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Have you had enough free time to catch up on all of the nominated films for the Oscars? And not just the mainstream flicks but the foreign ones as well? 

Before you watch the Academy Awards on Sunday night, check out our rundown of nominated foreign films that you might not have had the opportunity to watch yet. 

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Ida

Country: Poland
Director: Paweł Pawlikowski
Starring: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik

A look into 1960's communist Poland, Ida follows the personal journey of a young orphan nun about to take her vows of Catholicism when a long-lost aunt comes into the picture. She shares that Ida is actually of Jewish decent, which leads into the search for answers of how her parents died. The film is tragically beautiful as it sifts through Poland's dark and heartbreaking past.

With the Oscars quickly approaching, Ida seems to be the frontrunner despite Leviathan taking home the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Golden Globes. Ida, along with Best Foreign Film, is nominated for Best Cinematography, as it is beautifully portrayed in black and white.

Cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski explained the choice, saying that "We chose black and white and the 1.33 frame because it was evocative of Polish films of that era, the early 1960s. We designed the unusual compositions to make the audience feel uncertain, to watch in a different way."

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Leviathan

Country: Russia
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Aleksei Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, and Vladimir Vdovichenkov

Taking place in a small fishing village, Leviathan follows Kolya, a mechanic who must go up against the corrupt nature of his mayor in order to keep and preserve his scenic home, which has been in his family for generations. After refusing a small sum of money for his home, the mayor is determined to seize the land, forcing Kolya to reach out to an old friend who has become a lawyer to help fight this injustice.

Leviathan gained critical acclaim during the festival circuit with a successful showing at Cannes last year. The film boasts stunning cinematography and a blend of social and political undertones that can be focused on the Russian government as well as any government under criticism of corruption.

Zvyagintsev co-wrote the film with Oleg Negin by paralleling the biblical story of Job, where the film actually derived its name.

"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord? Will he speak to you soft words? Will he make a covenant with you?"

With a great deal of focus on politics, producer Alexander Rodnyansky comments that, "It deals with some of the most important social issues of contemporary Russia while never becoming an artist's sermon or a public statement; it is a story of love and tragedy experienced by ordinary people."

Leviathan was recognized at the Golden Globes in January by winning Best Foreign Language Film, yet has a strong competitor at the Oscars - Ida. 

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Tangerines

Country: Estonia, Georgia
Director: Zaza Urushadze
Starring: Lembit Ulfsak, Elmo Nüganen, Mikheil Meskhi, Giorgi Nakashidze, Raivo Trass

As the Soviet Empire fell in the 1990's and war raged on, Tangerines follows an Estonian carpenter living in Georgia who, instead of fleeing from the ever-growing threat of war, helps his neighbor on a tangerine farm. When they find two wounded soldiers from opposite sides of war, they decide to help them, even though the two vow to kill each other once they are better.

Over the past year, Tangerines has been extremely successful by receiving recognition, nominations, and even 10 awards from various festivals. This is Estonia's first nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, and director Zara Urushadze is proud to share his vision.

"The war is not the main focus in the film. It is rather an intimate drama about relationships between our characters, about maintaining their humanity in difficult situations," Urushadze has said. "The war was extremely painful for us Georgians; we lost many of our people, we lost our land… I lost friends in the conflict… All of this has affected me deeply and inspired me to make a film with an anti-war message. I’m really against institutionalized slaughtering and believe in equality with no difference of nationality or religion."

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Timbuktu

Country: Mauritania
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Starring: Abel Jafri, Hichem Yacoubi

A cattle herder, Kidane, and his family find their peaceful days disrupted by a violent takeover in nearby Mali by Fundamentalist Islamic jihadists. The overall terror of changing politics and judicial law is intercut with intense daily instances of townspeople trying to adjust to the extreme laws and fear they have of the invaders. Simple daily pleasures such as music, soccer, and even something as human and basic as laughter has been outlawed in this anxiety-filled place. 

