Best of 2006: Non-English Language Films
To answer the obvious question, which only recently became a question, there are no American movies here... not just on principle, but because I think all five of these movies, as well as L'Enfant, the unnamed first runner-up, beat Letters from Iwo Jima on any day of the week, in any language.
Here, then, are my picks for the five best films I saw last year that weren't in the English language. Incidentally, there's no Almodóvar here, either, but if you were a fan of Law of Desire, I can highly recommend the fifth film on this list. Old Joy fans (oh, you zillions!) will groove on Syndromes, if it's ever actually released in the States, and Requiem is probably the great under-exploited import of the year. There's got to be a bigger American audience for this movie, and hopefully for all of these movies. I hope that audience is readying their Netflix queue even as we speak, but I also hope we'll all keep throwing money at these movies when they're actually in theaters, or soon enough our cinemas won't speak any more languages than our current president does. And we know how many that is.