Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #386: Best Foreign Language Film (Oscar Edition)

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. It's the first Thursday of the month, and for several of the months this year that's meant an Oscar-themed edition of the blogathon. This month, the category is "Best Foreign Film", or I should say its various incarnations. For several years after World War II, the Academy had an honorary award for the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States. It was only in 1956 that the award became an official one. More recently, the name of the award has been changed to "Best International Feature Film", but the Academy's awards database lumps the two categories together for obvious reasons. Looking through a list of the winners reveals quite a few that I've seen, and a trio that I've got on Blu-ray but haven't gotten around to watching. I don't think I've used any of this week's selections before:

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963). Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni star in this anthology movie about relationships, with the stars playing three different pairs of lovers. In the first segment, they're married with Loren playing a woman set to go to jail who realizes she can stay out of prison if she's pregnant or nursing, with humorous results. In the second she's the wife of a rich man who has Mastroianni as her lover. In the third she's a prostitute with Marcello as a client who is noticed by the seminarian grandson of a neighbor; the seminarian finds himself falling in love with Loren.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). A movie that is neither discreet nor charming, it tells of a bunch of characters who want to get together for a fine dinner but are always prevented from this in increasingly surreal ways. It's the same sort of pretentious stuff that leads critics to love it for no good reason.

Tsotsi (2005). Presley Cheyenwagae plays Tsotsi, a young gangster living in one of the township slums of Johannesburg, South Africa. Tsotsi engages in a carjacking in which he shoots the driver, not realizing that the driver's young baby is in the back seat. Tsotsi feels a pang of guilt and feels he has to take care of the baby, although he clearly has no idea how to do so, which results in all sorts of complications.


Brittani Burnham said...

Of these, I've only seen Tsotsi which was really good. I haven't seen a ton of the older Foreign winners, but I have seen every one since 1999 I believe.

Birgit said...

I love Marcello and Sophia so I would like to see your first film. I think I will skip the second one and I am not sure about your third.