Timbuktu reflects the actual takeover of Mali in 2012. Sissako wanted to set out and make much more than a documentary about Islamic extremists. He found inspiration in the history of Timbuktu, which is represented as a hub of tolerance and learning. The film also sheds an interesting light on jihadists, and enemies in general, by showing them as both extremists and humans like any of us. 

In the film, the invaders subject the city to their own view of Shariah law and through the movie, show the hypocricy of it all. They obsess over soccer yet forbid people to play it, stone adulterers to death yet lust for wives of other men. Sissako said this depiction of the enemy is to show that a jihadist or any enemy really is not "simply a bad guy, who does not in any way resemble me, who's completely different... he's also a fragile being. And fragility is an element that can make anybody tip over into horror."

This is Mauritania's first entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

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Wild Tales

Country: Argentina
Director: Damián Szifrón
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Óscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Darío Grandinetti

This anthology consists of six standalone stories that all relate through a theme of vengeance and violence. Wild Tales is made up of dark comedy elements as each storyline shows the results of someone being pushed over the edge. Some stories include a happy wedding day drastically ruined when the bride learns of her groom's infidelities or a boasting hot-shot in a sports car that must rely on those he insults when stuck with a flat tire.

"It's easy to see the lack of freedom in past eras," says Wild Tales director, Damian Szifrón. "But sometimes it's hard to see the tyranny of this world, of our present time in big cities. The film is contemporary in that sense. It's about the pleasure of reacting toward abuse of power, injustice… and against each other."

Be sure to check out these amazing films before the Oscars or even after. Share your thoughts with us @womensforum

The 87th Annual Academy Awards are already here! This Sunday, Feb. 22, Hollywood’s elite will be walking into the Dolby Theatre with high hopes for a win and taking home an Oscar. This year’s nominees feature an extraordinarily long list of beloved actors who starred in fan favorites like Birdman and Boyhood.

Best Picture Nominees

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Photo Credit: IMDB

American Sniper – Bradley Cooper stars in the moving film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the life of former U.S. sniper Chris Kyle. Kyle was murdered two years ago at a shooting range where a former veteran took the life of Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The murder trial for Eddie Ray Routh began last week.

Birdman – Michael Keaton stars in a dark and quirky movie about an actor who is washed up and trying to make it on Broadway. The film is edited to be one long moving shot, which is fun to watch out for if you haven’t seen it! The cast is stacked with A-listers like Emma Stone, Zach Galifanakis, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts, and Edward Norton who also stars in The Imitation Game.

Boyhood – Originally titled 12 Years, Boyhood is a twelve-year project written and directed by Richard Linklater. Patricia Arquette won a Golden Globe for her performance in the film. Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane were also lead actors for the film which began filming in 2002. Predictions suggest that the “Best Picture” win will be a close race between Birdman and Boyhood.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – The comedy was written and directed by Wes Anderson. Ralph Fiennes plays a concierge who fights to prove his innocence after being framed for murder. Anderson is also up to win a "Best Director" award for the film.

The Imitation Game – Like many of this year’s nominees, The Imitation Game is based on true events during World War II when British cryptanalyst, Alan Turing, was a leading force in solving the Enigma code to save the fate of Britain. He was later prosecuted for his homosexuality. Keira Knightley, who also starred in this year’s Begin Again, plays a graduate student longing to work with the genius Turing. You can expect to see Benedict on the red carpet with new wife Sophie Hunter who is pregnant. Keira Knightley will also be walking the carpet pregnant with her husband James Righton.

Selma – Another historically fact-based film, Selma stars British actors David Oyelowo as Mart Luther King Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. The rapper Common and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey star in the film as well. Although the film is not expected to win big on Sunday, the featured song "Glory," sung by Common and John Legend, is a likely performance of the night.

The Theory of Everything – Based on the true story of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything is a touching film for all ages. Eddie Redmayne beautifully portrays the ALS-stricken genius who fights to hold onto his knowledge as his body deteriorates. Felicity Jones plays Hawking’s former wife Jane Wilde. The film is not expected to win “Best Picture"; however, Redmayne is in the lead for “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” which makes sense once you see his onscreen magic. Redmayne already took home the award for “Best Actor” at the Golden Globes where he thanked his new wife, Hannah Bagshawe.

