a mass audience? Certainly, if the pair is as handsome and personable as Anne Gauthier (Anouk Aimée) and Jean-Louis Duroc (Jean-Louis Trintignant). Both bear the scars of previous relationships. Can new love provide the necessary salve? This popular film became the model for romantic comedies down to the present day.
1967 Closely Watched Trains. My Rating: * * * * Country: Czechoslovakia Director: Jiri Menzel.
One of the crown jewels of Czech New Wave cinema, this film uses intimate realism and subtle humor to make a quiet political statement. Excellent performances and a clever story are the highlights. A young man of no particular ambition undertakes training as a dispatcher at a remote rail station, but destiny has him singled out for something more heroic.
1968 War and Peace. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Russia Director: Sergei Bondarchuk.
At a cost of over $100 million dollars, this film boasts amazing sets, period costumes, and one of the most elaborate battle scenes ever filmed, with tens of thousands of extras. With film lengths ranging from 380 to 431 minutes depending on version selected, it is a sprawling epic based on the great Tolstoy novel.
1969 Z. My Rating: * * * * Country: Algeria Director: Constantin Costa-Gavras.
One of the first political conspiracy films, this one is set in Greece where a popular liberal icon has emerged who threatens the stranglehold that the conservatives have on the countrys political process. Based on the real life assassination of Gregorios Lambrakis in 1963, the film follows the cover-up and the subsequent investigation. Though intended as a white-wash, the Examining Magistrate, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, turns out to have a conscience.
1970 Investigation of A Citizen Above Suspicion. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Elio Petri.
Although this film is not currently included in the Epinions database, it can be found for purchase at auction sites on the web. Petri was famous for creating film that confounded expectations. This films opens with a lurid scene involving sadomasochistic sex between a man and a call-girl that culminates in the girls death. The man is a highly placed official of a rightwing government, recently promoted from Police Chief to Chief of Political Intelligence, who appears determined to test the extent to which he is above the law by leaving clues that implicate himself in the murder. Gian Maria Volonté delivers a superb performance in the lead role.
1971 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Vittorio DeSica.
With gorgeous cinematography and strong performances, this film takes on the complicity of ordinary Italians in the rise of Fascism and the persecution of Italian Jews. The idyllic world of the Finzi-Continis family among the gardens of their walled-in estate comes crumbling down by the irresistible tide of persecution that became the Holocaust.
1972 The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. My Rating: * * Country: France Director: Luis Buñuel.
This film explores the absurdity of the conventions that dictate the social life of the bourgeoisie, skillfully integrating reality and dream sequences in such a way that viewers are left guessing which is which. Although this film didnt work well for me, it is highly regarded by many other critics.
1973 Day for Night. My Rating: ** Country: France Director: Francois Truffaut.
Widely touted as the best film ever made about the film-making process (assuming that 8 1/2 is characterized as about the creative process rather than film-making), Day for Night follows the soap-opera style intrigues of the cast and crew making a film called Meet Pamela. Viewers gain insight into the neuroses and production problems that inevitably plague the making of every movie.
1974 Amarcord. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Federico Fellini.
Amarcord means I remember in the dialect of Rimini where Fellini spent his childhood and remember is exactly what Fellini does in this film. The amusing cast of odd-ball characters makes these nostalgic remembrances very special indeed.
1975 Dersu Uzala. My Rating: * * * * Country: Soviet Union/Japan Director: Akira Kurosawa.
A Russian explorer of the early twentieth century encounters an elderly, indigenous hunter named Dersu Uzala while surveying and mapping the vast Siberian wilderness. The educated Russian soon discovers that the old hunters wisdom includes not only the knowledge of survival in the wild but a deeply sensitive understanding of mans relationship to nature.
1976 Black and White in Color. My Rating: * * * * Country: Ivory Coast Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud.
This spoof on the idiocy of war examines a tiny outpost of French colonists in equatorial Africa who belated discover that their native country is at war with Germany. Thinking to do their part, they organize an expedition against the even smaller but better prepared German outpost nearby. Like all conflicts, it soon escalates, pitting one group of native proxy soldiers against another.
1977 Madame Rosa. My Rating: * * * * Country: France Director: Moshe Mizrahi.
This lovely bittersweet portrayal of a special relationship between an old Jewish woman and a young Arab boy features a very fine performance by Simone Signoret that won her the Cesar Award for Best Actress. Signoret plays an aging ex-prostitute surviving by operating a daycare for the children of young prostitutes. The loyal boy, Momo, helps to ensure that Madame Rosa can say her farewells with dignity.
