Lifestyle & Belief

The 10 films that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film over the last decade


backstage during the Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.


Christopher Polk

It’s time for the Oscars! Love it or hate it, it's happening.

Let other people argue about whether "American Hustle" is overrated, or about whether Matthew McConnaughey should get credit for starving himself for "Dallas Buyer’s Club," or about whether there were enough drugs in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Let us pay homage to the 10 foreign language films of the last decade that were amazing, won Best Foreign Language Film, and were snubbed for Best Picture nominations because of things like "Avatar" and because Americans don't like reading subtitles.

Here are the 10 films that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film over the last decade, complete with trailers and pithy summaries by IMDB.

Enjoy, and then go watch them because they are all great.


2012: "Amour" from Austria

“Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.”


2011 — "A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin)" from Iran

“A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.”


2010 - "In a Better World (Hævnen)" from Denmark

“The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.”


2009 – "The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos)" from Argentina

“A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.”


2008 – "Departures (Okuribito)" from Japan

“A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.”


2007 – "The Counterfeiters (Die Fäscher)" from Austria

“The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936.”


2006 – "The Live of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)" from Germany

“In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.”


2005 – "Tsotsi" from South Africa

“Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.”


2004 – "The Sea Inside (Mar adentro)" from Spain

“The real-life story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30 year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die.”


2003 – The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares)" from Canada

“During his final days, a dying man is reunited with old friends, former lovers, his ex-wife, and his estranged son.”