Whiplash – J.K. Simmons who usually stars in light and quirky comedies, pushes the boundaries in this musical drama film. Andrew Neiman, played by Miles Teller, is a first-year jazz student at Shaffer Conservatory in New York. J.K. Simmons plays the intensely dedicated music teacher Terence Fletcher (Simmons), who uses unpleasant tactics to see that his students succeed. Simmons took home “Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture” at the Golden Globes this year.

Actress in a Leading Role

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Photo Credit: PR Photos

Marion Cotillard as Sandra Bya in Two Days, One Night – If won, this will be Cotillard’s second Academy Award. She first won for her role in the 2007 film La Vie en rose. Cotillard is a French native who often stars in romanticized films. She will likely be walking the red carpet with French actor and director Guillaume Canet – the two have been dating for eight years and share one son.


Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed in Wild
– When Witherspoon began her production company Pacific Standard, the first two films she wanted to produce were Wild and Gone Girl (yes, Reese produced it). Witherspoon originally didn’t want to play the lead role but soon realized she was the best fit to play the role of Cheryl Strayed. Witherspoon and Strayed have been good friends since the film. This is Witherspoon’s second Oscar nod. She took home the award for “Best Actress” for 2006’s Walk the Line.


Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl
– Rosamund Pike is keeping the British presence alive at the awards this year. She’ll likely look marvelous on the red carpet, making an appearance after giving birth to her second son just two months ago. Her first born, Solo, was born in 2012 with partner Robie Uniacke. Pike's first film was in 2002 when she played Miranda Frost in Die Another Day.


Julianne Moore as Alice Howland in Still Alice
– This is Moore’s fifth nomination for an Oscar. Though she hasn’t won yet, the odds are in her favor for this year. Moore plays a middle-aged professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at a considerably young age. She stars alongside Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth in the powerful film, which is also a true story.


Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde in Theory of Everything
– At only 31 years old, Jones is the youngest nominee. She’s also British, like many other nominees of the night! Her performance as Jane Wilde Hawking has landed her with nearly a dozen nominees this award season. She won’t be done after this, either! Jones, so far, has two more movies to be released this year and three more in 2016.


Actor in a Leading Role

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Photo Credit: PR Photos

Steve Carell as John E. du Pont in Foxcatcher – This is Carell’s first ever Oscar nomination for his most powerful performance yet. Carell was unrecognizable as a multimillionaire from the E.I. du Pont family. A true story from the early '90s, Bennett Miller directed the chilling film about Olympic winning wrestlers and brothers Dave (Mark Ruffalo) and Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum). The real Mark Schultz, who originally admired the film, took to Twitter after the release of the movie to say how much he hated the film and Bennett Miller. He later took down the tweets.


Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper
– With 160 confirmed kills, Navy Seal Chris Kyle is the deadliest sniper in U.S. History. In order to prepare for the role as Kyle, Cooper gained nearly 40 pounds, was trained by a speech professional to perfect his southern accent, and he spoke to Kyle once on the phone before he was fatally shot just one week later.


Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
– Benedict Cumberbatch has a full plate of celebrations this year. He announced his engagement to Sophie Hunter a week before she announced she was pregnant. And over Valentine’s Day weekend, the two were married in a romantic ceremony. Now, as the Oscars are approaching, the British star is celebrating his acclaimed role as Alan Turing.


Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomas in Birdman
– Birdman took home the award for “Best Motion Picture” at the Golden Globes this year where Keaton gave a touching tribute to his son Sean for the support over the years. Keaton is expected to win on Sunday night.


Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything
– Eddie Redmayne is the youngest Oscar nominee of the night (and probably the cutest next to Bradley Cooper.) Redmayne met Stephen Hawking before filming began and Redmayne’s transformation is truly incredibly and moving to watch. Either Redmayne or Keaton are expected to take home the statue for “Best Actor in a Leading Role.”



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Awards season is in full swing, and everyone is obsessing over red carpet fashion. While the gowns are usually the topic of discussion, the accessories that get paired with them are key to pulling the look together.

