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Entries in The Square (11)

Wednesday
Dec202017

100 Biggest Foreign Language Hits of 2017

Our year in review party begins. A different list each day. Here's Nathaniel R...

In the Fade didnt risk release in 2017 after all, hoping for Oscar favor to buoy its release in 2018Time for an annual look back at subtitled fare in cinemas. As with last year's list India, China, Mexico, and South Korea dominate with a smattering of other countries faring much less well in the American marketplace. Much of that is due, we think, to dedicated distributors focusing specifically on one market like FIP, China Lion and WellGo. Some of the movies we though might be big deals this year like Chile's Oscar nominee A Fantastic Woman opted for Oscar qualifying release only and Germany's Oscar finalist In the Fade starring Diane Kruger (pictured left) opted to sneak out at the last second to qualify for all Oscars though it did not receive nominations, buried in that post Christmas glut of tiny releases.

For the purposes of this list we skipped documentaries and animated films to keep the list more focused (and avoid arguments about dubbed versions or whatnot) but please to know that had we kept them in the wonderful Turkish street cat documentary Kedi would be in the top ten right here. This list is otherwise, as carefully as we could manage, accurate though we're happy to take corrections should we have missed something.

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2017
Listed By US Box Office Gross only 
Title links go to reviews | 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures are as of January 21st, 2018

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Friday
Dec152017

9 Foreign Film Finalists for the Oscar Race

by Nathaniel R

"The Wound" from South Africa might be the biggest surprise on the finalist list.The Academy's foreign film nominating committees have whittled down the 92 contenders to 9. If you've forgotten or never heard the procedure it involves multiple volunteers watching a certain number of entries to be eliglble to vote on them. The top six films advance from those ballots and the executive committee chooses another three which makes the 9 finalists. Then a final committee watches the nine finalists and votes to determine the five nominations. We correctly predicted 7 of the 9 finalist (you can peak here though we'll be updating that chart to reflect the official standings shortly)

A Fantastic Woman directed by Sebastián Lelio for Chile
In the Fade directed by Fatih Akin for Germany
On Body and Soul Ildikó Enyedi for Hungary
Foxtrot directed by Samuel Maoz for Israel
The Insult directed by Ziad Doueiri for Lebanon
Loveless directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev for Russia
Félicité directed by Alain Gomis for Senegal
The Wound directed by John Trengove for South Africa
The Square directed by Ruben Östlund for Sweden MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

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Saturday
Dec092017

European Film Awards - Much Love to "The Square"

by Nathaniel R

The annual European Film Awards have logged many frequent flyer miles over the years as they hop around to various host countries. Today they were held in Berlin Germany and multiple Oscar hopefuls in Best Foreign Language Film took home prizes. The Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Square won the most statues and Hungary's Alexandra Borbely who stars in the weirdly compelling On Body and Soul (reviewed here) took Best Actress. You can see all the winners after the jump...

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Tuesday
Nov282017

Interview: Claes Bang on 'The Square,' the Monarchy and Being Starstruck at the Governors Awards

By Jose Solís.

photo src

Like Christian, his character in The Square, Claes Bang speaks with impressive assertiveness. Even when he’s poking fun at himself, he sounds like a man who’s never had any doubts or gotten himself into something he couldn’t get out of. Perhaps it’s this quality that makes his performance in Ruben Östlund’s award winning film so magnetic, and has also raised comparisons to Jon Hamm and James Bond. At age 50, the Danish actor who has mostly worked on stage and television, finds himself in the unlikely position of movie star. Position which he’s filled extraordinarily, having become the sensation of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as a dark horse for the European Film Awards where he’s competing against Colin Farrell and Jean-Louis Trintignant for Best Actor.

Watching Bang (even his name’s cool!) in The Square one gets the sense of both knowing Christian, but also feeling like he could deceive you at any moment. He’s the kind of man who seems so secure of his position in the world, that he could drag you with him without you realizing it. When I spoke to director Östlund he explained that he saw Christian as a man who, despite appearances, isn’t as free as we’d think. Earlier this fall, Bang took a break from his publicity tour to do a play in Denmark, and he also makes New Wave-like electronica - think darker Depeche Mode - under the moniker This Is Not America, making him the ultimate renaissance man. If awards season wasn’t so partial to English speaking roles, Bang would be a serious contender for Best Actor, since he delivers the kind of performance that combines unique thespian talents, with pure star power. I spoke to him about taking on a character as complex as Christian, his thoughts on the monarchy, and his favorite part of awards season so far. Read the interview after the jump...

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Saturday
Nov042017

European Film Nominations: "The Square" and "On Body and Soul" lead

by Nathaniel R

Hungary's weird and wonderful ON BODY AND SOUL keeps collecting kudosOne of our favorite undersung awards bodies is back. The European Film Awards, a hodgepodge of vastly different cinemas that sometimes has surprising results, have released their nominations for 2017. As per usual they're the awards body with the most in common with Oscar's Foreign Language Film race with many of their nominees being submissions this year from their respective countries. As such it's worth noting that Hungary's dreamscape slaughterhouse romantic oddity On Body and Soul and the Palme D'or winning Swedish satire The Square are both looking strong heading into the Oscar race; they lead the field here, each with four nominations. Russia's Loveless and the latest Yorgos Lanthimos provocation The Killing of a Sacred Deer are just behind them with three nominations, though the latter was a miss in the top category for Best European Film where France's masterful ACT UP drama BPM (Beats Per Minute --  currently in release in the US -- why is noone seeing it? It's brilliant! --  struck instead. 

The ceremony moves each year and this time it will be hosted in Berlin, Germany on December 9th. Full set of nominees (links go to our reviews) including a France heavy Best Actress list are after the jump...

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Sunday
Oct292017

It's Halloween-time at the Box Office

by Nathaniel R

Weekend Box Office (October 27th-29th)
W I D E
800+ screens
L I M I T E D
excluding prev. wide
1. 🔺 JIGSAW  $16.5 new  1. 🔺 LET THERE BE LIGHT $1.8 on 378 screens new 
2.  BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN $10 (cum. $35.5) 2. 🔺 THE FLORIDA PROJECT $539k on 145 screens (cum. $2.1) REVIEW 1REVIEW 2 
3. GEOSTORM  $5.6 (cum. $23.5)  3.🔺 LOVING VINCENT $449k on 114 screens (cum. $2.1)  
4. HAPPY DEATH DAY  $5.0 (cum. $48.3) 4. 🔺  GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN $330k on 213 screens (cum. $633k)
5. BLADE RUNNER 2049 $3.9 (cum. $81.3) REVIEW | SHORTS | "BESTS"  5. 🔺 THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER $221k on 33 screens (cum. $392k)  REVIEW

 

Moviegoers were in a horror mood -- what else is new? -- which is appropriate for Halloween time. Three of the top five were specifically seasonal while It logged what is probably it's last week in the top ten with another 2 million for its historical box office winnings. It's the highest grossing horror film ever now but only #4 of all time (not adjusted for inflation) in terms of R-rated films. It won't be able to overtake any of the top three: The Passion of the Christ, Deadpool, and American Sniper since it will surely lose a huge swath of theaters next weekend when everything at the multiplexes has to make room for Thor: Ragnarok...

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