1978 Get Out Your Handkerchiefs. My Rating: * * * Country: France Director: Bertrand Blier.
Comedy based on sexual hi-jinks provides the laughs in this outrageous French comedy about a melancholy young woman and the men who just cant make her smile. Gerard Depardieu play Raoul, the man who would rather have his wife sleep with another man than see her despondent. Never send a man on a boys errand!
1979 Tin Drum. My Rating: * * * Country: West Germany Director: Volker Schlondorff.
The extraordinary premise of this film is a young boy named Oskar who decides at age three to stop growing and stages a fall down the basement stairs as pretext. Oskar remains physically a child ever after, providing a unique perspective on the earth-shaking develops as Nazism rises around him in prewar Poland. Oskars attention is equally divided between the social and political hypocrisies of the members of his family and the larger political developments. David Bennett, who plays Oskar to exceptional effect, was himself a twelve year-old boy who had stopped growing at age six!
1980 Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears. My Rating: * * * * Country: Soviet Union Director: Vladimir Menshov.
Three female friends share a room in a dormitory for factory girls in Moscow. Men are a scarce commodity in Moscow. Only Antonina has one. Lyudmila is determined to net one by hook or by crook and drags Katerina into her schemes. Katerina ends up with a baby but not a man to go with it. Fast forward twenty years and these girls are still best friends, but oh how their lives have changed and are about to change still more. This is your basic romantic comedy, but with Russian atmosphere.
1981 Mephisto. My Rating: * * * * Country: Hungary Director: Istvan Szabo.
A magnificent performance by Klaus Maria Brandauer distinguishes this fine Hungarian film based on the real life story of Gustav Gründgens, a German actor who participated in Nazi propaganda pieces throughout World War II. The film effectively explores the political responsibilities of artists.
1982 To Begin Again. My Rating: Out-of-Print Country: Spain Director: Jose Luis Garci.
This was the first Spanish language film to win an Oscar. Heavy on sentimentality, this film nevertheless features strong performances and beautiful settings. Unfortunately, this film is out-of-print and not listed in the Epinions database. This entry will be up-dated should the film be re-released in the future.
1983 Fanny and Alexander. My Rating: * * * * Country: Sweden Director: Ingmar Bergman.
Bergmans last major feature, Fanny and Alexander was Bergmans first foray into full color. The opening segment reveals a warmer and more personal approach than is typical of Bergman. Fanny and Alexander are a young sister and brother who are forced to leave behind an almost idyllic life in an extended family when their widowed mother remarries to the strict and austere Bishop Vergerus.
1984 Dangerous Moves. My Rating: * * * * Country: Switzerland Director: Richard Dembo.
Political intrigue is behind every move at the world chess championship in Switzerland between a brash young exile from the Communist Soviet Union and the Soviets own aging champion. This film is based loosely on a couple of famous cold war era chess matches. Director Dembo proves that even chess can be made interesting.
1985 The Official Story. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Argentina Director: Luis Puenzo.
Norma Aleandros tour-de-force performance as the lead character, Alicia, won her the Best Actress Award at Cannes in 1985. Alicia is happily married with a beautiful adoptive daughter who must suddenly confront the very real possibility that her daughter was stolen from one of the many political dissidents who were systematically tortured and made to disappear by the military dictatorship in Argentina during the 1970s.
1986 The Assault. My Rating: * * * * Country: The Netherlands Director: Fons Rademakers.
This film is a Holocaust microcosm situated in Holland. When a Nazi collaborator is shot to death after curfew in a quiet suburban neighborhood, theres bound to be Nazi retaliation against the nearest Dutch family. Neighbors scurry about trying to ensure that the body ends up in front of somebody elses house rather than their own. Five-year-old Antons family is the unfortunate one that is slaughtered, except for Anton who is spared by luck and confusion. The movie then follows Antons forty year odyssey by which he learns the details about that fateful night against a backdrop of on-going antiwar protests.
1987 Babettes Feast. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Denmark Director: Gabriel Axel.
Despite the absence of sex or nudity, this film is highly sensual and satisfying. Food provides the medium for examining the conflict and/or relationship between sensuality and austere spirituality. The cinematography is magnificent and complemented by great performances. Babette, a French exile, is living as a servant in a remote religious community on the rough coastline of Denmark. The community reluctantly agrees to permit Babette to organize an elaborate feast in accordance with French standards, but the hedonistic delights thus afforded conflict with the communitys beliefs in the importance of self-denial.
1988 Pelle The Conqueror. My Rating: * * * * Country: Denmark Director: Bille August.
Max von Sydow delivered an award winning performance as Pelles father, Lasse. The story relates to a old widower and his young son, forced to emigrate from Norway to Denmark in search of a livelihood. There they live in virtual indentured servitude as Pelle comes of age. This is a story of dreams and the passing of the torch of hope from father to son.
