Not With My Daughter – Dear Comrades!

Now elevated to the shortlist for International Feature, Russia's submission, Dear Comrades! succeeds in large part because of the intimacy of the main characters within the larger context of a brutal act of state-sponsored terrorism from the Soviet era. The film is best when concentrating on the core relationship between mother and daughter that spurs … Continue reading Not With My Daughter – Dear Comrades!

Insert “Vienna Sausage” Joke Here – What We Wanted

Relationship drama is about as basic as it gets when it comes to cinematic storytelling. After more than a century of film, it's not whether the story's been told before, but how one goes about telling it. Austria's submission to the Academy, What We Wanted, begins with an interesting spin on the prospect, but unfortunately … Continue reading Insert “Vienna Sausage” Joke Here – What We Wanted

11 Short Films About Bangladesh – Sincerely Yours, Dhaka

Of all the International Feature submissions I've seen so far, Bangladesh definitely takes the crown for most unique, as it's strictly speaking not a feature. Instead, Sincerely Yours, Dhaka is an anthology of shorts directed by 11 up-and-coming filmmakers from the small South Asian country. Each has its own style, but like the Pulp Fiction-inspired … Continue reading 11 Short Films About Bangladesh – Sincerely Yours, Dhaka

Can’t You Find Another Way? – My Little Sister

Directed by Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond, My Little Sister, Switzerland's entry for the Academy Awards, works with a lot of familiar themes and family melodrama. At times it hints at something poignant, but on the whole it comes up short because of a reactionary lead that can't catch a break. The titular "little sister" … Continue reading Can’t You Find Another Way? – My Little Sister

Come On, Live a Little – You Will Die at Twenty

There are 93 countries and territories that submitted a film for this year's International Feature category. That's a new record, beating last year's record, thanks to three new entrants, including Sudan, which officially throws its proverbial hat into the ring with You Will Die at Twenty, which if nothing else would be the runner-up for … Continue reading Come On, Live a Little – You Will Die at Twenty