The films nominated for the 2013 Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category include Austria's "Amour," Norway's "Kon-Tiki," Chile's "No," Denmark's "A Royal Affair," and Canada's "War Witch."
This year's favorite, from Austria, is about a retired music teacher and her husband of sixty years who struggle with her failing health. "As Georges cares for the increasingly unhappy Anne, the pair finds the nature of their life together irrevocably changed," said the Oscar website's synopsis.
"Amour" is also nominated in the Best Picture category. The Daily Beast noted it's the first film not in the English language to earn that honor since 2006's "Letters from Iwo Jima."
A biography from Norway, "Kon-Tiki" tells the story of anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl who built a balsawood raft and sailed 4,300 miles from Peru to Polynesia in 1947 to prove his theories to the scientific community.
Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal plays Rene Saavedra, a Chilean advertising executive who works with opponents of the Pinochet regime to defeat Augusto Pinochet in the 1988 referendum.
A Royal Affair
Mads Mikkelsen (who played the Bond villain in Casino Royale) plays a Hamburg doctor named Johann Struensee who falls in love with Queen Caroline Mathilda, married to the mad King Christian VII.
The Washington Post wrote, "Mikkelsen easily proves why he’s Denmark’s leading leading man, playing Struensee with a combination of reserve and quiet sex appeal."
This Canadian production, which aired at Tribeca, follows Komona, a young girl who is kidnapped by African rebels at the age of 12. She is forced to kill her own parents and become a child soldier fighting against the government, but the supernatural twist in the story gives her the title War Witch.