24th Hall of Fame

Tools    





So, assuming Neiba can watch Shame during the day, looks like I'm gonna be the last man. I'm at work now, but I'll try to work on my Barry Lyndon review, and then watch Beasts of the Southern Wild tonight.
__________________
Check out my podcast: Thief's Monthly Movie Loot!



So, assuming Neiba can watch Shame during the day, looks like I'm gonna be the last man. I'm at work now, but I'll try to work on my Barry Lyndon review, and then watch Beasts of the Southern Wild tonight.
Either way, will be a solid finish at the line!



After browsing through this forum, I noticed this this Hall of Fame has more posts than any other main Hall of Fame this forum has done in the past. A couple have 1,300+ posts, but this one currently has 1,500 posts and isn't even finished yet.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I think that it is very possible to experience regret either with or without closure. In the case of this film, I think that the regret does come with closure.
WARNING: spoilers below
He is able to literally talk out his feelings with all of the relevant parties. And, further, neither he nor his love interest are in a position that makes a future relationship impossible. What if her character had died? Or been in a loving, committed marriage? Instead she is available and still into him.
Who is the victim in this movie? It's Morales, so I believe any debate on closure would make more sense directed toward his character. Does he achieve it? I'm not looking for an answer but rather I think it's a more relevant question when analyzing the film.

As far as Esposito and Irene, I think a lot of the pain comes from the fact that they do rekindle. If they hadn't, then maybe they weren't meant to be together, and if they weren't meant to be together, they wouldn't have suffered such great loss. You seem to believe that Esposito can put everything behind him once they're together, achieving his closure, but I believe he will think about what happened every day of his life and it will haunt him. That includes the time he lost, the death of his best friend, and the ultimate fate of Morales. I don't see that as realistic. I would also find it unrealistic if they hadn't gotten back together at that point. I prefer miserable movies with miserable endings, but I need to believe it. Perhaps you would like the movie better if it was 10 minutes longer, and they got married but were then killed in a car accident on their honeymoon? I probably would too, but I'm happy with what I got. There's an old classic movie, I won't mention by name in case you haven't seen it, but the guy and girl get together at the end, yet the result is heartbreaking. How can that be? I think it was Siddon who commented in a previous HoF that I nominated misery porn, and he was right. That's what I like, and I still think this movie is better than those others.

Right, but "suspect" makes it sound like I think there's something untoward happening. I just think that the film happens to have a lot going for it in terms of appealing to a broader audience. And that's what counts when a lot of people are voting for you. If you told me that 10 people were going to watch all three films and pick their favorite, I would be entirely unsurprised if most of them picked Secret in Their Eyes despite me thinking it's not the best of the three. If I had to recommend one of them to a stranger knowing little about their tastes, I'd recommend Secret in Their Eyes, know what I mean? Between the murder mystery, the themes about coming to terms with the past, and (what I see as) an optimistic ending, it's just the most broadly appealing of the bunch.
It's a funny thing to say to me because I was fired at a video store as a teen for recommending people questionable movies, but now I'd be very careful about recommending The Secret in Their Eyes to a stranger. If it were a woman, many women do not want to watch a movie that features rape. If it were a man, I would fear there's not enough action. If it were someone younger or less mature, I would worry that they wouldn't understand it. We here at the forum are jaded because we watch everything, but a lot of people don't. We are not talking about Back to the Future here. It's an R rated movie with adult content and themes. It's not for everyone. Recommending is far different than voting however. You are looking at the way you see things while also figuring that you know how others see them as well. The evidence points against your theory, and I can cite countless examples of it.

