Here’s my 12 favorite foreign language films for this year. Click on the title to view the trailer.
1.25 Amour. A unflinching look at a love story nearing its end between an ageing couple. Restrained, unsentimental, and captivating.
1.25 Holy Motors. A film with no coherent narrative but watching the protagonist (Mr. Oscar) literally change into different characters is mesmerizing. There are terrific sequences peppered throughout: Oscar ravaging flowers at the cemetery, playing an accordion, and a melancholic conversation with Kylie Minogue’s character.
1.25 Lincoln. The film focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s attempt to pass the abolition of slavery at the House of Representatives. Terrific movie and equally terrific Daniel Day-Lewis. Not boring at all. Typical Spielberg, I didn’t like how the movie ended.
1.25 The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I read somewhere that the actor who played Charlie was always on the verge of tears throughout the film. I agree. One of the few movies exquisitely adapted from book to the big screen.
5.33 Looper. One of the better sci-fi movies produced this year about Joseph Gordon-Levitt tasked to kill his older self played by Bruce Willis.
5.33 No Puedo Vivir Vi Sinti. Can’t Live Without You. A movie about a father-daughter relationship. It has a terrific ending. You know, when watching a movie and your mind screams please end here, please end here. And then it ends. Wow.
5.33 You Are The Apple of My Eye. A feel-good romantic-comedy film about a mischievous male student and his studious girl classmate.
8.33 Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Detective Dee (Andy Lau) is called on by a Chinese Emperor (Carina Lau) to investigate baffling deaths of Supreme Court members. Epic with stunning visuals and starring some of China’s great thespians.
8.33 A Royal Affair. An English woman goes off to Denmark to marry the king, a distance cousin. Trapped in a loveless marriage to an obviously mad king, she embarks in an affair with her husband’s personal physician.
8.33 The Avengers. Probably the best action movie this year. Trumps Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in terms of pure entertainment.
11.5 Moonrise Kingdom. A giddy puppy romance between adolescents and the hilarious attempts of the boy’s fellow scouts and the girl’s parents to rescue them when they elope into the wilderness.
11.5 Argo. This is probably Ben Affleck’s weakest after Gone Baby Gone and The Town. That does not mean it’s bad. It is quite good. I just have the feeling the film is a rehash of some other movie I’ve seen.