It's no crime not being familiar with the work of director Christian Petzold. So many great foreign films never gain traction in the U.S. that it's hard to find them all. But he's been making worthwhile films for about a decade and now he has Germany's official Oscar entry in the Best Foreign Picture category. Petzold reteams with actress Nina Hoss for Barbara, the unlikely story of a nurse who requests to leave East Berlin to be with the man she loves and winds up a doctor in rural East Germany, under a police microscope. The film slowly gets more and more intense, as Barbara weighs helping patients in dire need against her window to freedom closing forever. Without ever deliberately announcing those stakes, Petzold patiently and almost invisibly lets a noose tighten around Barbara with each passing minute.