Concrete Night One of Five Must-Watch Oscar Contenders

Foreign Oscar Wish List: From Finland to the Philippines, Five Must-Watch Contenders

By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH!December 10, 2014 at 3:29PM

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Concrete Night” (Dir. Pirjo Honkasalo, Finland) While this black-and-white snapshot of a 14-year-old boy’s life in the hardscrabble Helsinki slums may seem like the breakout work of a young and edgy first-timer, director Honkasalo has been making narratives, docs and shorts for almost 50 years. Her latest is an intoxicating, drop-dead beauty of a film, a brooding coming-of-ager sumptuously shot by DP┬áPeter Flinckenberg, whose inky meld of light and shadow harks back to the important social realist films of the 1950s and 60s, but with a dark fairytale twist. As embittered young Simo (Johannes Brotherus) follows his elder, prison-bound brother (Jari Virman) through the shady catwalks and corridors of the city’s underbelly toward inevitable doom, he learns what it means to lose the rose-colored glasses of youth in the urban jungle.

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