6 Upcoming Foreign Films: What to Watch, What to Skip

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Evaluating the coming crop of buzzed-about films from around the globe

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From left: We Have a Pope, Elles, The Kid With a Bike, Turn Me On, Dammit!

Between the gourmet offerings of fall and winter filmgoing and the steady summer diet of multiplex junk food comes the oddball, off-season spring movie menu: a heavy helping of often inconsequential mainstream stuff,

some indies sprinkled here and there, and, traditionally, a handful of foreign-language films destined to be lost in the mix due to their limited distribution and lack of recognizable names and faces. A few of those foreign films, though, are worth seeking out.

Arriving from Israel, Belgium, Norway, France, Italy, and Poland, the non-Anglophone movies to be released over the next few months are an energetic, accessible bunch covering a diverse range of subjects. Of course, there's lots of sex (those naughty Europeans!), but also race, religion, economic struggle, family turmoil, and, yes, even the Talmud. The films vary rather dramatically in quality, too, from unintentionally campy to flat-out superb.

Here's an advance critical peek.

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Jon Frosch is a film critic for FRANCE 24 based in Paris. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Village Voice, The Hollywood Reporter, and others.

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