Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best Foreign Films Winners 1991-2015 Ranked

Best Foreign Film (BFF) winners (2015-1991) ranked

Worst to First

Since I started My BFF Project in June 2016, I’ve reviewed 26 winners of the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language.  Just because they won the Oscar doesn’t mean they were good, at not least to me.  And just because the movie isn't good doesn't mean my review isn't.  Hopefully.  Here I rank them, including a word or two from each review.  Click the titles to read the full reviews.

I found all but one of these movies using my Cuyahoga County Library Card (that’s the county that includes Cleveland, Ohio).   Most of them can be watched using IMDb or Amazon, or possibly Netflix or On Demand for the more recent films.  A new review every Tuesday!


26.  From Spain, 1999 Winner, All About My Mother--. . .  "I give it a full thumbs-down."

25.  From Italy, 1991 Winner, Mediterraneo--"Skip this movie and go have yourself a banana split."

24. From Canada, 2003 Winner, The Barbarian Invasions—"Zzzzzzzzzzzzz."


23.  From Spain, 2004 Winner, The Sea Inside--"Do I recommend it?  Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein!"

22.  From France, 2012 Winner, Amour--"I wouldn't say this movie is the opposite of love, but I give it a solid: 'Meh.'"

21.  From France, 1992 Winner, Indochine--"Unfortunately, in the end, what little I got out of it wasn’t worth it.  Just like Vietnam."

20.  From the Netherlands, 1997 Winner, Character--"As an art film, it works.  As a work of entertainment, it’s not worth the effort."

19.  From Italy, 2013 Winner, The Great Beauty--"I give it three of five meatballs, or whatever they use to rate movies in Rome."

18.  From Denmark, 2010 Winner, In a Better World--"To me, not a great Danish film."

17.  From the Netherlands, 1995 Winner, Antonia's Line--"Women will like it more than men, and that’s . . . okay."


16.  From Bosnia, 2001 Winner, No Man's Land--"Worth a look if you like war movies, especially the anti-war kind."

15.  From Spain, 1993 Winner, Belle Époque--"Light in tone and visually satisfying . . . .Why not check it out?"

14.  From South Africa, 2005 Winner, Tsotsi--"One of those films I will never watch a second time, but certainly worth a good one-time screening."

13.  From The Czech Republic, 1996 Winner, Kolya--"Maybe you won’t be thinking about it for any length of time when you are done and maybe you wouldn’t put it into any kind of Top Ten lists.  But definitely an entertaining story."


12. From Russia, 1994 Winner, Burnt by the Sun--"Worth seeing, if not an outstanding movie."


11.  From Switzerland, 1990 Winner, Journey of Hope--"This cost me $2 on Amazon to watch it and it was worth every penny."

10.  From Hungary, 2015 Winner, Son of Saul--"I wouldn’t recommend this one for a first date, unless you are hoping there won’t be a second one.  That said, this a significant work of historical record."


9.  From Taiwan, 2000 Winner, Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon--"A very fun movie to watch, especially on the big screen (as I did when it came out), even if when you walk away you have no idea what happened."

8.  From Germany, 2007 Winner, The Counterfeiters--"As a non-war war movie, this one hits the mark.  The real kind."

7.  From Argentina, 2009 Winner, The Secret inTheir Eyes--Fun to watch, like a good cop show.

6.  From Japan, 2008 Winner, Departures--"A film with comedy that isn’t over the top and has drama at the right tone.  Believe me, you are dying to see it."

5. From Poland, 2014 Winner, Ida--"I’ll give it a 16-going-on-17 out of 20."


4. From Germany, 2002 Winner, Nowhere in Africa--"8 out of 10 . . . "

3.  From Iran, 2011 Winner, A Separation--You will relate.  This one is a treasure.

2.     From Germany, 2006 Winner, The Lives of Others--"I don’t know if this was the best movie I ever saw . . . but it is one of the best foreign ones I’ve ever seen."

  1. From Italy . . . 1998 Winner, Life IsBeautiful--"I bet if someone had walked in on me watching this movie, they would have asked me what I was smiling about."