3 International Movie Actors Who Deserve Some Oscar Love
With films in languages other than English finally breaking out of their limited, Oscar-nominated category in recent years, it’s outrageous that the actors in these stories rarely get similar recognition.
Although “Parasite” won multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, the cast was left out of the acting categories – even leading Song Kang-ho, whose performance is key to the film’s success. Last year, Danish star Mads Mikkelsen was also overlooked, while ‘Another Round’ won Best International Feature and Thomas Vinterberg was nominated for Best Director. This season, several stars from abroad could enrich the line-up of contenders.
Another glaring oversight is that none of the riveting performances in Iranian master Asghar Farhadi’s two Oscar-winning films, “A Separation” and “The Salesman,” received accolades in the United States. Still, there’s a chance for redemption this year with his latest drama, “A Hero,” which features presumably flawed characters caught in morally ambiguous circumstances.
As Rahim, a humble family man serving time in prison as he is thrust into the public eye as a role model for citizens to look up to, actor Amir Jadidi gets serious. Though shrouded in outward suspicion about an incredibly selfless act, his Rahim offers shyly silly smiles and, in the early days of his local fame, acts in a shyly cheerful manner when people recognize him.
But Farhadi is not cleaning up his image, and so Jadidi’s construction of this embattled individual slowly reveals an underlying undercurrent of helplessness, of a man who has tried to come to terms with his position in the social ladder and who does not still can’t take a break. Whether or not one trusts his account of events entirely, the gradual erosion of his restraint is both captivating and heartbreaking.
In “Drive My Car,” director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s meditative triumph that has already won top critics’ awards, star Hidetoshi Nishijima embodies a different kind of man in a slowly building crisis. For the role of Yūsuke Kafuku, a successful actor and director mourning a deep personal loss, Nishijima maintains a cerebral, almost impenetrable demeanor amidst inner turmoil. Haunted by his fruitless quest for answers from his unfaithful wife, Kafuku launches and repeats a multilingual version of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” as a form of escapism.
Thanks to Nishijima’s effective stoic portrayal of a grieving person who is unwilling to face what he is feeling head-on, the protagonist’s interactions with others carry a certain distant quality even when in close proximity. However, in the presence of his imposed personal driver, Misaki (Tôko Miura), with whom he establishes a bond, this hardened shell melts very slightly.
Nishijima rides the deceptively subtle yet piercing waves of emotion with dignified vulnerability. Kafuku’s accumulated pain never manifests in dramatic outbursts, and yet, underground as he is, there’s an unspoken heaviness to him that we can sense.
Meanwhile, Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie delivers another devastating twist in Joachim Trier’s rom-com ‘The Worst Person in the World’ – although his supporting role is based on his screen time . The director’s longtime muse, Danielsen Lie has now starred in all three of Trier’s Oslo trilogy films, including ‘Reprise’ (2006) and ‘Oslo, August 31’ (2011).
In this final chapter, Danielsen Lie plays Aksel, a controversial comic book artist and seemingly understanding partner to Julie (Renate Reinsve), the film’s seductive and ambivalent lead. When the turning point in their lives takes him by surprise, the actor calibrates the character’s desperation and anger as he attempts to salvage their relationship.
In a scene at the end of the story as the two sit across from each other to reminisce and face the inevitable fate of their relationship, Aksel comes out at his peak – and Danielsen Lie delivers his darkest moments. moving. Impossible to identify in simple terms, the character contains both problematic traits and an openness to engage with the hard truths about love.