Your head start on Oscar picks

Here are Chimes’ favorites for the International Feature Film Category

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their shortlists for nine categories, including International Feature Film. Academy members will view the 15 shortlisted films, culminating in a vote to narrow the list to five nominees, which will be announced Mar. 15. If you’d like to get a head start watching them, here are the five films most likely to make it through to the next round:

The Mole Agent

Available to stream now via Hulu, “The Mole Agent” is a documentary filmed in a neo-noir style about an elderly man hired by a private-eye to investigate mistreatment in a nursing home. The film is Chile’s submission, the country that won the award in 2018 for “A Fantastic Woman.” Documentarian Maite Alberdi’s camera movements are refreshingly dynamic compared to the flat cinematography typical of many documentaries. It’s also interesting to see a documentary with such a strong sense of narrative, even incorporating elements of comedy. Very heartwarming and an essential watch, if you have Hulu.


Another documentary, “Collective” is the Romanian submission to the Oscars. The documentary explores a national health crisis, leading to numerous deaths after a nightclub caught fire in Bucharest. An on-the-ground exposé of government corruption, “Collective” is completely entrancing, in the same vein of documentaries like “Icarus.” The film is also included in the short list for documentary feature. “Collective” is available to rent from most on-demand providers.

I’m No Longer Here

Mexico’s submission is “I’m No Longer Here,” a critic-favorite, streaming on Netflix. The film features an ensemble cast of non-actors, seeking to portray the challenges of street gangs and cartels without glorifying violence. What unfolds is a unique coming-of-age story, exploring universal themes of identity and home within the backdrop of the Monterrey slums. Though the pacing can at times be slow, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Another Round

Another top contender for the award is Denmark’s “Another Round,” a drama-comedy in which four friends decide to create an “experiment” to test the theory that being drunk makes you more creative. In essence, they decide to be constantly drunk. You might recognize the star, Mads Mikkelsen, as the villain from “Casino Royale.” Director Thomas Vinterberg does an excellent job balancing comedic moments with the tragedies that unfold as a result of the characters’ reckless behavior. The film is available to rent from most on-demand providers.

Dear Comrades!

Russia’s submission “Dear Comrades!“ is a surprisingly political pick for the country. It explores one woman’s shift in worldview following the Novocherkassk massacre in 1962. A black-and-white period drama might not be for everyone, but the gorgeous wide-angle interior shots and emotional plot are gripping. It’s certainly among the more emotional films in this list. “Dear Comrades” is available to stream on Hulu.