I also think accessibility and the idea of daring filmmaking can be just as subjective as what's good. I watched Dogtooth and In a Glass Cage before I had heard anyone mention them on the forum. I found them because I periodically search for these types of films, films that can potentially hit me in a powerful way. In that way, I was let down by both of them. I felt next to nothing. Earlier in the thread, you made the argument that Antwone Fisher was more disturbing than In a Glass Cage. Does that mean that Antwone Fisher is the less accessible of the two? I also mentioned that I thought Schindler's List was more disturbing than In a Glass Cage. In a Glass Cage is generally thought of as more disturbing than Dogtooth, and Schindler's List won best picture so round and round we go. You believe that Dogtooth is daring filmmaking and I do not. Dogtooth is not an original story and has been done before. The Secret in Their Eyes is not an original story either, but I would say that it is daring filmmaking. Besides religious subject matter, I would say political matter would be the most volatile. I don't talk about it because I don't understand it, but the main function of The Secret in Their Eyes is that of a political parable based on reality. The movie was a hit in Argentina, but it was also extremely controversial. Making a movie like that comes with implications and potential real life ramifications. I would call that daring, while understanding that daring is a quality without being synonymous with quality. There are multiple layers to the movie. We may not understand them, but does that mean the voters didn't either? I can promise you that if I had a vote, I would make it my business to understand them. Everything you say tells me the same thing; it wasn't the best foreign language film that year to me, so I will give an alternative reason as to why it won.



BARRY LYNDON
(1975, Kubrick)
A drama film



"I shall not rest until I see you as Lord Lyndon. You have important friends. They can tell you how these things are done. For money, well-timed and properly applied, can accomplish anything."

Barry Lyndon follows the exploits of the titular Irishman, an opportunist that comes from humble means but sets himself to become an aristocrat at any cost during the 18th Century. The above quote is the vow that his mother declares as she joins and instigates many of the dubious dealings to elevate his son's social status.

Barry Lyndon (Ryan O'Neal) is, by all means, an insignificant person, that fights in insignificant skirmishes during the war, and gets involved in insignificant romances. His life history is bookended by insignificant duels for insignificant reasons, all while he aspires to achieve significance, to no avail.

This is the second time I watch this, and although I was a bit lukewarm on my first viewing, I ended up appreciating it a lot more this time. Present in it is Kubrick's perennial theme of dehumanization, as we see Lyndon dehumanized by his desire to climb the social ladder, which he briefly achieves, but to the expense of everyone around him.

It is ironic to think that Kubrick's original idea was to make a biopic about Napoleon, a man of allegedly small stature but great achievements, but then went the other way to make a film about Lyndon, a tall man (O'Neal is 6'1") but, again, of insignificant achievements. O'Neal might not be the best actor, the few emotional moments needed for his character are a bit lacking, but I think he was the best actor for this role.

But other than Lyndon's ups and downs through the aristocrat path, what takes center stage on this film is the amazing direction, cinematography, set design, and whatnot. The film is one of the most gorgeous films I've seen with every shot seemingly taken from a painting. There is a subtext in that, as we see characters that are essentially immoral and insignificant, surrounded by this facade of beauty in the background and surroundings.

As much as Barry and his mother tried to achieve significance, through "important friends" and money, their attempts ended up being fruitless in the end. Fate wasn't in Barry's favor, but it was in favor of this film which, despite being previously seen as rather insignificant amidst Kubrick's oeuvre, has gained more favor recently. It certainly did with me.

Grade:



Assuming I can watch Beasts tonight, do I have to post my review before 11:59:05 PM CT? or just send the ballot before 11:59:05 PM CT?



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
Assuming I can watch Beasts tonight, do I have to post my review before 11:59:05 PM CT? or just send the ballot before 11:59:05 PM CT?
In case he doesn't get back to you in time, I'd say the ballot is important and the review not so much



Assuming I can watch Beasts tonight, do I have to post my review before 11:59:05 PM CT? or just send the ballot before 11:59:05 PM CT?
Since you may be the last person to submit a review, make sure to submit it during the final five seconds. That way, my accomplishment of extending the deadline won't be in vain.



I don't know if I had linked this earlier on the thread, but for what it's worth, here's what I wrote about Beast of the Southern Wild back when I first saw it (2013?)

Beasts of the Southern Wild



Beasts of the Southern Wild is the first of the nine Best Picture nominees that I've seen. The film follows the lives of a fictional community in the Southern bayou in the middle of a storm and the resulting flood. It focuses on two characters: 6-year old Hushpuppy (Quvanzhané Wallis) and her father, Wink (Dwight Henry). Their lives aren't conventional, to put it mildly. At least from the perspective of the average viewer. They live in extreme poverty and Wink wouldn't be on the run to win "Father of the Year". But he does try, within his abilities and resources, to take care of his daughter.

