Tag Archives: The counterfeiters

I Second That Blog Post: More On “The Counterfeiters”

This post over at Valerie and Her Week of Wonders reminded me about my “best of” post for 2007 and how The Counterfeiters was a film I saw in ’07 but was likely to make my 2008 list. Well, here it is, 5 months in and Stefan Ruzowitzky’s film is still firmly in my 2008 top ten. Then again, there are likely a hundred or more films for me to see in the next 7 months, so who knows?
What I know so far is that it’s not only an exceptional little gem of a film, it’s one that’s, gasp!, doing well at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has grossed $5,039,883, as of last weekend, placing it 52nd all time for foreign-language releases, a ranking that’s sure to improve, as the film is still doing relatively well at the box office. The guys at Sony Pictures Classics certainly know how to release a foreign-language film.
As for the film, it’s a subtle drama and morality play set amidst the horrors of the holocaust and it paints its characters in shades of gray, a particularly difficult and risky thing to attempt when dealing with this subject matter.
If you haven’t seen this film, I urge you to hit your local arthouse or multiplex, like say, this one in Anchorage, Alaska and see this excellence in film making.

Critics Groups, Oscars, Bloggers…What Does It All Mean? Fuck If I Know!

So the majority of the year end awards have come and gone and since I haven’t been keeping a running tally (I really should have been) I’m gonna give big ups to Movie City News for their obscenely comprehensive awards section. The thing is, the damn site’s so comprehensive (The top 10 from the UC Gauntlet’s Ryan Pike….300 at #6 and Transformers at #10? Really dude?) that anyone could pick and choose from the info and shape it to illustrate almost anything….except that 300 is the sixth best film of the year.
While it’s clear that no single critics group can predict the Oscars (assuming they are the ne plus ultra of awards “season”) some front runners are emerging in the race to fill out the nomination fields. The last to present their awards, the Oscars are still the “big show” and despite attempts by the Independent Spirit Awards and Golden Globes to chip away at their luster, one is always drawn back to what Roger Avary said when accepting his Spirit Award for co-writing Pulp Fiction (and I may be paraphrasing, here…I was pretty drunk at the time): “This is really nice…. it won’t fit up my butt as well as an Oscar, though.” I can’t think of a cruder way to put it, but yes, winning an Oscar is largely considered to be better, in every way, than winning a Spirit Award or Golden Globe.
As for the Globes, in nominating 12 films between their two best picture categories, they’ve proven themselves to be even more of a farce than in years past. Why not 14? Couldn’t they find 7 musical/comedy films that “rated?” Speaking of the Musical/Comedy category, how is La Vie en Rose a musical? If every film that had music in it was considered a musical… And then there’s the oddity of Persepolis. So the acclaimed Sony Pictures Classics release was good enough to be nominated for best foreign-language film, but not as best animated feature? So Bee Movie is a better film? (NOTE: I read somewhere that films can only be nominated for one “Best” category at the Globes, but can’t confirm this, because the Globs don’t seem to post their voting rules on their site). And whither The Counterfeiters? In my not-so-humble opinion, this film is clearly one of the best five foreign language films of the year, but it’s getting no love from critics groups and very little press attention, possibly because Sony Classics isn’t releasing it until next year. Will this affect its chances at the Academy Awards? I hope not, because it’s an exceptional piece of work.

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