1989 Cinema Paradiso. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Giuseppe Tornatore.
Among the most popular foreign language films of all time, Cinema Paradiso follows the story of the boy Toto, living in a small town in Italy, who falls in love with the cinema. As he develops a special bond with the old man who runs the projection booth of the towns movie house, Toto learns lessons in life and love. One great yearning culminates in Toto growing up to become a renowned director while another great yearning is mysteriously unfulfilled. The skillful use of film references made Cinema Paradiso an eternal favorite among critics and film buffs alike.
1990 Journey of Hope. My Rating: * * * * Country: Switzerland Director: Xavier Koller.
A poor Kurdish farmer from Turkey dreams of a better life in the paradise of Switzerland and sets out on a perilous journey with his wife, one child, a few suitcases, and a lot of hope. Along the way, they encounter the hardships of emigration and unscrupulous men who exploit their vulnerability. They also encounter some good Samaritans, but will it be enough to turn hope into happiness?
1991 Mediterraneo. My Rating: * * * Country: Italy Director: Gabriele Salvatores.
This comedy finds a squad of Italian soldiers assigned to observe and capture on a Greek Island. When their boat is sunk and their radio destroyed, they are forgotten by the war. Soon, these Italians are integrating into the one remaining community on the island and enjoying a high life of sun, sex, drugs, and leisure.
1992 Indochine. My Rating: * * * * Country: France Director: Regis Wargnier.
A classic period epic, Indochine boast exotic sets, great costumes, and the incomparable Catherine Deneuve. Deneuve plays Eliane, a plantation owner in Indochina who has raised an orphaned native girl and Annam princess, Camille. As colonialism begins to topple, Camille must choose between the culture of the woman who has raised her and her own people. This is a moving personal story set in a backdrop of major political upheaval.
1993 Belle Epoque. My Rating: * * * * Country: Spain Director: Fernando Trueba.
Ever hear the one about the handsome young deserter from the Spanish army who finds himself in the countryside staying with a sympathetic anarchist and libertarian . . . and, his four gorgeous, unmarried, and overheated daughters. I didnt think so! Well, theres bound to be sensuality and if theres also plenty of spirited laughs as well, then youre probably watching Belle Epoque. Feather light but fun!
1994 Burnt By the Sun. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Russia Director: Nikita Mikhalkov.
This beautiful family drama and political piece reveals the cruel stupidity of Stalinist Russia and its destructive influence on millions of families and individuals. Colonel Sergei Petrovitch Kotov (played by the films director) and his young wife Maroussia must confront the demons of the past when Maroussias former lover reemerges as an agent of Stalins secret police. At times, youll be wondering whos the villain and whos the victim, but truth if not justice emerges in the end.
1995 Antonias Line. My Rating: * * * * Country: The Netherlands Director: Marleen Gorris.
This female empowerment film by a noted feminist, Marleen Gorris, is also just darn good entertainment. Focusing on four generations of strong women, this film delivers a string of vignettes built around a succession of fascinating characters that periodically gather around Antonias large dinner table.
1996 Kolya. My Rating: * * * * Country: Czech Republic Director: Jan Sverak.
What happens when a 55-year-old perennial bachelor suddenly inherits a young boy? What if the man only speaks Czech and the boy only speaks Russian? What if at the same time his country is in political upheaval and the authorities are breathing down his back? What is you Czech out this film for the answers?
1997 Character. My Rating: * * * * Country: The Netherlands Director: Mike Van Diem.
This is a period piece, a mystery, and a weighty film about what it takes to build character. Set in 1920 Rotterdam, this film has a Dickensian sprawl to it. A young man, Jacob Katadreuffe, most confront his demons a non-communicative mother and a hateful father and still try to reach his own ambitious goal of becoming a lawyer.
1998 Life is Beautiful. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Roberto Benigni.
Seldom will you encounter a character in a film providing a more perfect match for the actor who plays the part. Since the star, Roberto Benigni, also co-scripted the film and directed it, it is perhaps understandable that the result would be an uncommonly perfect role-of-a-lifetime. Unless youve seen this film, it is hard to imagine a comedy set in the circumstances of the Holocaust being anything less than terribly inappropriate and offensive, yet Life is Beautiful manages to deliver an upbeat message without depreciating the horror of the death camps. Life is Beautiful is justifiably among the most popular foreign language films ever made.