Their lives get more complicated as Wink's health begins to worsen due to an unspecified illness, and due to the threat of a huge storm that approaches. The latter leaves their community flooded and their residents scrounging for food, while the former progressively weakens Wink.

The film felt a bit weird at times in that it feels like a documentary at times. There's a realistic and raw approach to it, in terms of directing, that I think benefits the story and its characters. But in the midst of it all, there's also a certain beauty and mystique to the images on screen. Kudos to first-time director, Benh Zeitlin, for that, and for pulling some excellent performances from both Wallis and Henry. Not that it was necessary, but reading about their real-life stories only adds weight to the strengths of the film. I would go as far as to say that, as impressive as Wallis' performance was, Henry was more deserving of a nomination.

The weakest part of the film, IMO, was the addition of a fantasy element with the approach of the "Aurochs". The director chose to integrate that into the main story, but I don't think he succeeded with it. To be honest, I don't think it was necessary, or that it could contribute much to the overall result. In the end, there was a disjointedness, a lack of cohesion and clear purpose between both parts. At least from my perspective.

But still, the film manages to hold its own on the strength of the two lead characters and their interactions. I really enjoyed that.

Grade: B+
The B+ would translate to
, but who knows how it would fare now 8 years later.



Who is the victim in this movie? It's Morales, so I believe any debate on closure would make more sense directed toward his character. Does he achieve it? I'm not looking for an answer but rather I think it's a more relevant question when analyzing the film.
I think that Morales and Esposito are two sides of the same coin--both of them having sacrificed significantly in the name of getting justice for the murder victim. I think that each man finds a certain kind of closure, with a significant difference being that
WARNING: spoilers below
what Esposito lost--time with his lover--is not entirely lost.


As far as Esposito and Irene, I think a lot of the pain comes from the fact that they do rekindle. If they hadn't, then maybe they weren't meant to be together, and if they weren't meant to be together, they wouldn't have suffered such great loss. You seem to believe that Esposito can put everything behind him once they're together, achieving his closure, but I believe he will think about what happened every day of his life and it will haunt him. That includes the time he lost, the death of his best friend, and the ultimate fate of Morales. I don't see that as realistic. I would also find it unrealistic if they hadn't gotten back together at that point. I prefer miserable movies with miserable endings, but I need to believe it. Perhaps you would like the movie better if it was 10 minutes longer, and they got married but were then killed in a car accident on their honeymoon? I probably would too, but I'm happy with what I got. There's an old classic movie, I won't mention by name in case you haven't seen it, but the guy and girl get together at the end, yet the result is heartbreaking. How can that be? I think it was Siddon who commented in a previous HoF that I nominated misery porn, and he was right. That's what I like, and I still think this movie is better than those others.
I agree that they will both be haunted by what happened in the past, but I disagree that them getting back together somehow makes things sadder.

I'm not demanding a sad ending or criticizing that it has what I see as a generally happy ending. I'm juts pointing out that such an ending--with happy elements--is easier to take and makes it more likely for people to enjoy it.

It's a funny thing to say to me because I was fired at a video store as a teen for recommending people questionable movies, but now I'd be very careful about recommending The Secret in Their Eyes to a stranger. If it were a woman, many women do not want to watch a movie that features rape. If it were a man, I would fear there's not enough action. If it were someone younger or less mature, I would worry that they wouldn't understand it. We here at the forum are jaded because we watch everything, but a lot of people don't. We are not talking about Back to the Future here. It's an R rated movie with adult content and themes. It's not for everyone. Recommending is far different than voting however. You are looking at the way you see things while also figuring that you know how others see them as well. The evidence points against your theory, and I can cite countless examples of it.
Right, but Dogtooth and Mother both also contain what you are talking about in terms of subject matter. I just don't know what you mean by "the evidence". What evidence? Secret in Their Eyes is by far the more popular film, as seen by having more than 2.5 times the number of IMDb ratings as either of the other films. I have a hypothesis that the film's structure, plot, and style would have appealed broadly to Academy voters--and there's no way to prove or disprove that.