Some starlets rent million dollar diamonds for each event, while others try to steal the spotlight with quirky pieces. In preparation for the Academy Awards, we’ve rounded up some of the most iconic pieces of red carpet jewelry throughout the ages.

Jennifer Aniston’s Engagement Ring

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Photo Credit: Getty

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and that was no exception for Jennifer Aniston at the 2013 Academy Awards. The Friends star turned Oscar nominee flashed her rock for the world to see shortly after her engagement to Justin Theroux.

Angelina Jolie’s Emerald Earrings

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Photo Credit: Getty

 Whether you’re Team Aniston or Team Jolie, you can’t argue that Angelina’s red carpet style is flawless. She further proved that point at the 2009 Academy Awards while donning a gorgeous pair of Lorraine Schwartz emerald earrings.

Lupita Nyong’o’s Diamond Headband

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Photo Credit: Getty

 At last year’s Academy Awards, Lupita Nyong’o was the belle of the ball. In a floor length blue gown, a sparkly diamond headband from Fred Leighton, and a well-deserved Academy Award, she looked like Cinderella having a fairytale ending.

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 It’s no secret that Elizabeth Taylor loved her diamonds. (She named her perfume after them!) At the 1967 Academy Awards, Liz wore a pair of diamond and pearl statement earrings and tiara that went really well with her golden statue.

Cher’s Feather Headpiece

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 Photo Credit: AP

 Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj may think that they invented cooky red carpet fashion, but Cher taught those rookies everything they know. It was hard to miss Cher at the 1986 Academy Awards where she paired a full black feather crown with a barely-there black sequined bandeau top and matching sequin skirt.

Julie Andrews' Diamond Fringe Necklace 

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Photo Credit: Corbis

 Statement necklaces are the perfect way to glamourize any red carpet or casual look. In 1965, Julie Andrews wowed us with a diamond fringe statement necklace that complemented her canary yellow gown.

Charlize Theron’s Diamond Clips

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 Photo Credit: Getty

As if her gown wasn’t stunning enough on its own, Charlize Theron used two Fred Leighton diamond clips to bling out her orange Vivienne Westwood dress.

Zoe Saldana’s Purple Cocktail Ring

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Photo Credit: Getty

At the 2010 Academy Awards, Avatar star Zoe Saldana wore an 80-carat amethyst ring with a diamond inlay that was out of this world! The rock took up most of her hand, but matched her purple Givenchy Haute Couture gown perfectly.

Gwenyth Paltrow’s Matching Ring, Earrings, and Brooch

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Photo Credit: Getty

Everyone loves a pop of color, especially when it sparkles! Goop wore Louis Vuitton high jewelry on her ears, finger, and dress with multicolored diamonds to add some color to her metallic Calvin Klein gown.

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Photo Credit: Grammys.com

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were a record breaking night in entertainment. Sunday night's show featured the most music performances of any Grammy's packed into the evening. Kanye West came back to the Grammy stage after six years, there were powerful performances regarding social change, and Beyoncé was fierce but soulful. See our performance recap below!

The show opened with a stellar performance of "Highway to Hell" performed by AC/DC. Stars of the night including Katy Perry and Lady GaGa participated in the performance from their seats wearing devil horns and singing along.


Anna Kendrick introduced the performance by Ariana Grande singing her newest hit, "Just a Little Bit Of Your Heart." The slow but powerful song complimented Grande’s enormous voice with accompanying instruments including violins and a piano.


Miranda Lambert performed "My Little Red Wagon." The country superstar portrayed her classic feisty stage persona. Blake Shelton’s wife was nominated for four Grammy’s and won for Best Country Album for her newest record, Platinum.


21-time Grammy winner Kanye West performed at the award show for the first time in six years. West sang "Only One" featuring Paul McCartney, a song about his late mother and daughter North.


Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj introduced Madonna’s back-to-back performances. Led by warrior-like men to the stage, Madge graced the stage in a red Givenchy leotard singing "Living for Love."


