'Son of Saul' (December 18th)
Hungary's submission for Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar (I’m calling the win now) is a Holocaust drama that reps a stunning feature debut for director Lazlo Nemes. Geza Rohrig gives one of the year's best and most powerful performances as Saul, an Auschwitz Sonderkommando (a Jew enlisted in the disposal of other Jews to delay his own execution) who finds the body of a boy he thinks is his son and struggles to provide the boy with a Jewish burial. "I told them to ban this feeling of self-pity, to do less," says Nemes. The effect is shattering. Hard to take, yes, but impossible to forget.