Oscars 2017: Foreign Language Film Nominees

Land of Mine (Original title: Under sandet), written and directed by Martin Zandvliet (Denmark). Spanish title: Bajo la arena. Synopsis: As World War II comes to an end, a group of German POWs, boys rather than men, are captured by the Danish army and forced to engage in a deadly task—to defuse and clear land mines from the Danish coastline. With little or no training, the boys soon discover that the war is far from over. Inspired by real events, Land of Mine exposes the untold story of one tragic moment in post-war history. Watch the trailer here.

A Man Called Ove (Original title: En man som heter Ove, written and directed by Hannes Holm (Sweden) Spanish title: Un hombre llamado Ove. Synopsis: Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heart-warming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when its shared. Watch the trailer here

The Salesman (Original title: ‎‎ Forushandeh) directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran) Spanish title: El viajante. Synopsis: After their old flat becomes damaged, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young couple living in Tehran, are forced to move into a new apartment. However, once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes the couple’s life, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife. Watch the trailer here

Tanna co-directed by Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia). Spanish title: Tanna. Synopsis: Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister’s loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new. Watch the trailer here

Toni Erdmann directed, written and co-produced by Maren Ade (Germany/Austria). Spanish title: Toni Erdmann Synopsis: Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter flashy “Toni Erdmann” – Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all. Watch the trailer here.

The Film The Age of Shadows Will Hit the Screens in Spain on Friday

The Age of Shadows (Original title: Miljeong) is a 2016 South Korean action thriller film directed by Kim Jee-woon and written by Lee Ji-min and Park Jong-dae. The film stars Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo.It was selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but it was not nominated. The film won the Best Picture award in the Action Features category at the 2016 Fantastic Fest held in Austin Texas.

Synopsis: The Age of Shadows is an intricate story of the Korean resistance movement under the Japanese occupation of the late 1920s. Their aim is to smuggle explosives to Seoul to blow up important Japanese outposts. Our main protagonist, previously a resistance fighter and now chief of police, goes undercover to unravel the movement. The plot thickens when he becomes a double-agent, and the film evolves into a game of high stakes.

Kim Jee-woon (b. 1964) from Seoul is one of the greatest exporters of South-Korean thrillers from our age. He’s the director behind hyper-violent and stylized gems such as A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, The Good The Bad and The Weird and I Saw the Devil.  In 2013 he made his Hollywood debut The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a lead.

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