03 February 2009

Where are these films?

A great website for both Oscar watchers and film fans in general, Movie City News, compiles hundreds of critic's top ten lists every year. At last count, this year's scoreboard is a compilation of 286 lists and 265 films. Many films, 106 to be exact, got only one mention. I've studied the list very carefully and I am shocked to see no mention of three films: O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (The Year My Parents Went on Vacation), Beaufort and Body of Lies.

"O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias"

This was Brazil's entry for last year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It didn't make the final five in the category, but it did make the final shortlist of 9 which is still a pretty high honor. Originally made in 2006, it didn't get a US release until early 2008. I was lucky enough to see a screening of it and while I enjoyed it while I was watching, it grew on me even more as time went on. I've looked on both the 2006 and 2007 scoreboards just to make sure, but it's nowhere to be found. I'm shocked that more people (critics especially, who have the opportunity to see very limited release movies like this) haven't included this among the best. I'm not sure where it will finally place on my list... but I'm guessing it will be pretty high up.


This film was also an official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar last year. It did end up with a nomination, although it didn't take home the prize. Like most Foreign Language Film nominees, this didn't get a theatrical release in the United States until after the Oscars. I wasn't able to see it until much later when I watched it on DVD. I fell in love with the realistic nature of the film and the relatable characters. Lead actor Oshri Cohen could have walked away with a Best Actor nomination had the film received more exposure.

"Body of Lies"

Body of Lies was a fairly big budgeted and well-marketed action drama from Ridley Scott. Most people heard about it and saw the trailers but it got lost in the fall shuffle at the box office and quickly disappeared. Russell Crowe is always good but he was the best he's been in a couple of years here. I thought it was a great film and although I doubt it will make the top ten on my list, it might make my top twenty. That said, I'm surprised it didn't make anyone's top ten list.

Here is the 2008 scoreboard. And if you are interested, the scoreboards for 2007 and 2006.

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