Tuesday, March 02, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: The White Ribbon

Number of Nominations: 2 (Best Foreign Film, Achievement in Cinematography)
Availability in the US: In Select Theatres (Check Showtimes)

The German film Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon in English) tells the story of a pre-WWI village where unexplained and disturbing events have begun occurring. The film is enthralling and flies by even though it weighs in somewhat long at nearly two and a half hours.

The White Ribbon is only the ninth predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for Best Cinematography since the separate category for black-and-white cinematography was eliminated in 1967. It is truly worthy of the recognition. The White Ribbon was actually shot in color and converted to black and white digitally, and the crisp gray-tones are a testament to the painstaking work that was done. The most captivating feature of the film is its long brooding camera shots. The director chooses odd camera angles (outside a room, watching the action through a doorway, for example) to tell the story of the village.

I haven't seen the other Best Foreign Film nominees (I wish I could, but none of them are accessible to me yet) and therefore cannot make a valid comparison. I will say, however, that foreign films nominated outside of the Foreign Language Film category do tend to stand a better chance in the category.

Grade: A

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