Best foreign picture Oscar nominees

February 19th, 2009 - 9:19 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Feb 19 (DPA) The Oscars will be announced here Sunday night (Monday morning in India). The following have been nominated for the best foreign picture Oscar:
“The Baader Meinhof Complex”, Germany: A 2008 film by Uli Edel based on a German bestseller of the same name. The movie tells the story of the West German Red Army Faction, which was the country’s most violent and prominent left-wing terrorist group that operated from the late 1960s to 1998. The movie offers a unique insight into the motivations of the notorious group. It stars Martina Gedeck and Moritz Bleibtreu as the group’s co-founders, who are brought down after a spate of attacks in 1977 by a brilliant policeman played by Bruno Ganz.

“The Class”, France: A docudrama that examines the intricate relationships and attitudes among the students and staff at a multi-ethnic Parisian school that stands as a microcosm of French society. The film uses real students and teachers and shows the challenges faced by a well-meaning white teacher when he tries to bring the lessons of his liberal idealism to a group of alienated and authority-challenging immigrants.

“Departures”, Japan: Directed by Yojiro Takita, the movie stars Masahiro Motoki as a devoted cellist who moves back to his hometown and takes on a new job as an undertaker after being fired from his orchestra. While those around him despise the job, Daigo finds his calling as a gentle gatekeeper to death, and in a profound and sometimes comical journey he uncovers the wonders of life.

“Revanche”, Austria: Directed by Gotz Spielmann, this is a gritty crime caper set against the brutal world of the Austrian sex trade. It tells the story of a henchman for an underworld boss who falls in love with a Ukranian sex slave at one of his boss’ brothels. The pair decide to escape when she is brutalized by one of the boss’ associates. But their ploy gets complicated when the penniless couple tries to rob a bank.

“Waltz With Bashir”, Israel: A genre-smashing animated documentary that portrays an Israeli man’s attempt to reconstruct the horrors that he witnessed as a soldier during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The movie is based on the experiences of writer-director Ari Folman, who also stars in it, and has garnered a wide range of international awards.

Oscar bet: Most Oscar experts agree that “Waltz with Bashir” will take the prize thanks to its innovative techniques, always-relevant subject matter, brilliant imagery and powerful storytelling.

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