Best Foreign Language Films of 2014.
Written by Souranath Banerjee
2014 was a unique year for world Cinema.
Quality films were made across the globe; stories that denounced war and corruption, films which tested complex relationships, cinemas that didn’t shy away from portraying the many complexities of our human nature.
Directors skilfully explored the subtlety of emotions and managed to create an immense impact upon the worldwide audiences.
And so, here is a list of some of the Best Foreign Language Films of 2014 that shouldn’t be missed at any cost.
Original title: Turist. Country: Sweden.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjjzVbTBF8o
Now how does a person react in that split second of time when one assumes his life to be in danger? In such a life-threatening moment will a man prove himself to be ‘man’ enough and defend his family or will he panic and run for his own life?
Original title: Kreuzweg, Country: Germany.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNp7lb1OWow
Story of a 14 year old Catholic girl who decides to dedicate his life to God.
Conservative family, the teachings of the Church and a young vulnerable mind that tries to cope with the tough religious restrictions.
Directed by Dietrich Brüggemann, one of the most powerful films ever!
Original title: Mandariinid, Country: Estonia.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdHwowSRRcs
War has always been the cause for destruction, be it human lives or the season’s crop – the Tangerines.
An unpredictable ending and superb performances.
Original title: Mommy, Country: Canada.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9LVLCYvqSI
Xavier Dolan (who won the jury prize at 2014 Cannes Film Festival) directed this brilliant film that tells the story of a widowed single mother and her fifteen year old son and also their mysterious neighbors.
The love and the endless struggle a single mother has to go through; the film portrays the roller-coaster of emotions and the sacrifices of a mother to raise her teenage son.
Original title: Leviafan, Country: Russia.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oo7H25kirk
Official submission of Russia for Oscars, nominated among the best five Foreign Language Films; won the Golden Globes and also competed for the most prestigious Palme d’Or award in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev doesn’t flinch away from showing the ugly face of corruption.
Original title: Ida, Country: Poland.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXhCaVqB0x0
Only a few very rare films have images so powerful that they tend to overshadow everything else, even the narrative and the story-line seems to dissolve in the pure beauty of each and every frame.
7. Corn Island
Original title: Simindis Kundzuli, Country: Georgia.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5Fc9ydpP_Q
The film is a take on the dominance of nature over mankind; in a very subtle way the film shows the foolishness of man who are in constant battle with each other but can never fight the nature.
George Ovashvili in his film uses only a handful of dialogues, but the impact of the visuals and the story are so strong that it speaks volumes to the audience.
8. Wild Tales
Original title: Relatos salvajes. Country: Spain.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnXv6R2HI8
An anthology with six individual short films, all of which having a common theme of retribution and vengeance.
These films (all six of them) are wicked, satirical and deranged (to some extent) but again at the same time they are clever, hilarious and highly entertaining. Awesome work by director Damián Szifrón.
Original title: Deux jours, une nuit. Country: Belgium.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb3zBq6gVRk
Long takes, simple camera angles, natural dialogues and flawless acting – the brilliant performance by mesmerizing French actress and singer Marion Cotillard really makes this film worth it.
10. Winter Sleep
Original title: Kis Uykusu. Country: Turkey.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBAa-QtTxxE
Set in the picturesque backdrop of central Anatolia, Winter Sleep is the story of an aged, rich, philosophical hotel-owner named Aydin (Haluk Bilginer). A rare cinematic experience.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most unique one. A must watch).
+1. The Raid 2
Original title: The Raid 2: Berandal, Country: Indonesia.
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG9uFX3uYq4
SWAT team member Rama goes undercover to fight against the corrupt police and the underworld kingpins.
Exceptionally realistic fight scenes shot with brutal precision, all the actions showcase the Indonesian fighting style of Pencak silat.
Great story and performances but overall this is THE best action film of the recent times!
A few awesome films that didn’t make this list but are totally worth mentioning are Blind, Goodbye to Language, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, We Are the Best!, Like Father, Like Son, The Attorney, A Coffee in Berlin, Stranger by the Lake, The Dance of Reality and Timbuktu.