Both of these film are not on Oscars radar at all – surprising considering the reviews the leads of each film are getting.
John Malkovich has been getting ‘awards worthy’ reviews for his performance as a post Apartheid South African professor who has disgraced himself with a student. This flim and performance were not even on my radar, perhaps because the film is so small. It has a IMDB release year of 2008 so am not sure if it opened in L.A. or New York then (which would disqualify it for 2009 Oscar race).
Even the negative reviews all seem to single out Malkovich, and it is about time that he appeared back on the awards circuit.
Also getting wonderful reviews for her work is Nisreen Faour in 'Amreeka', who plays Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. The film is getting solid reviews since its Sundance run, especially for Faour who is said to be an extremely likeable and loving character. Roger Ebert said:
" 'Amreeka' is a heartwarming film, not a political dirge. Much of this warmth comes from the actress Nisreen Faour. To see her in action is to smile. Some people are blessed with being quickly likable…….. When this woman smiles, you want it to be on you.”Sure it is not saying she is the be-all and end-all of acting, but likeable can go a very very long way.
It will be very interesting to see how each film performs.