The Oscar’s 2022 Best Feature Film nominees

(Photo courtesy of euronews)

(Photo courtesy of euronews)

Sofia Ruliffson, Reporter

Every year, families across the country gather in front of their television to watch the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, which rates the best movies released over the past year. The Oscars are known as the most honorable awards in the entertainment industry, with nominations ranging from Best Actor and Best Director, to Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Another popular nomination is Best International Feature, highlighting the top foreign films released each year. The 2022 Oscars nominations for Best International Feature include “Drive My Car,” “Flee,” “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” “The Hand of God” and “The Worst Person in the World.” These nominations meet the criteria for the Best International Feature films, as they dive into culturally diverse waters with plot twists, heavy emotions and jaw dropping moments that will leave you in awe.

“Drive My Car” reveals the hidden truths trapped in Yusuke Kafuku’s life. (Photo courtesy of metacritic)

Nomination #1 – Drive My Car

If you are into more dramatic, mysterious and soul-stirring movies, then the original Japanese film, “Drive My Car,” is the movie for you. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the film takes place in Hiroshima Japan. The movie is inspired by a short story with an emotional start two years after the main character, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), loses his wife to an unexpected death. As the movie progresses, Kafuku receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. He meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a young woman assigned by the festival to show him around, revealing the tensions that begin to grow amongst the cast and crew of the film, which remain absent among Kafuku and Koji Takatsuki (Masaki Okada).. Viewers watch Yusuke forcefully confront painful truths that arise from his past, and encounter the haunting mysteries his wife left behind with the help of his driver. Drive My Car is a haunting, intense and breath-taking movie traveling a path of loss, love, peace and acceptance. This film takes its time defining its characters and building its narrative, along with the calmness to appreciate its morality. 

Nomination #2 – Flee

“Flee” into the new world of animation to travel through the life of an Afghanistan refugee. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Portraying the refugee experience through an evocative Danish animation, “Flee” goes beyond the boundaries of documentary filmmaking to create a touching memoir of self-discovery. The animation director, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, depicts his remarkable journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Viewers receive the nail-biting opportunity to follow the story of the main character, Amin Nawabi, as he encounters a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years. The movie forces watchers to lean towards the edge of their seats as they discover that the life he has built for himself and his soon-to-be husband, will quickly be sabotaged by the mysterious threats that arise throughout the film. Unlike your typical live-action movie, this animated film has won three prestigious awards from New York City’s Gotham Awards, The Sundance Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle. “Flee” is not your usual family-friendly animated movie that the Oscars tend to favor, and is definitely a film that stands out in the best international feature film category.  


Nomination #3 – Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Choosing between a teaching career and exploring Australia, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” will make you view the world in a different way. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, is a 2019 Bhutanese drama film about a school teacher, Ugyen (Sherab Dorji), in his final year of training. As the movie progresses, Ugyen is sent to the remote town of Lunana where he works as a teacher at the worlds’ smallest school. Despite the opportunity for his career, all he wants is to leave Bhutan and pursue his dreams in Australia. This touching story will give you a new level of respect for people living in more remote and low-income areas. The director did an excellent job creating an eye-opening experience for the viewers by highlighting the gap in development between countries around the world. To complement this beautiful story, the movie incorporates several scenes with the wondrous Himalayas keeping audiences engaged with a fantastic plot that warms their hearts. Laguna: A Yak in the Classroom is a film that is humorous, romantic and sincere, ready to leave its watchers filled with sympathy and warmth.


Nomination #4 – The Hand of God

Grieving with the loss of his beloved parents, Fabietto starts the next chapter of his life in “The Hand of God”. (Photo courtesy of filmaffinity)

“The Hand of God,” by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, is a coming-of-age drama that will leave viewers filled with compassion and tenderness. The film combines the horrifying and amusing, scandalous and real, sad and victorious aspects of the Fabietto family. The plot revolves around young Fabietto, living in Naples with his family and extended relatives. As the slow and sorrowful film begins, viewers are stabbed in the heart with the tragic loss of Fabietto’s parents. Hopeless and miserable, Fabietto continues his life, constantly feeling as if it has been shattered. Follow Fabietto’s adventure as he travels to Rome to pursue his dream of making movies. Viewers will be taken on a tour through different paths of life that are filled with loneliness and suffering. Filippo Scotti’s performance, which he gave at the young age of just 22 years old, is exceptional and perfectly executed.


Nomination #5 – The Worst Person in the World

Follow along Julie’s life as she makes some life-changing decisions and attempts to not be “The Worst Person in the World.” (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

The last nomination for the Best International Feature nomination is “Worst Person in the World,” a modern dramedy about the quest for love and meaning set in Oslo, Norway. It covers four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who strives to discover her career path and explores the rollercoaster of her love life, prompting her to take a realistic look at who she really is. Watchers get a deeper insight of Julie’s daily struggles, allowing them to understand how it feels to second guess the best moments of your life. At times, viewers may become frustrated by Julie’s indecisiveness. However, they will surely get drawn into the movie while they ponder what will happen next. While the movie is a little slow-paced, a layer of beauty shines throughout the film as you absorb the characters’ stories and experiences moving alongside Julie’s life. 


The Best International Feature nominations of 2022 were an excellent pick, providing watchers with an opportunity to gain a new taste on different cultures around the world. Compared to other categories in the Oscars, these movies stand out from the typical American films that definitely make it worth the watch!