Hollywood critics give Oscar contender '1944' mixed reviews and not much hope (1)

Still from Estonian film "1944" (Courtesy of Taska Films)
11/11/2015 5:06 PM
Category: Culture

Following the success of "Tangerines", American film critics have turned their sharp eyes on Elmo Nüganen's "1944", Estonia's Academy Awards entry for 2016.

The Hollywood Reporter described the film as an "intelligent" and "generally gripping" "even-handed wartime drama," but found that the film's record-breaking domestic success "is unlikely to translate into heavy demand overseas... largely because pretty much every other nation on Earth has its own World War II horror stories, which regularly earn space in the Oscar race," reviewer Stephen Dalton found. He also cited lack of originality and character depth as the film's main pitfalls.

"The film impresses technically more than it engages emotionally, feeling a little too much like patriotic folklore and not quite enough like living, breathing, messy human drama," Dalton concludes.

The Variety too, although lauding the film's historic detail and technical execution, said it lacks the international arthouse appeal of "Tangerines".

M. Oll

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