While ‘The Artist’ and ‘Hugo’ stole the show with 5 awards each, the Oscars ignored a lot of good work. Here is our list of films that deserved a nomination
The Academy has always rigidly awarded a certain type. A type that confirms to the jury’s checklist. Moving-tick, social message-tick, racially democratic-tick etc. But every year (including this one), there are some cinematic gems that offer something more and beyond, even if it doesn’t score with the ticks. So, here we attempt to draw up a list of such films that deserve a mention, regardless of whom the Academy decides to crown.
The first thing about this striking British thriller is that it’s incomprehensible without subtitles for the cockney accent. Because when the Irish gargle out English, it really doesn’t speak volumes of how close Ireland is from England, geographically. But looking beyond that, it offers a nail-biting shocker to remember. What opens and continues to be, for the large part, a straight out action flick, progressively develops into a dark cult classic. Not suitable for the faint-hearted, this one.
Miss Bala (Mexican)
This riveting film is loosely based on a true incident where a beauty pageant contestant was arrested in suspicion of her association with certain gang members in 2008 in Jalisco. Miss Bala is adorable for its realism and certain parts of the film seem as believable as if it were a documentary. The film’s story is about a young woman you wants to become a beauty queen in Mexico and the challenges she experiences in realizing her dream. While you will find yourself hoping for her best, you will be shredded in to pieces as suffers beyond imagination in attempting to score a simple and pure goal.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Documentary)
While documentaries of the type have surfaced and vanished without much notice, very few have managed to get close to the Michael Moores of the world. This one is a twisted take on how endorsements and product placements have a higher regard in films today. And while documentaries try to be distinctly preachy in order to be more impactful, this one plays its plain and simple. The filmmaker in question tries to accumulate as many sponsors as he can to fund his movie.
This movie is clearly the more irreverent among the others in the list. Carefuly crafty, this painful thriller about a school massacre will leave you positively disturbed for days after you watch it. Based on the premise of a mother who strives hard to love her dysfunctional child, this film explores the dark and often unspoken feelings that a parent can feel towards his/her own child, when pushed against the wall. Notable performances include that of the lead cast comprising Tilda Swinton and John C Reilly.
Phone call to the bar (Japanese)
While Japanese action-thrillers are usually synonymous with gore and violence, this one manages to add a tinge of humour and intelligent twists that enable it to make this list. Based on a novel by Naomi Azuma, this revenge story has managed to create as much stir in Japan and in the international festival circuit that a sequel is actually being considered. Essentially a detective story, the humour element in the film gives it a refreshing take and makes for a pleasant watch.
While this one could be high on the creep quotient, it can give other movies on reincarnation a run for their box office money. This British and Irish collaborate production has earned 4/5 from Guardian and ranks very high on the absurdity parameter. Dealing with an occult subject, the story proposes an alternative method of reincarnation practiced in a tiny village which functions like a cult. While the movie may not be as scary as classical horror films and it doesn’t subscribe to techniques used to evoke fear, it has some scenes which would be enough to raise hell.