Cinema: The Power Of Character

Foreign films that win the Oscar are easy to overlook. Not this one

It is set in the early years of this century. It features an unreasonably implacable villain, a talented and idealistic young man determined to rise out of poverty, and a tender love story that ends on a poignant, not to say tragic note. And it was unaccountably named last year's Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sentiment a couple of weeks ago.

Best Foreign Picture, that is. Whereupon, to extend the analogy between Character and Titanic, as the director accepted his Oscar, his ego succumbed to an attack of St. Vitus' dance, causing some among us to...

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