The main function of The Secret in Their Eyes is that of a political parable based on reality. . . There are multiple layers to the movie. We may not understand them, but does that mean the voters didn't either? I can promise you that if I had a vote, I would make it my business to understand them.
I mean, I know a decent amount about Argentinian history, and specifically the era covered by this film. I don't think I was missing any layers.

Everything you say tells me the same thing; it wasn't the best foreign language film that year to me, so I will give an alternative reason as to why it won.
You say "alternative reason" as though I am separating other factors from the film itself. But I'm not. I am looking at three films that I find very comparable in quality, and asking myself what gave one of them the edge when it came to a vote.

Art is subjective, so there's no such thing as the "best foreign film" of a certain year. There's just "the film that the most people thought was the best". I happen to think that certain elements of the film's structure give it an edge and make it have more broad appeal and to me, that could translate to more votes (or to more people actually watching the film, as many members who vote admit they don't watch all the movies!!). I can also concede that maybe most Academy members looked at each aspect of the film (acting, direction, writing, etc) and just had different opinions than mine about which would come out on top.

It sort of feels like you want me to say that it must have won because it was the better film, but obviously I don't think it was the better film, so that just puts us on a carousel.



After browsing through this forum, I noticed this this Hall of Fame has more posts than any other main Hall of Fame this forum has done in the past. A couple have 1,300+ posts, but this one currently has 1,500 posts and isn't even finished yet.
Totally cool! I didn't know that this thread had so many post...wow! Thanks for posting it.

Assuming I can watch Beasts tonight, do I have to post my review before 11:59:05 PM CT? or just send the ballot before 11:59:05 PM CT?
I'm thinking you'd be wise to both write your review and send the ballot before the deadline...Just to be safe. You wouldn't want to be DQed at this point would ya



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Skammen (1968)

Every great director has a kind of a stamp in all of their films, an effect they create on the audience that is always there, notwithstanding the subject or the genre of the film. Kubrick always leaves me anxious and fearing the unknown, Mike Leigh gives me optimism even in the face of the darkest themes, Tarantino irradiates coolness... Bergman is among the greatest who ever lived so his stamp is a huge one. To me, it's like he holds a mirror and makes me look directly at the worst part of myself, always leaving me really depressed. It gets to the point of seeing small simple dialogues and feeling them all directed at me as if all my fouls were evident. However, and here lies the genius of Bergman, like the roses Eva talks about in the last scene of Skammen, "it's not that terrible because it's beautiful". He did that with love, death, religion, sex, identity and now war. And somehow, every one of his films is about everything at the same time.

This is the "anti-In a Glass Cage" and it's funny I watched them both today: It's shocking without being cheap. It's deep and symbolic without ever being pretentious. In sum, it's true art.
There are so many great things about this film. The cinematography is perhaps the most beautiful I've seen in one of his films and that is a HUGE statement. The photography of the film looks absolutely breathtaking and many many shots deserved to be in a museum.
The acting is perfect. Liv Ullmann (damn, what a woman...) and Max von Sydow are two monsters of acting and they complement each other so well.
Then, there's the direction. Bergman was a theatre director and it shows. He has such tight control over everything... The silences, the pauses, the text, everything is so well measured, everything happens in a time that allows the viewer to take it all and ponder on what the characters are really saying.
Then there are small characters with weird traits and cynic humour in the most unexpected places and all those little things that show and attention to detail absolutely unsurpassed.

This HoF was perhaps the most difficult one I ever did. Not because of the films nominated but because I need to be mentally well to really enjoy cinema and I haven't been, because lockdown has taken its toll. I suspected this would happen, hence being so unsure of joining this in the first place, and I was regretting joining. Well, I'm not anymore, so thank you to whoever picked this gem of a film.

-



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Time to send the list, finally finish the Personal Rec HoF (sorry cricket) and take a break from HoFs for a while. Thank you everyone



In a Glass Cage (1986)

Ok...

