Sunday, June 5, 2011
This subtitled Canadian film was one of the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film last year at the Academy Awards, and it confirmed two recent observations of mine. First, even though many think the domestic film nominations for Best Picture are too heavy, they're a walk in the park compared to the foreign ones. (Between this one, 'Biutiful', and 'Dogtooth', I'm ready for some depression medication and/or therapy.) And second, often the films I look forward to seeing the least end up being among the best. I had very little interest in this film, but it's actually pretty amazing.
The film begins with the reading of the will of a mother to her two children. It's clear that there were relationship issues and her children thought her to be abnormal, and her last wishes were right in line with that. She asked that they go to the Middle East and find the father they never knew and the brother they never knew they had. And on this journey they discover a lot they never knew about their mom. It's an interesting theme that can resonate with anyone, even under extremely different circumstances. How well do we really know anyone, even our parents?
This is a great film. And it's a film you really have to pay attention to. I didn't even fully appreciate how great it was until thinking about it on my walk home. It's very powerful. But it's not a feel good film by any stretch, so it's hard to recommend absolutely. But if you're into heavy drama, the tragedies in the Middle East, or seeing how unfortunate some people's circumstances are, you should check this one out while it's still in theaters.