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How Good Is Oscar's Taste?

Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum offer their takes on the foreign-language films and documentary features that are up for Academy Awards this year

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Foreign-Language Film
Amour (Austria)
Michael Haneke’s brilliantly unsettling drama follows an aging Parisian couple after the wife begins to lose her faculties. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva show us what love looks like when it’s staring at death. (Now in theaters) AOwen Gleiberman

Kon-Tiki (Norway)
Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 voyage across the Pacific gets turned into an ethnographic Jaws, with little insight into what made the Norwegian explorer tick. (In limited release 4/19) B-Owen Gleiberman

A Royal Affair (Denmark)
A stately recounting of how an Enlightenment-loving German doctor canoodled with the queen in 18th-century Denmark. (On DVD 3/26) BLisa Schwarzbaum

No (Chile)
A sly, passionate, and sometimes darkly funny fact-based drama starring Gael García Bernal. (Now in limited release) ALisa Schwarzbaum

War Witch (Canada)
Congolese actress Rachel Mwanza is amazing as a 12-year-old girl forced into service as a child soldier. Her curse/gift: She sees the ghosts of the dead. (In limited release 3/1) ALisa Schwarzbaum

Documentary Features

5 Broken Cameras
A West Bank Palestinian villager presents home-video glimpses of the Israeli occupation. It could change hearts and minds. (On DVD) A-Owen Gleiberman

How to Survive a Plague
A stirring look at how gay activists fused the fervor of revolutionaries, the tenacity of trial lawyers, and the rage of outsiders to alter the shape of the AIDS crisis. (On DVD 2/26) A-Owen Gleiberman

Searching for Sugar Man
The rise and fall and rise again of a forgotten Detroit musician is a tale many will find irresistible but some (like me) resist: We’re fed plenty of sugar in this authorized fairy tale, but I’m left hungry for beef. (On DVD) B-Lisa Schwarzbaum

The Gatekeepers
Six Israeli insiders discuss terrorism, war, and the future of their country in the most riveting talking-heads movie since The Fog of War. (Now in theaters) ALisa Schwarzbaum

The Invisible War
Intense interviews and damning statistics whip up outrage in this effectively infuriating documentary about sexual assaults in the military. (On DVD) B+Lisa Schwarzbaum