Monday, March 15, 2021

Oscar Nominees: Best International Feature

My predictions: 3/5
My ballot: Coming soon!
The nominees: Another Round (Denmark), Better Days (Hong Kong), Collective (Romania), The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia), Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

For the second year in a row, we get a double nominee in the form of a film that makes the cut both here and in the Best Documentary race – Collective (Romania) – which begs the question of whether this category should be reserved for narrative films in an effort to diversify the pool of prospective nominees. Documentaries are eligible for Best Picture but none has ever scored there, so I don’t know how that rule would go over. But “Collective” is far superior, in my mind, to last year’s “Honeyland,” so I’m fine seeing it here. I’m pleased to have correctly predicted The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia), the last of the fifteen finalists that I screened but which I very much liked. I had Better Days (Taiwan) in dead last, but it is a strong and devastating film, so its inclusion here is welcome. Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina) was terrific and I’m glad it wasn’t snubbed, and Another Round (Denmark) had a great day since its director, Thomas Vinterberg, who I interviewed last week, also got nominated for Best Director. I am surprised that both “Night of the Kings” and “Sun Children” didn’t get in, but this was a very competitive category with plenty of worthy content.

My current bet to win: I would be very surprised if it wasn’t Another Round.

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