1999 All About My Mother. My Rating: * * * * Country: Spain Director: Pedro Almodovar.
The always controversial Pedro Almodovar elevated his art to the sublime in this film while retaining his edgy exploration of societys dispossessed and gender ambiguity. When the remarkable Manuela loses her beloved son in a freak accident, she resolves to honor his dying wish by seeking out the boys long-absent father. This resolution brings her back to a life she left behind some twenty year earlier a life peopled by prostitutes, transvestites, a pregnant nun, and other deviants and down-and-out types.
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. My Rating: * * * * Country: China/Hong Kong/Taiwan/USA Director: Ang Lee.
When the martial arts meet fantasy and the best of special effects technology, the result is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Theres plenty of action but its complemented by excellent performances from an exceptional cast.
2001 No Mans Land. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Belgium Director: Danis Tanovic.
Danis Tanovic was a sergeant and cameraman in the Bosnian army before turning his hand to writing and directing this brilliant piece about the insanity of war. Tanovic maintains studied neutrality with respect to the principal combatants the Bosnians and the Serbs but unleashes a barrage of satire at the vaunted neutrality of the United Nations Observers and the motivations of news reporters.
2002 Nowhere in Africa. My Rating: * * * Country: Germany Director: Caroline Link.
Featuring a rich portrayal of African culture and strong performances, this film follows the lives of Walter and Jettel Redlich and their daughter Regina, a Jewish family beginning life anew in Kenya after fleeing the rising tide of Nazism in 1937. They must comes to grips with a new culture as well as the strains in their family relationships.
2003 The Barbarian Invasions. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Canada/France Director: Denys Arcand.
Combining wit and offbeat comedy, Arcand fashioned something of a sequel to his earlier film The Decline of the American Empire. Rémy, who was one of the protagonists of the previous film, is dying. His wife, Louise, persuades the mans estranged son, Sébastien, to travel from London to Montreal for a reconciliation with his father. Sébastien gathers together Rémys old associates for the beside vigil.
TOP-TEN: Metalluks Top-Ten Oscar-Winning Foreign Language Films:
10. Burnt By the Sun (1994).
9. No Mans Land (2001).
8. Forbidden Games (1952).
7. The Official Story (1985).
6. Babettes Feast (1987).
5. Life Is Beautiful (1998).
4. Amarcord (1974).
3. Shop on Main Street (1965).
2. 8 1/2 (1963).
1. Cinema Paradiso (1989).
BONUS SECTION: Foreign-language Films Getting Oscar Nominations for Best Picture
Only seven foreign-language films have ever been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Three overlap with winners of the Best Foreign-Language Film category, four do not. The seven nominees were:
1938 Grand Illusion. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Canada/France Director: Jean Renoir.
One of the most highly regarded films of all-time, Grand Illusion is set in a POW camp in Germany during World War I. Renoir uses that context to explore some of the artificial barriers that separate people nationality, class, and religion. Renoir demonstrates the same mastery of his canvas as his great father, Auguste, the Impressionist painter.
1969 Z. My Rating: * * * * Country: Algeria Director: Constantin Costa-Gavras.
This film not only won the Best Foreign Film Oscar but received the second-ever nomination for a foreign film in the Best Picture category. See description above.
1972 The Emigrants. My Rating: * * * * Country: Sweden Director: Jan Troell.
Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann head a star cast in this film about a group of Swedish peasants who migrate to Minnesota in the middle of the 19th century. The three parts of the film cover the departure, the voyage across the Atlantic, and the trek to Minnesota. Though long, it is graced by lush photography. See Trust12345's Review, which also rates it at four stars.
1973 Cries and Whispers. My Rating: * * * * Country: Sweden Director: Ingmar Bergman.
This film is dark and brooding even by Bergmans weighty standard, but the compensation is psychodrama at its most penetrating, three amazing performances, and Academy Award winning cinematography. This is a film about a dying woman and how that process impacts her sisters and her devoted maidservant.
1995 Il Postino. My Rating: * * * * Country: Italy Director: Michael Radford.
This popular film features a little of everything: friendship, romance, politics, poetry, humor, and loss. A simple-minded postman with the soul of a poet develops an abiding friendship with a great Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who is in exile in Italy. And where theres poetry, romance cannot be far behind.
1998 Life is Beautiful. My Rating: * * * * * Country: Italy Director: Roberto Benigni.
Altogether, this film had seven Academy Award nominations and three wins. Besides Best Foreign Film, it earned Benigni the Best Actor award and Nicola Piovani the trophy for Best Original Dramatic Script. See description above.
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. My Rating: * * * * Country: China/Hong Kong/Taiwan/USA Director: Ang Lee.
This film garnered a record ten nominations (and four wins) at the Academy Award ceremony. See the description of the film above.
|Read all comments (5)|Write your own comment|