Oscars 2023: Best International Film

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All the official picks are now in. Here is the up-to-date Brownees list for the twenty-five most likely nominees for the Best International Film of 2022. Now, FRANCE, BELGIUM, DENMARK, POLAND, AND AUSTRIA lead the pack. The Oscar for Best International Film will be presented at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12th, 2023.
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Number 1

Alice Diop

SAINT OMER

Alice Diop

(France)

Rama (Kayije Kagame) is a pregnant young novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly (Guslagie Malanda), a Senegalese woman accused of murdering her 15-month-old child by leaving her on a beach to be swept away by the tide, to turn the tragic event into a literary retelling of Medea. It is based on the 2016 French court case of Fabienne Kabou, who was convicted of the same crime. Director Alice Diop attended Kabou’s trial.

Number 2

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Lucas Dhont

(Belgium)

Thirteen year olds Léo and Rémi spend the long summer holidays in innocent intimacy, but come the school year, their close friendship is thrown into disarray as their relationship is noticed and commented on by their contemporaries. In reaction to their sometimes insulting or intrusive comments, Léo attempts to distance himself from Rémi. When Rémi disappears, Léo grows closer to Rémi’s mother, Sophie. Directed by Lukas Dhont from a screenplay by Dhont and Angelo Tijssens, reteaming after their first feature film “Girl“.

Number 3

HOLY SPIDER

(Ali Abbasi)

(Denmark)

Based on the true story of Saeed Hanaei a serial killer who targeted sex workers and killed 16 women from 2000 to 2001 in Mashhad Iran, the film depicts a fictional female journalist investigating the killings.

Number 4

EO

EO

Jerzy Skolimowski

(Poland)

EO (Polish: Io), also spelled Eo, is a 2022 drama film directed by Jerzy Solimowski Inspired by Robert Bresson’s 1966 film “Au Hasard Balthazar“, it follows the life of a donkey born in a Polish circus. The film premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2022, where it won the Jury Prize, tying with “The Eight Mountains”.

Number 5

Corsage

CORSAGE

Marie Kreutzer

(Austria)

Un Certain Regard Best Performance Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival for Vicky Krieps star turn as Elizabeth, Empress of Austria as she turns 40 in 1877 and is now officially deemed an old woman! Once idolized for her beauty, she sets a plan in motion to maintain her public image.

Number 6

Decision to Leave

DECISION TO LEAVE

Park-Chan-wook

(South Korea)

Decision to Leave is a 2022 South Korean romantic mystery film produced, co-written and directed by Park Chan-wook. It stars Tang Wei and Park Hae-il. In April 2022, the film was selected to compete for the Palm d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival where Park Chan-wook won Best Director.

Number 7

BARDO

Alejandro G. Iñárritu

(Mexico)

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (Spanish: Bardo, falsa crónica de unas cuantas verdades) is a 2022 Mexican epic black-comedy-drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The film stars Daniel Giménez-Cacho as a journalist/documentarian who returns to his native country of Mexico and begins having an existential crisis in the form of dream-esque visions.

Number 8

Victim

VICTIM

Michal Blasko

(Slovakia)

When her son is beaten and winds up in a Czech hospital, Ukrainian immigrant Irina (Vita Smachelyuk), who is on the brink of getting her Czech citizenship, finds herself involved in a web of lies as her Roma neighbors are blamed for a crime they did not commit. Director Michal Blasko continues the thematic focus he developed in his short films Suspicion, Atlantis and Zidka.

Number 9

Girl Picture

GIRL PICTURE

Ali Haapasalo

(Finland)

Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. In three consecutive Fridays, two of them experience the earth moving effects of falling in love, while the third goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure.

Number 10

Boy from Heaven

BOY FROM HEAVEN

Tarik Saleh

(Sweden)

Boy from Heaven is a 2022 Swedish political thriller film directed by Tarik Saleh. Adam, the son of a fisherman, accepts an offer to study at the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Shortly after his arrival, the Grand Iman of al-Azhar dies and a power struggle to replace him ensues. The film was shot primarily at the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul Turkey.

Number 11

Return to Seoul

RETURN TO SEOUL

Davy Chou

(Cambodia)

The film revolves around Freddie (Ji-Min Park), a 25-year-old French adoptee, who goes to South Korea to find her biological family. The film premiered at the 2022 Canne Film Festival under the Un Certain Regard section.

Number 12

Alcarras

Alcarràs

Carla Simón

(Spain)

Alcarràs is a 2022 Spanish-Italian drama film directed by Carla Simón. It is set and shot in Alcarràs, Catalonia in the Western dialect of the Catalan language, featuring a non-professional cast of actors. It’s a family drama, and the plot is about the disappearance of their traditional peach-harvesting activities. It won the Golden Bear at the 72nd Berlinale, thereby becoming the first Catalan-language film to do so.

