The Hollywood Reporter: ‘Tangerines’: Film Review

"One of the strongest contenders is the entry from Estonia, Tangerines." Screenshot from the film., Nov 25, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia

A Georgian film nominated for an Oscar has been given a rave review by president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Stephen Farber, who said the feature film was one of the top contenders for the prestigious film award.

Tangerines, written and directed by Zaza Urushadze, was nominated by Estonia as a contender in next year’s 86th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language film category.

With 83 countries in this year’s foreign language Oscar race, competition is stiff, and predictions are tricky. One of the strongest contenders is the entry from Estonia, Tangerines,” writes Farber.

The film takes place in 1992, during the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia that displaced many people. Among the displaced were many Estonians who lived in the area but returned to their homeland during the war.

The film tells the story of two Estonian men who remain in the village to harvest the season’s crop of tangerines when they get caught up in the crossfire between rival soldiers. The Estonian men take in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides and nurse them back to health. Although the rival soldiers vow to kill each other once they have recovered, their time spent convalescing softens their belligerence.

"Although the subject of civil war within the former Soviet countries has been tackled in other movies, this retelling is one of the most concise and affecting. Perhaps it works because it focuses on just a few characters and yet crystallizes the entire tragic history of the region,” writes Farber.

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