While I definitely don't feel as angry as some of the people here, this film raises the question: "is there a wrong film to an HoF?". Not that I don't see its merits, only that one has to be able to see that many people here will hate it and they will still have to watch it. And nominating it either way, while not against the rules, is simply rude.

I started this film 8 hours ago. I just finished it. And it wasn't because I had to get up and puke every 5 minutes but just because I hate this type of film. Not in a disgusting type of way, just it's not my thing at all.
It always seems lazy when people go to the shock just for the sake of it or, even worse, with some supposed pseudo-intellectual justification, as if people who don't like it, aren't just smart enough because they don't get it. Every symbolism used here is so damn on the nose, with such a lack of elegance and refinement. It's just bad film making, in my opinion.
I'll give it some credit cause it's actually well shot, but that's pretty much it.

-

Now how the f*** am I supposed to watch a Bergman without wanting to kill myself?
I liked the movie ever so slightly more than you did, but I still have to give you a thumbs up for the sheer honesty in your review.

If anything, it's the best movie in this HoF in which a Nazi unzips his pants in front of a small child.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I think that Morales and Esposito are two sides of the same coin--both of them having sacrificed significantly in the name of getting justice for the murder victim. I think that each man finds a certain kind of closure, with a significant difference being that
WARNING: spoilers below
what Esposito lost--time with his lover--is not entirely lost.


I agree that they will both be haunted by what happened in the past, but I disagree that them getting back together somehow makes things sadder.

I'm not demanding a sad ending or criticizing that it has what I see as a generally happy ending. I'm juts pointing out that such an ending--with happy elements--is easier to take and makes it more likely for people to enjoy it.
It's cool if you see it that way. Again, my viewpoint is that all of that lost time is magnified by the fact that they do get together. If Esposito leaves Morales' house and the movie ends, I don't even feel that part of the movie.

Right, but Dogtooth and Mother both also contain what you are talking about in terms of subject matter. I just don't know what you mean by "the evidence". What evidence? Secret in Their Eyes is by far the more popular film, as seen by having more than 2.5 times the number of IMDb ratings as either of the other films. I have a hypothesis that the film's structure, plot, and style would have appealed broadly to Academy voters--and there's no way to prove or disprove that.
What I mean by evidence is all of the examples of a so called more accessible film not winning. It happens a lot, yet this particular time you believe the film won because of that reason, and it just so happens to be a time when you disagree with the result.

I mean, I know a decent amount about Argentinian history, and specifically the era covered by this film. I don't think I was missing any layers.
I don't question that you know plenty about it but you did say you didn't know the film was intended to be analogous.

You say "alternative reason" as though I am separating other factors from the film itself. But I'm not. I am looking at three films that I find very comparable in quality, and asking myself what gave one of them the edge when it came to a vote.
That's it right there. You find them comparable, so you are looking for what gave one the edge (alternative reason). Personally, an uncomfortable and upsetting movie is what gives one the edge for me, yet I go the other way in this particular comparison. You have no idea of what the voters are thinking. I would tend to believe that on average the voters are voting for the movie that they believe to be better.

Art is subjective, so there's no such thing as the "best foreign film" of a certain year. There's just "the film that the most people thought was the best". I happen to think that certain elements of the film's structure give it an edge and make it have more broad appeal and to me, that could translate to more votes (or to more people actually watching the film, as many members who vote admit they don't watch all the movies!!). I can also concede that maybe most Academy members looked at each aspect of the film (acting, direction, writing, etc) and just had different opinions than mine about which would come out on top.
I agree with most of that except you have no idea what appeals to the voters, and again I point to other "less accessible films winning awards". If what you say is really a factor, I would expect more consistency out of the results.

It sort of feels like you want me to say that it must have won because it was the better film, but obviously I don't think it was the better film, so that just puts us on a carousel.
No not at all. The gap I have between those movies is much greater than yours, yet I would never declare that any of them are better, only that one is better for me. That's as far as I would go. My gripe is your disbelief that the voters could be voting for the right reasons because it doesn't coincide with your belief. Every year you hear people say the Awards suck and they don't know what they're doing, except the times they happen to agree with the result.



