2024 Academy Awards

2024 Academy Awards – International Feature Film

2024 International Films

I have seen 78 of the 88 entries in the International category of the Academy Awards for 2024, as well as two films that were disqualified.

One theme that was dominant this year more than in previous years was ordinary people struggling to make a living. Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Peru, Romania, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, you name it, it’s a universal problem.

The spread of cigarette smoking in films is even greater than I have previously noted, even in films from the United States. I am now convinced that the tobacco industry has invested heavily in product placement because many of the scenes of people smoking seemed arbitrary, not related to the period or the plot. Another trend is the increase in films that portray the toxic effects of alcohol, particularly among men.

Although all five of the International nominees were directed by Caucasian Europeans (if England can still be considered part of Europe), this was an exceptionally good year for Asian entries. I thank the Asian World Film Festival for screening Asian films that did not get widespread distribution. One of these films was No Ground Beneath the Feet from Bangladesh. Almost all the members of the audience at the noon weekday screening I attended were friends of mine. The film was so full of various types of misery that when the lights came on, we were all stunned into silence. I do admire the Oscar Bangladesh Committee for entering a movie that showed such dark sides of their society.

I enjoy comedies. This year, as usual, they were hard to come by. So thank you Egypt, Bhutan, Finland, Peru and Romania for giving me at least a few good laughs.

Twenty-five nations submitted films directed by women. However, all five of the nominees were directed by men.