Number 13

The Quiet Girl

THE QUIET GIRL

 Colm Bairéad 

(Ireland)

The Quiet Girl (Irish: An Cailín Ciúin) is a 2022 coming-of-age film directed and written by Colm Bairéad and spoken mostly in the Irish (Gaelic) Language. Set in 1981, the film follows a withdrawn nine-year-old girl who experiences a loving home for the first time when she spends the summer on a farm with distant relatives in the Rinn Gaeltacht, County Waterford. Based on the short story “Foster” by Claire Keegan, which originally appeared (in English) in the New Yorker magazine, on February 7th, 2010.

Number 14

Argentina 1985

ARGENTINA 1985

Santiago Mitre

(Argentina)

Based on real events, the story follows the 1985 Trial of the Juntas which prosecuted the ringleaders of Argentina’s last civil-military dictatorship (1976–1983), and centers on the titanic work of a group of lawyers led by prosecutors Luis Moreno Ocampo and Julio César Strassera against those responsible for the bloodiest dictatorship in the history of Argentina. The narrative reflects on the true meaning in the concepts of memory, truth and justice under the slogan “Nunca Más” (‘Never Again’).

Number 15

Beautiful Beings

BEAUTIFUL BEINGS

Guomundur Arnar Guomundsson

(Iceland)

A teenage boy raised by a clairvoyant mother takes a bullied kid into his gang of violent outsiders. An Icelandic coming-of-age tale with violence and tenderness.

Number 16

Klondike

KLONDIKE

Maryna Er Gorbach

(Ukraine)

Klondike (Ukranuan: Клондайк, romanized: Klondaik) is a 2022 Ukrainian drama written, directed, and edited by Maryana Er Gorbach. The film stars Oxana Cherkashyna as a pregnant woman living near the Ukrainian-Russian border during the Russo-Ukranian War and the shooting of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Klondike premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2022, where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Competition for directing.

Number 17

A Piece of the Sky

A PIECE OF THE SKY

Michael Koch

(Switzerland)

The Swiss German title (“Drii Winter”) perhaps more effectively conjures the passage of time, in which a love blossoms, fades and dies between two villagers in a Swiss alpine village unequipped to deal with a fatal health issue tearing them apart.

Number 18

All Quiet on the Western Front

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Edward Berger

(Germany)

All Quiet on the Western Front is a 2022 German epic anti-war film based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque. Directed by Edward Berger, it stars Daniel Brühl and Albrecht Schuch. Set in the closing years of World War I, it follows the life of German soldier Paul Bäumer, who, after enlisting in the German Army with his friends, finds himself exposed to the realities of war, shattering his earlier hopes of becoming a hero.

Number 19

Nostalgia

NOSTALGIA

Mario Martone

(Italy)

Nostalgia is a 2022 Italian French drama film based on a 2016 novel by Ermanno Rea, co-written and directed by Mario Martone. The film follows Felice, a man who returns to his hometown of Naples to visit his ill grandmother after spending 40 years living in Egypt, where he also converted to Islam, and married an Egyptian woman.

Number 20

Utama

UTAMA

Alejandro Loayza Grisi

(Bolivia)

In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily life for years. During an uncommonly long drought, Virginio, and his wife (Sisa) face a dilemma: resist or be defeated by the environment and time itself.

Number 21

The Box

THE BOX

Lorenzo Vigas

(Venezuela)

Lorenzo Vigas (“From Afar“) directs this thriller drama about an orphan boy who is convinced that a man, who he encounters under suspicious circumstances, is his purportedly dead father. Vigas’ second feature was in competition for The Golden Lion at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

Number 22

Joyland

JOYLAND

Saim Sadiq

(Pakistan)

Saim Sadiq’s embattled film, which won the jury prize at Cannes, is still banned in the Punjab province of Pakistan. A love story with a twist, the film examines the relationship between the youngest son of a large family and a trans woman.

Number 23

 Pilgrims

PILGRIMS

Laurynas Bareiša

(Lithuania)

Winner of the jury prize at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, Laurynas Bareiša’s thriller follows a couple who revist their old stomping grounds following the gruesome murder of a friend.

Number 24

The Blue Caftan

THE BLUE CAFTAN

Maryam Touzani

(Morocco)

Maryam Touzani’s film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival is a 2022. It depicts a woman and her closeted gay husband, who run a caftan store in the medina of Sale, Morocco. When they hire a young man as an apprentice, the husband’s long-buried feelings come to the surface.

Number 25

Winners

WINNERS

Hassan Nazer

(United Kingdom)

British-Iranian filmmaker Hassan Nazer’s “Winners” has been selected as the UKs entry. Written and directed by Nazer, the film is set in a poor Iranian village where children work hard to support their families. Then, one day, nine-year-old Yahya and his friend Leyla find a precious statuette in the desert…

Oscar shortlist voting begins on December 12th and the results are announced on December 21st.

Please check back for further details.

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