It's cool if you see it that way. Again, my viewpoint is that all of that lost time is magnified by the fact that they do get together. If Esposito leaves Morales' house and the movie ends, I don't even feel that part of the movie.
I think it's bittersweet. I think that it's happy that they are together but, like you say, there will always be this shadow of lost time/what could have been over it.

What I mean by evidence is all of the examples of a so called more accessible film not winning. It happens a lot, yet this particular time you believe the film won because of that reason, and it just so happens to be a time when you disagree with the result.
I tend to find many if not most Best Foreign Film winners pretty accessible, or at least those that have won in my lifetime. Life is Beautiful, All About My Mother, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Barbarian Invasions, The Sea Inside, Roma, Parasite. (These are from years where I saw both the winning film and at least a few of its competitors).

There are films that I think are great that most other people think are great, and there are films I think are great that fall more into that love it/hate it place. When I say "accessible" or "broad appeal", I'm talking about films in the former category.

I don't question that you know plenty about it but you did say you didn't know the film was intended to be analogous.
I say that I don't find it that analogous because it is a film about political corruption in Argentina in the 80s that takes place . . . in a politically-tinged environment in Argentina in the 80s. You can say things like "Gomez represents all of the people who committed atrocities and got away with it," but I find that the analogy is then pretty close to the actual thing you are describing.

That's it right there. You find them comparable, so you are looking for what gave one the edge (alternative reason). Personally, an uncomfortable and upsetting movie is what gives one the edge for me, yet I go the other way in this particular comparison. You have no idea of what the voters are thinking. I would tend to believe that on average the voters are voting for the movie that they believe to be better.
I mean . . . I also think people vote for what they think is the better film. And I am suggesting that several elements of The Secret in Their Eyes and specifically the emotions it produces in the viewer would make people inclined to like it more than something more divisive like Dogtooth. I think it's strange to pretend that things like genre don't influence how much people like a certain film. And structure/plot/organization are NOT an "alternative reason" because they are actually aspects of the film itself. An alternative reason would be something like "Oh, the director died so they want to give it the award" or "Oh, that country just had a disaster and we want to boost their spirits!"--something outside of the film itself.

I agree with most of that except you have no idea what appeals to the voters, and again I point to other "less accessible films winning awards". If what you say is really a factor, I would expect more consistency out of the results.
Several interviews (around Brokeback Mountain, but the point still stands) has indicated that many Academy members will straight up avoid films if they don't like the subject matter. I'm inferring that most Academy members would be comfortable with a thriller/mystery like The Secret in Their Eyes.

No not at all. The gap I have between those movies is much greater than yours, yet I would never declare that any of them are better, only that one is better for me. That's as far as I would go. My gripe is your disbelief that the voters could be voting for the right reasons because it doesn't coincide with your belief. Every year you hear people say the Awards suck and they don't know what they're doing, except the times they happen to agree with the result.
I don't know what you mean by "the right reasons". Liking a film the best is the right reason. And while I have ideas about why the film won (all of which have to do with the film itself and not anything external), I'm not mad about it winning. I'm not saying it shouldn't have won.

I mean, when I say that I think that the other films are better, of course I mean that they are better for me. And since I can place other films above it, of course I can imagine other people doing the same.

Not to stoke the flames too much, but I just learned in reading more about this that The Headless Woman came out the same year and Argentina decided not to nominate it! So my hot take is now that it's fine that The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar, but also that it's funny that there was a better Argentinian film that year that didn't even get a shot.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I think it's bittersweet. I think that it's happy that they are together but, like you say, there will always be this shadow of lost time/what could have been over it.
I would completely agree with that in regards to Esposito and Irene. I also see part of the conclusion is that Esposito is, in the words of the director, "horrified", by what happened in regards to Morales. This will leave a permanent scar. There's a part the director brought up in the interview that I saw, and it was the exact moment I knew I was going to love the movie. When Esposito gets to the crime scene you can tell he is deeply affected by it, and the director says, "it will affect him the rest of his life". In another thriller type of movie, the cop would be cool, say let's get the evidence, and get out of there. Esposito also has the permanent guilt and trauma of his best friend being murdered. In a typical Hollywood ending, the couple would ride off into the sunset without a care in the world. In this film, you have severely damaged people who are going to give it a shot.

