best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

We’re almost to the end of the year, which means it’s time to play end-of-year catch-up with the best movies of 2019. And surprisingly, Netflix is supplying a lot of them. The streaming giant has become quite a force at film festivals in recent years, picking up award contenders and indie dramas in hopes of earning a coveted Academy Award statuette. And it’s been no slouch with international fare — this year, Netflix has acquired some of the best foreign language films of the year, including Mati Diop‘s stunning supernatural romance Atlantics and the surreal French animated film I Lost My Body. Catch up with those to add to your “best of the year” lists, as well as Zhang Yimou‘s best wuxia film in years, a Jackie Chan classic, and a stunning short film from the director of Weathering With You.

Let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.

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i lost my body review

Watch out The Addams Family! There’s only one true animated film about a severed hand, and it’s the Netflix film I Lost My Body. Jeremy Clapin’s impressive first feature, this French animated movie is an artsy, macabre, mostly very emotional story told from the point of view of a severed hand with a case of reverse missing limb, who is on an epic quest to reunite with its owner. 

Taking a minimalist, nearly lyrical approach to storytelling, Clapin opens his movie with a black-and-white flashback (one of many throughout the film) of a young Moroccan boy, Naoufel (Hakim Faris) whose father is teaching him how to capture a fly with his bare hands. Then we cut forward to a fridge in a small room, out of which comes a severed hand. After freeing itself from a plastic packaging and jumping out a window, it begins an arduous and frenetic journey through Paris. It’s a series of misadventures as the film flashes back and forth between the hand’s travels and Naoufel’s youth and moments leading to him being separated from his hand.

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oscars 2020 best animated feature submissions

Academy voters rarely take animation seriously, but they’re going to seriously narrow the field of contenders for Best Animated Feature. The field for the Oscars 2020 best animated features submissions reached a record high this year, with a whopping 32 films submitted for the category.

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i lost my body trailer

Finding yourself takes on a whole new meaning in I Lost My Body, a critically acclaimed French animated film based on a novel by Amélie writer Guillaume Laurant. A disembodied hand searches for its body and begins to remember its old life when it was once attached to a pizza boy named Naoufel who lived and loved, in beautiful 2D animation. The Cannes darling was snapped up by Netflix, which has released the I Lost My Body trailer below.

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