So Near Yet So Far I! – Academy Awards for Best Foreign Movie – Notable Misses

Hello all! This is my first blog and will provide ample samples to make you realize that. I am trying to compile a List of Oscar Worthy foriegn movies which missed out on the coveted price due to political reasons, Academy’s insinsible/controversial rules, bias or pure bad luck. I would also try to review this movies cause often they are the ‘forgotten-ones’. Some of the movies were nominated for an Oscar, some were not, others were disqualified.

Here is the list of movies I have in my mind right now (will expand on an ad hoc basis)

1. Children of Heaven  – Iran
2. Amelie   – From France
3. Motorcycle Diaries  – Multi-national production
4. Paradise Now  – Palestine
5. A Band’s Visit  – Israel
6. City Of Gods  – Brazil
7. Pushpak  – India
8. Hotel Rwanda  – Its is a misfit for the list, but could not resist adding it
9. Divine Interventions – Palestine
10. The Bicyclist – Iran
11. Kandahar  – Iran
12. Bashu  – Iran

I will create a series of blogs for each of these movies. The first instalment is below

1. Children of Heaven (1998)

I am a big fan of Iranian movies and the above list is a testimony to this fact. The members of Academy mostly end up seeing Iranian movies first. Most of the movies are simple with a beautiful narration and ‘Children of Heaven’ is no exception. It was directed by Majid Majidi, who happens to be one of my fav directors and he has a cult following. The film was nominated for the Best Academy for a Foreign movie, but lost to (due to Lady Luck’s desertion) Italian ‘Life is Beautiful’ which was another classic. We can write a whole article about ‘Life is Beautiful’, but it’s out of scope here. Wink

Warning: Spoiler Alerts, but that should not discourage you from watching this movie. Cool

The plot surrounds a poor but honest father and his two children and how they struggle hard to meet thier ends. Sounds familiar? This is the only commanality between ‘Thavamai Thavamirindhu’ and ‘Children of Heaven’. The viewers will not have to shed their precious tears (As in TT) except ‘Khushi-kay-aansoo’. The son, Ali, takes his younger sister Zahra’s shoes to mend but unfortunately loses them on his way back. They both are apprehensive to tell thier father about this as they don’t have enough money to buy food, let alone shoes.

Just when a normal Indian movie-goer expects a song, Ali and Zahra divise a plan. Zahra would wear Ali’s snicker’s in the morning and Ali in the afternoon. This goes on for a while, but not without comedy of errors. Finally Ali manages to participate in a marathon anticipating the third pized which is a pair of snickers, but Lady Luck has other plans for the siblings. Ali ends up winning the race but he is sad that he could not get the snickers for his sister. Though Zahra doesn’t get her shoes through the race, it’s portrayed during the credits that her father evetually buys her a pair.

Ali and Zahra are perfect fit for the role. The father is Mohammed Naji, who features regularly in Majidi’s Movies. The cinematography adds to the narration. The editing is great and there are many scenes where the visuals convey much more than words could.

There are sub plots with their share of comedy/tragedy of errors, for ex. when the father takes Ali to earn some extra bucks during weekends on a bicycle. They pose themselves as garderners and also manage to get some work, but since the movies has only a happy ENDING, most of the other plots ends with sadness. Another example is the conversations between Ali and his principal. The prinicipal reprimands Ali on a daily basis since he comes late to school after shoe-sharing starts.

There is also a poignant scene where Zahra finds her schoolmate wearing her lost shoes. She follows her to her home along with Ali in a bid to get the shoes from her, but both return home after realizing that her family is even more misfortunate than thier’s.

The movie has won many international awards and is always on the ‘strongly recommended’ list in rental stores. Indian Directors might not re-make this movie, as this has very less masala. But if they did re-make this with some masala, then it won’t be ‘Children of Heaven’. Tongue out

This is an incomplete list and Would be greatful to anyone who could contribute to this blog. Contributors will be compensated with loads of appreciations and praise.Laughing

Disclaimer: This is MY compilation. Any resembalance to anyone’s blog or article is purely co-incidental. The person trying to sue me for plagarism may kindly note that I have already filed for bankruptcy. I’m in no way trying to make the Academy’s choice insignificant. This is just my agony which, with a few permutations and combination of the 26 English alphabets, has transformed into a blog. If you are a big fan of masala movies, please close this page (oops, should’ve indicated this @ the beginning, anywayz, plz leave a comment Smile)


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: