Culture Crash 21-16

Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Last year, Parasite director Bong Joon Ho made headlines when he called the Academy Awards a “local” ceremony. The story ends with a bit of irony, though as Parasite won Best Picture and Bong Joon Ho took the award for Best Director.

Still, he wasn’t entirely wrong. For much of its history, the Oscars have largely ignored international cinema, rarely nominating films that were not made in English. Luckily, though, that tide has been turning, slowly but surely for a few years now. And while this may sound like small potatoes, it’s actually something of a big deal. Personally, one of the first foreign language films I ever loved was Michael Haneke’s 2012 film, Amour, and the only reason I watched it was because it managed to secure a Best Picture nomination. The Oscars looking outside of the U.S. helped expand my horizons.

In recent years, the Academy gave Alfonso Cuaron a Best Director statue for Roma, which was also nominated for Best Picture, and director Paweł Pawlikowski was nominated for Cold War. Last year saw the huge success of Parasite, and this year Thomas Vinterberg has been nominated for Best Director for his Danish film, Another Round.

And Another Round is a very worthy film that honestly probably deserved a Best Picture nomination, too. The film tells the story of a group of teachers who decide to experiment with whether they would be better professionals, husbands and fathers if they went through their lives just a little bit drunk.

The film tells a whirlwind of a story that is equal parts comedy romp and dramatic thought-provoker. And it is very far away from what one may call “Oscar bait.” It breaks so many of the audience’s expectations and delivers a very compelling two hours.

Another Round is just the latest foreign language film to get an Oscars bump in recent years, and it is absolutely worth the hype. And another piece of great news: Another Round is available to stream now on Hulu, and still some time to watch before the Oscars air on April 25. Cheers.

I’m Evan Rook

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