What It’s About: Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), an 80-something Parisian man, copes with the deterioration of his wife Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) when she falls ill.
Awards: Cannes Film Festival Palme d?Or; Golden Globes Best Foreign Film; European Film Awards Best Film; Best Foreign Language Film from the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and film critics societies in Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington D.C.
What Owen Gleiberman Said: ”[Amour is] an intensely clear-eyed and tender, at times almost voyeuristically intimate, look at what happens to an aging, agreeably married couple when one of them begins to slip away.” (Read more here.)
What It’s About: A fictionalized account of the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition that Norwegian explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl (portrayed by Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen) and five others took, sailing 4,300 miles on a wooden raft across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands to prove that early South Americans could have done the same.
Awards: Norwegian International Film Festival Audience Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival Directors to Watch (Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning)
What Sandberg and Rønning Said: ”Being nominated means everything to us as directors — it means the world for the film! We are both in L.A. with our families and upon hearing the news we ran around in the corridors, hugging each other, waking up the whole hotel.” (Read more here.)
What It’s About: Based on a pivotal moment in Chile?s history, the movie delves into the dueling ”YES” and ”NO” ad campaigns that aired on TV when dictator Augusto Pinochet scheduled a referendum in 1988, after 15 years in power, for citizens to vote ?yes? or ?no? to keep him as president another eight years. Gael Garcia Bernal plays a fictionalized ad man responsible for conceptualizing the real-life ?NO? ad campaign
Awards: Cannes Film Festival C.I.C.A.E. Award, São Paulo International Film Festival Audience Award
What Director Pablo Larraín Said: ”If you make movies, as in my case, you talk about things that matter to you. … If you think what?s going on in Spain, what happened in American with Occupy Wall Street. The system is leaking. This movie is also about the economic system, and when you abuse this system. My country is owned by eight or 10 guys. The NO option won, but the YES option stayed.” (Read more here.)
A Royal Affair
What It’s About: Based on a true story, set in 18th-century Denmark, Johann Friedrich Struensee (Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen) serves as to the personal to physician Queen Caroline Mathilde (Anna Karenina‘s Alicia Vikander). While he influences her pompous, idiotic husband King Christian VII (newcomer Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) with progressive Enlightenment ideas, he falls deeply in love with the Queen amid an atmosphere of political upheaval.
What Lisa Schwarzbaum Said: ”The storytelling in A Royal Affair is traditional bordering on square. But the historical drama itself…is kind of amazing.” (Read more here.)
What Mikkelsen Said: ”This is the first time I?ve played a character this romantic. He finds himself sitting next to the queen, next to a lake. It became a romantic film as part of the story, but not taking over the story.” (Read more here.)
What It’s About: In Sub-Saharan Africa, pregnant 14-year-old Komona (newcomer Rachel Mwanza) tell her unborn child the story of her life in wartime, beginning with her abduction at age 12.
Awards: Cambridge Film Festival Audience Award, Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Feature, Vancouver Film Critics Circle VFCC Award
What Director Kim Nguyen Said: ”This movie has been a truly amazing 10-year journey…. I will always remember when Rachel Mwanza, after being the first African woman to ever win the Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlinale, returned home to the Congolese streets of Kinshasa and was greeted by passionate chants and overwhelming pride. So, in the case of War Witch, these recognitions do make a difference. They bring back pride to a nation that greatly needs it.” (Read more here.)