Monday, February 1, 2016

Oscar Project 2016: Son of Saul

Movie: Son of Saul

This is a very intense Hungarian Holocaust drama; it shows some pretty graphic concentration camp scenes, with more terrible detail than I'd really seen in movies before (though I am certainly not a Holocaust movie expert). This was all very, very well done. Unfortunately, I had a harder time with the plot - which I will explain with SPOILERS in the next paragraph.

The movie centered on the main character's determination to give a proper Jewish burial to a boy he thought (probably incorrectly) was his son. He consistently puts others in more danger - sometimes directly leading to their deaths - and doesn't seem to understand why people are upset about this, why people dealing with hundreds of bodies every day won't risk their own tenuous safety (and those they care about) to try to bury one child they didn't know. And I get that this is part of the tragedy of the movie, but it honestly just made me frustrated with him. Maybe I was watching it wrong.

Availability: In some theaters.

Nominated in:

Foreign Language Film: I have mixed feelings here - as I said, the portrayal of the horrors of the Holocaust was very good and very important, so from that angle I think this deserves recognition. But the specific plot just didn't work for me, and I don't think it was the best movie in this category.

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