Ed Sheeran, a three-time Grammy nominee for the night, performed "Thinking Out Loud," making girls swoon across the country during the live performance. Even more swoon-worthy? Sheeran performed alongside John Mayer who played guitar. Mayer rendered a guitar solo before Sheeran ended the song on a high note. The performance was complimented with a standing ovation from everyone in the audience including Kanye West!

Sheeran returned to perform "Mr. Blue Sky" with the Electric Light Orchestra. Sir Paul McCartney was one of the Grammy guests standing up and singing along!

The Voice judges Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine performed a duet of Maroon 5’s "My Heart is Open." Their heartfelt rendition of the song was welcomed by Maroon 5 fans.


Take me to church! Hozier performed the majority of his beloved song before the legendary Annie Lennox joined him on stage to finish it off. The two then transitioned into "I Put A Spell On You," – a favorite of Lennox’s longtime fans. Although she admitted to Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet that she’s not into the industry part of her job, she’s passionate about singing and was looking forward to her on-stage performances.


Pharrell showed up with a transformative (and a tad spooky) performance of last year’s biggest hit, "Happy." The three-time Grammy winner of the night hit the stage in a bellhop outfit along with dancers dressed in black and yellow. After a slow start to the song, Williams jumped into his old perky self for the performance. The performance encapsulated almost the entire theater with dancers stretching out into the audience. 


Tony Bennett and Lady GaGa, Grammy winners of the night for Best Traditional Pop Album, performed "Cheek to Cheek." The adorable and talented duo two-stepped as they sang. The super upbeat song had a classic touch!


Four-time Grammy nominee for the night Usher paid tribute to Stevie Wonder singing the classic, "If It’s Magic." Wonder himself joined Usher on the harmonica, which was followed by a standing ovation and warm applause!


Kanye returned to the stage for the second time of the night with Rihanna and Sir Paul McCartney. The trio performed their newest hit "Four Five Seconds." West serves as executive producer for Rihanna’s upcoming album.


The biggest winner of the night, Sam Smith, and Mary J. Blige performed together for one of the biggest songs of the year. "Stay With Me" is the emotional roller coaster of a song that fans are loving and connecting with. Blige was a perfect compliment to the already incredibly soulful song.

"When people from various backgrounds work together, they can achieve so much more" was the introduction for Colombian singer Juanes’ song, "Juntos" ("Together").


After winning Album of the Year, Beck performed "Heart is a Drum" with Coldplay’s Chris Martin. The number, originally played by Beck, featured an eclectic rendition of the song.


Singing "Take My Hand" and "Precious Lord," Beyoncé preceded the performance of the Oscar-nominated song "Glory" by John Legend and Common. 


"Glory" served as an extraordinary finale for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

 

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Photo Credit: Splash 

Award show season is definitely in full swing. The latest award show, The British Academy Film Awards were hosted this Sunday by The British Academy of Film and Television Arts at the Royal Opera House in London. The winners in the major categories looked familiar.

Best Film was awarded to Boyhood, Eddie Redmayne took home the award for Best Actor for his performance of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and Julianne Moore took home an award for Best Actress in Still Alice. Here’s the complete list of winners in case you missed it...

Adapted Screenplay: The Theory of Everything - Anthony McCarten

Leading Actor: Eddie Redmayne - The Theory Of Everything

Animated Film: The Lego Movie - Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Leading Actress: Julianne Moore - Still Alice

British Short Animation: The Bigger Picture - Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka

Make-Up And Hair: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier

British Short Film: Boogaloo And Graham - Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney

Original Music: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Alexandre Desplat

Cinematography: Birdman - Emmanuel Lubezki

Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson

Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Milena Canonero

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: BBC Films

Director: Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Outstanding British Film: The Theory Of Everything - James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

Documentary: Citizenfour - Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer: Stephen Beresford, David Livingstone – Pride

EE Rising Star: Jack O'Connell

Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

Editing: Whiplash - Tom Cross

Sound: Whiplash - Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

Fellowship: Mike Leigh

Film: Boyhood - Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland

Special Visual Effects: Interstellar - Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter

Film not in the English Language: Ida - Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska

Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette - Boyhood

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