The films' titles say much about their differences: Omar has a sympathetic character at center: in the film Bethlehem, the arid Biblical place is the focus, yet each features individuals on opposite sides of the conflict sacrificed in cycles of violence.
Sure, I'm tough on movies, but sometimes I'm just another gushing, adoring fan. Such is the case with actress Catherine Deneuve, the stunning French actress who turns 70 today. Why do I love her so? Let me count the ways.
This year a record 71 countries submitted entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category. I managed to see 61 of these films. Although there were many entertaining movies, the overall mood was bleak.
No, director Pablo Larrain's slightly fictionalized account of anti-Pinochet's "No" campaign, was enough to net Chile its very first Oscar nomination in the foreign language category, and I was able to get some time with Larrain to discuss the project.
I saw 50 of the 63 films entered in the Best Foreign Language Film category and I am happy to report that this was an exceptionally good year. If no single masterpiece stood out, there were a couple dozen good films that I would recommend for film fans of various tastes.
In theaters this month is a pair of amusing documentaries, an Oscar nominee, and the latest drama from a world-class filmmaker. Any time there are five pictures this good playing on theater screens, I take heart.