Foreign-language cinema

Why are the Oscars such a lousy guide to great cinema?

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, predicted to win big at this year’s Oscars, is not a terrible film. It’s a slight, sentimental Grapes of Wrath-ish journey through the Discourse, with essential Discourse stop-offs at an Amazon warehouse and the rust belt. It belongs in the New Yorker, not on screen. As with almost every film to win big since No Country for Old Men 13 years ago, you just think: the ‘highest honours in filmmaking’? For that? Amid all the change that’s being trumpeted at this year’s Oscars — more women directors, more ethnic minorities — the one thing missing is any discussion about why the awards are such a lousy guide

Gorgeous and electrifying: And Then We Danced reviewed

The film you want to see this week that you mightn’t have seen if you weren’t stuck at home is And Then We Danced, a gay love story set in Tbilisi, Georgia, and it is truly wonderful and gorgeous. Every cloud and all that. However, in my area the demand on broadband is so high that all I get is buffering, buffering, buffering, like it’s 1996, so the only way I could watch this in its entirety was by getting up at 5 a.m. And if it was an absolute pleasure then, it’ll be an absolute pleasure anytime. It passed the 5 a.m. test, you could say. Some scene are