5 foreign films vying for the Oscar

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Listen, we know the academy wants and will most probably reward Sebastian Lelio's good but not great "A Fantastic Woman," a film so overpraised by critics last year that you couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, it was because of how progressive its subject matter was rather than the way it was delivered. 
15 of the 23  Gold Derby pundits have Lelio‘s film to win the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar. That's fine, it's a good movie that features a great performance from transgender actress Daniela Vega who plays the titular character, a transsexual woman who's older boyfriend suddenly dies of a heart attack. 
In my mixed review of the film last year I wrote:
 "With all these ingredients in place Lelio tries to concoct something gripping that feels like you're being transported by Marina's rummaging, confused psyche. It works and it doesn't work. The film is put together with enough passion and verve that, at times, one might be reminded of Pedro Almodovar's noir melodramas. The film's tensions, humor, moments filled with sheer transcendence, occur in the first half  where we are left to discover the characters, the motives, with Lelio seemingly a step ahead of us. There's intrigue looming in ever frame, but that intrigue fades in the second hour as the writer-director isn't sure where he wants his film to go. It's a good thing that Vegaare's magnificent performance is able to carry us through the finish line but the commitment we once had for her truly heroic story is stretched a bit too thinly. "A Fantastic Woman" might be 104 minutes, but it's 20 too long for a story in which the drama slowly fades away."
There are far worthier films that deserve to win this year, most notably Ruben Ostlund's "The Square" and  Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Loveless," both the crowning peaks of foreign cinema at last year's Cannes Film Festival. The problem with both is that they don't necessarily adhere to the current politics. In the Russian "Loveless" shades of Putin's Russia lurk in every frame but there isn't any outright condemnation, just subtle gesturing and details which hint at the repressiveness of the regime. "The Square," hailing from Sweden tackles how our society has delved into the deep end with political correctness and lost a part of out vitality, spontaneity if you will, in the process. There's nothing worse than shunning movements that are in the know these days, which gives both these films a rather harder chance to win come Oscar night, but please do seek them. The other two "The Insult," and "On Body and Soul" just didn't do it for me.

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