I tend to find many if not most Best Foreign Film winners pretty accessible, or at least those that have won in my lifetime. Life is Beautiful, All About My Mother, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Barbarian Invasions, The Sea Inside, Roma, Parasite. (These are from years where I saw both the winning film and at least a few of its competitors).
You would also have to compare them with the other nominees. Are these the most accessible films that were nominated that year? I didn't like Life is Beautiful but I don't remember it. I should see it again. I know it was nominated for best picture as well. I liked Central Station more. I loved All About My Mother but I question how accessible it is given some of the content and characters. Never seen Crouching Tiger and never wanted to. Never seen The Barbarian Invasions and I'm unfamiliar with it. I liked The Sea Inside a good amount but I'm not sure how much a film about a dying man appeals to most people. I think the average person would find Roma boring even though I liked it. There's probably a difference between the average viewer and average voter though. I think Cappernaum and Shoplifters are both easier watches. Parasite also won best picture of course. This is interesting to me because Americans watch foreign films less than any other kinds of films. In that regard I think it's fair to call Parasite not accessible to the general public. More on that next.

There are films that I think are great that most other people think are great, and there are films I think are great that fall more into that love it/hate it place. When I say "accessible" or "broad appeal", I'm talking about films in the former category.
If a movie is good enough, like a Parasite, I don't think it matters if the movie is accessible or not. If the quality is high enough, I believe it overrides anything else.

I say that I don't find it that analogous because it is a film about political corruption in Argentina in the 80s that takes place . . . in a politically-tinged environment in Argentina in the 80s. You can say things like "Gomez represents all of the people who committed atrocities and got away with it," but I find that the analogy is then pretty close to the actual thing you are describing.
I read a little bit about it but it's beyond my comprehension. Apparently there's a lot of things that would only be picked up by Argentinians.

I mean . . . I also think people vote for what they think is the better film. And I am suggesting that several elements of The Secret in Their Eyes and specifically the emotions it produces in the viewer would make people inclined to like it more than something more divisive like Dogtooth. I think it's strange to pretend that things like genre don't influence how much people like a certain film. And structure/plot/organization are NOT an "alternative reason" because they are actually aspects of the film itself. An alternative reason would be something like "Oh, the director died so they want to give it the award" or "Oh, that country just had a disaster and we want to boost their spirits!"--something outside of the film itself.
Well, what do you consider inaccessible about Dogtooth? When I say your alternative reason, I'm speaking solely on your view that it's more accessible. In my mind, that has nothing to do with structure/plot/organization. We might have different definitions of the word.

Several interviews (around Brokeback Mountain, but the point still stands) has indicated that many Academy members will straight up avoid films if they don't like the subject matter. I'm inferring that most Academy members would be comfortable with a thriller/mystery like The Secret in Their Eyes.
I would also guess that like us, there are members who would favor a movie like that. I would say like most things it evens out. It at least was nominated and Moonlight recently won.

I don't know what you mean by "the right reasons". Liking a film the best is the right reason. And while I have ideas about why the film won (all of which have to do with the film itself and not anything external), I'm not mad about it winning. I'm not saying it shouldn't have won.
Well I don't think voting for a movie because it appears to have a broader appeal is the right reason.

Not to stoke the flames too much, but I just learned in reading more about this that The Headless Woman came out the same year and Argentina decided not to nominate it! So my hot take is now that it's fine that The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar, but also that it's funny that there was a better Argentinian film that year that didn't even get a shot.
Never heard of it before. It looks interesting but it doesn't appear that many people think highly of it. What I just found out is that Dogtooth wasn't even nominated the same year as Secret in Their Eyes even though they came out the same year. Dogtooth was nominated the next year and lost to In a Better World, which certainly doesn't sound like a crowd pleaser. Incendies and Biutiful, both of which I prefer to Dogtooth, were also nominated. If you like Dogtooth so much you may also be interested in The Castle of Purity. It's on my watchlist.