The Top 10 Foreign Films of 2011
It’s been a whirlwind year for international cinema in Australia, with the release of too many incredible films to mention. So we thought that we would celebrate by giving you, in no particular order, our top 10 international films released in Australian cinemas this year.
In A Better World (Denmark, Sweden)
Director: Susanne Bier
2011 Academy Award and Golden Globe winner of Best Foreign Language Film, In A Better World follows the story of two boys who form a bond that may put them both in serious danger. Directed by Susanne Bier (After The Wedding), this is a film that pits aggression against pacifism and tackles the issue of bullying front on.
How I Ended This Summer (Russia)
Director: Aleksey Popogrebskiy
How I Ended This Summer is a beautifully shot two-man drama set on a remote Arctic island. This critically acclaimed film won the Silver Bear at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, and will have you on the edge of your seat as the drama unfolds between a dysfunctional father-son relationship.
13 Assassins (Japan, UK)
Director: Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike, director of Audition, Ichi the Killer and Visitor Q brings another critically acclaimed action packed, samurai-fighting blockbuster to the table. 13 Assassins follows thirteen skilled fighters on a mission to execute a bloodthirsty young Lord who kills women for kicks.
Incendies (Canada, France)
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Incendies follows siblings Simon and Jeanne on a journey throughout the Middle East in search of their mothers’ secret past. Director Denis Villeneuve delivers a compelling yet shocking look into religious violence, war and the love of a family.
My Afternoons with Margueritte (France)
Director: Jean Becker
Gerard Depardieu gives a warm and sentimental performance alongside 97 year old Gisele Casadesus in the film, My Afternoons with Margueritte. The film tells the tale of a middle aged man who forms a bond with an elderly woman that teaches him not only to read but also the power of confidence and love.
Biutiful (Mexico, Spain)
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at both the Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, and winner of Best Actor at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Biutful is nothing less than beautiful. Javier Bardem plays a man struggling to provide for his children, whilst playing the wrong side of the law on the mean streets of Barcelona. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros), this supernatural drama will get you thinking.
The Orator (New Zealand, Samoa)
Director: Tusi Tamasese
The first film ever shot in the Samoan language, this truly inspiring movie follows a father’s love, passion and strength for his wife and family. Although physically handicapped, Saili (Fiaula Sanote) realises he has to fight for his family and his rights and will not give up until he succeeds.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Sweden, Denmark, Germany)
Director: Daniel Alfredson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is the third instalment to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. Recovering from a bullet to the head, Salendar engages the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, to help her prove her innocence.
The Skin I Live In (Spain)
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar directs Antonio Banderas in this adaptation of Thierry Jonquet’s novel Mygale, the story of a plastic surgeon and his patient, who he keeps captive while he develops the perfect skin that can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage.
The Round Up (France, Germany, Hungary)
Director: Rose Bosch
Paris, 1942 – 13,000 Jews are taken to the Velodrome, a huge indoor cycling centre, where they are to await their fate. Starring Jean Reno and Melanie Laurant, this film follows the real destinies of the victims and executioners. Each story is real, even the most extreme.
Coming in 2012
Director: Steve McQueen
Winner of Best Film and Best Actor and nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Film Festival Awards, Shame is without a doubt on our must see list of 2012. Follow sex addict Michael Fassbender as Brandon, whose life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of his sister.
The Artist (France, Belgium)
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
1927, Hollywood – a silent film star worries about the introduction of sound to moving pictures and as his career falls, the woman he has fallen for shoots to fame. Shot in black and white, this critically acclaimed and award winning film starring Jean Dujardin will not disappoint.
A Separation (Iran)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
A powerful and complex Iranian drama that sees a family faced with the choice; move to another country where more opportunities lay for their gifted daughter or stay with their Alzheimer suffering father in Iran. Critically acclaimed and winner of multiple major film festival awards, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, A Separation is not to be missed.