DAILY News June 15, 2011, by Jordan Smith
"...Patrick Leahy on June 14 filed a bill that would ensure U.S. compliance with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which in part guarantees foreign nationals abroad access to consular officials..."
Film Review February 17, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...One of 2017’s Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, this pleasantly rambling absurdist father/daughter drama is also one of the most strikingly unusual films of the year, period. It’s a Teutonic take on ambition, loneliness, and the importance of switching things up now and again in order to retain some semblance of sanity in a workaday world that is too often too driven, too hard, and too much..."
Film Review January 6, 2017, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Then the primordial-seeming landscape opens up to a display of severed heads and the first of many scenes of the sadistic torture of Catholic priests who refuse to apostatize. To this foreign land come two Portuguese Jesuits, Fathers Rodrigues and Garrpe (Driver), in a martyr’s quest to find their former mentor, Father Ferreira (Neeson), who has disappeared amid the mass exterminations and renunciations...."
Film Review March 11, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Chile’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2016 Oscars is a grim indictment of the Catholic Church, and, specifically, the church’s sinful strategy of moving known pedophile priests from one diocese to another or, as here, sending them into exile while simultaneously keeping a pontifical eye on them. Director Larraín (Tony Manero) and his director of photography Sergio Armstrong have made a visually striking film about the inherently corruptive nature of organized religious institutions and the strange lengths those institutions will go to obscure the truth...."
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Film Review January 15, 2016, by Marc Savlov
"...Adapted from Mitchell Zuckoff’s nonfiction book, 13 Hours is less about the catastrophic events of American foreign and military policy than it is about the brothers in arms – ex-military hired contractors … mercenaries really – who did their best to save U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens when Libyan militants overran the American diplomatic compound on September 11, 2012..."
A Second Chance
A cop steals a junkie couple's endangered baby for his grieving wife
Film Review December 4, 2015, by Kimberley Jones
"...Not reviewed at press time. Susanne Bier's Danish drama In a Better World won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010, but she's arguably been in a slump ever since..."
Film Review March 27, 2015, by Steve Davis
"...Snap! That’s the crack of people teetering on the verge in each of the six segments in the perversely entertaining Argentine film Wild Tales, a more-than-deserving recent Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film. From the jaw-dropping opening episode in which passengers on a commercial flight realize they all share one thing in common – a soured relationship with a mentally unstable man named Gabriel Pasternak (think of him as the Latin Keyser Söze) – to the freewheeling final episode displaying love’s absurdities at the wedding reception from hell, this inspired anthology firmly puts its talented screenwriter/director Szifrón on the map of filmmakers to watch..."
Film Review February 27, 2015, by Marc Savlov
"...Vladimir Putin’s Russia – brutal, carnivorous, delusional, but monstrously well-evolved for crushing both spirits and lives large and small – is taken to task in this excoriating portrait of the state’s omnivorous hunger for control in a far-flung northern fishing community on the Barents Sea. The Russian Federation’s 2015 Academy Award entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it lost to Poland’s Ida) lives up to its title and then some...."
Last Days in Vietnam
Film Review October 3, 2014, by Louis Black
"...The film is haunting as it demonstrates the flaws of some American foreign policies – diplomats guided by ideology, arrogant assumptions about the world that run counter to reality, as well as a certain American ineptitude when the situation runs counter to how they thought it would go. There is also a common decency and basic heroism on the part of many of the Americans...."
Film Review July 25, 2014, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...More polished than his debut feature Another Earth, Cahill and his brand of humanist science fiction are destined to appeal most to like-minded souls. Empiricists only need apply if they have a thing for lovely gamines who speak in foreign-accented English (and who doesn’t?), as well as a tolerance for blatantly metaphorical film titles...."
Olympus Has Fallen
Film Review March 22, 2013, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Timeliness is also on the side of this film, as the last couple weeks of saber-rattling and rocket launches by North Korea has made that country an evermore topical villain – though to be accurate, the terrorists are a renegade group of Koreans. Although it’s sure to have a different impact for viewers outside the U.S., the wholesale destruction of the White House ought to be imagery that will play particularly well in some foreign territories and add to the film’s international box office..."
Film Review February 17, 2012, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...A dark, brooding Belgian film about masculinity, the oppressiveness of the past, and the bovine hormone mafia, Bullhead suddenly hurtled into the international spotlight when it became one of the five nominees in contention for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar to be awarded later this month. The choice was surprising not only because the Belgian selection committee favored Bullhead over The Kid With a Bike by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the country’s most well-known and regularly lauded filmmaking team..."
Film Review February 10, 2012, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Farhadi captures it all with a restive handheld camera that emphasizes the claustrophobia and confinement experienced by his characters. His film, which is nominated this year for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and appears to have unusual freedom of expression for an Iranian film (this is, after all, a country that jails many of its best-known filmmakers), is smart, provocative, and brimming with ungovernable human emotions...."
Film Review November 4, 2011, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Filmed in the Normandy port city of Le Havre, France, the film is Finland’s official nominee for this year’s Foreign Language Oscar. André Wilms is the wonderfully named character Marcel Marx, a name redolent of cinema and social history..."
In a Better World
Film Review April 29, 2011, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Starring: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Markus Rygaard and William Jøhnk Nielsen. Winner of both an Oscar and Golden Globe for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film, In a Better World obviously speaks to a wide number of people..."
Film Review November 19, 2010, by Marc Savlov
Denzel Washington stops a runaway train loaded with toxic cargo.
"...Hey, at least that one threw in some Nazis for our heroes to contend with. Scott tosses the occasional foreign object onto the track from time to time, horse trailers and the like, but in the end Unstoppable is derailed by its own one-track premise...."
The Secret in Their Eyes
Film Review May 14, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
Winner of the Best Foreign
Language Film award at this year’s Oscars, this Argentine film is a reflective mystery story.
"...Starring: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella, Carla Quevedo and Rudy Romano. Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film award at this year’s Oscars, this Argentine film is a reflective mystery story..."
Film Review April 23, 2010, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Yaron Copti, Shahir Kabaha, Ibrahim Frege, Fouad Habash, Youssef Sahwani, Ranin Karim and Eran Naim. Israel's entry for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar lost out to Argentina's The Secret in Their Eyes, but that in no way means that you should skip over this electrifying and decidedly downbeat slice of life and death in Ajami – the Jaffa, Israel, neighborhood of the title..."
Film Review December 4, 2009, by Marjorie Baumgarten
Robert De Niro is the father of grown children (played by Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell, and Kate Beckinsale) in a family that has trouble communicating.
"...Everybody’s Fine – a movie about the lies grown children tell their parents – is, ironically, one of the most disingenuous movies to come out of Hollywood in a while. The film is an American remake of Guiseppe Tornatore’s Italian original from 1990, but the problems in tone that often beset American remakes of foreign films are merely the beginning of this movie’s faux pas..."
Film Review October 9, 2009, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Starring: Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko, Andreas Lust, Ursula Strauss, Hannes Thanheiser and Hanno Pöschl. This film, Austria’s nominee last year for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is a taut yet unpredictable psychological thriller that deserves wide appreciation outside its homeland..."
Film Review August 28, 2009, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Ryoko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Kimiko Yo and Takashi Sasano. I was steamed, a tad, when the 2008 Academy Award for Foreign Language Film went to this as-yet-unseen Japanese film instead of to Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman's emotionally devastating, animated dirge Waltz With Bashir..."