Catch That Oscar Nominee – 2012 Edition

Every year I get Oscar fever and try to see as many nominated films as possible. Even the nominated in obscure categories like best make-up or animated short films! The great thing is between the day-long AMC Best Picture Showcase, netflix and all the great independent movie theaters here in the District, it’s actually not that hard to catch a lot of the nominees.

Hugo and The Artist lead the nominations with 11 and 10 nods respectively. Hugo in an American film set in France, The Artist a French film set in the USA… either way, France wins righ? Sort of? 😉

The Artist ~ All chauvinism aside, I don’t think I can rave enough about Zee Artiste. It’s a wonderful, lighthearted happy (silent) film that will make you fall in love with Hollywood all over again. And with the dapper Jean Dujardin too 😉 The film is still showing at AMC Loews Georgetown 14, Regal Ballston Commons 12, Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, Landmark E Street Cinema, AFI Silver Theater Cultural Center and AMC Loews Shirlington 7 so you have NO excuse not to see it. (The Artist is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a leading Role – Jean Dujardin, Best Actress in a Suporting Role – Berenice Bejo, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Original Score, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design and Directing. It is the first time a French film has ever been nominated for best picture/director. The last time a silent film was nominated for an Oscar… was back in 1930!)

Hugo ~ I haven’t seen Hugo and it’s not showing in very many theaters anymore, just AMC Courthouse Plaza 8 (3D), Regal Bethesda 10 (3D and 2D) and the Avalon (Hugo is nominated for Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Original Score, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design and Directing. This is Scorcese’s 7th best director nomination, as many nods as Woody Allen. Both have only won once though. Woody for Annie Hall and Martin for The Departed.)

War Horse ~ Steven Spielberg’s sweeping tale of friendship between a young soldier and a horse during WWI is still showing at West End Cinema, Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema and Regal  Ballston Common 12  (Nominated for Best Picture, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Score, Art Direction and Cinematography.)

The DescendantsObviously, I want The Artist to win the Best Picture award so I really wanted to dislike Alexander Payne’s touching character study. But I didn’t. It’s a good film, *le darn*. A number of movie theaters are still showing it: Landmark E Street Cinema, AMC Loews Georgetown 14, Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, Regal Ballston Common 12(The Descendants is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role – George Clooney, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing and Directing.)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ~ I don’t want anyone but Jean Dujardin to walk away with the Oscar for best permance by an actor in a leading role, though I must confess that I thought Gary Oldman’s subdued performance as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was definitely Oscar worthy. Bust there can only be one winner… catch the new film adaptation of John le Carre’s classic 1974 novel at Landmark E Street Cinema, AMC Loews Georgetown 14,  AFI Silver Theater Cultural Center, Regal Ballston Common 12, Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is nominated for Actor in a Leading Role – Gary Oldman, Adapted Screenplay and Original Score)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseWill Oskar’s search for a lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father’s closet after he died on 9/11 take him all the way to an Oscar? We’ll find out. In the meantime, follow his journey through New York’s 5 borroughs at the Avalon, Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14,  AMC Loews Georgetown 14 and Regal ballston Common 12 (The movie, which received mixed reviews from critics, is nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Max von Sydow.)

My Week with Marilyn: West End Cinema (Best Supporting Actor – Kenneth Branagh and Best Actress – Michelle Williams)

A Separation ~ One of the best films I’ve seen last year, this tale of divorce, Iranian style, is an incisive portrayal of modern Iranian society. Watch the Golden Globe winner at Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema or catch it at National Geographic’s Global Glimpses (Original Screenplay, Foreign Language Film)

The Muppets ~ with a 50% chance of winning in a category with only 2 nominees, the Muppets have some pretty good odds of bringing a golden statue home. I mean, seriously, they couldn’t come up with more than 2 nominees in this category?? In any case, catch it at Arlington Cinema n’Drafthouse (Original Song) or just download the song on iTunes.

The Adventures of Tintin ~ I loved this animated version of my childhood books and actually thought the movie was quite good too… The Belgian journalist still appears on screens and in 3D at Regal Majestic 20 and in 2D at  Arlington Cinema n’Drafthouse. It’s also showing on Air France flights to Paris which is where I saw it a few days ago. (John Williams, who composed the oscar nominated score for Tintin also composed the score of the War Horse. Those are his 46th and 47th nominations in the Original Score category.)

Albert Nobbs ~ this film is showing Landmark E Street Cinema and Bethesda Row (nominated for Best Actress – Glenn Close, Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Janet McTeer, Makeup.)

The Iron Lady ~ this is Meryl Streep’s 17th overall nomination, and 14th nod for lead actress yet she hasn’t won since Sophie’s Choice in 1983. I certainly hope she brings home that 3rd Oscar! The movie is showing at Landmark E Street and Bethesda Row cinemas, AMC Loews Georgetown and AMC Courthouse (Best Actress – Meryll Streep, Makeup)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ~ I caught the tail end of its run at The Lincoln Theater… if you go before January 26, you can still see it at the U Street establishment, otherwise it’s playing at Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 and Regal ballston Common 12 (nominated for Best Actress – Rooney Mara, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Film Editing, Cinematography.)

Pina (3D) ~ critics all agree the 2D version of Win Venders’ tribune to choreographer Pina Bausch does not do the documentary justice. Luckily, you can catch it in 3D at AMC Loews Cinema Georgetow (nominated for best documentary feature.)

Already on Netflix

The Help (the film is nominated for best picture, Viola Davis is nominated for best actress in a leading role, her co-stars Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are both nominated for best actress in a supporting role), Midnight in Paris (Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Directing, Art Direction), The Ides of March (Writing – Adapted Screenplay), The Tree of Life (Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing), Moneyball (Best Picture, Best Actor – Brad Pitt, Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Jonah Hill, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Adapted Screenplay), A Better Life (Demian Bichir is nominated for actor in a leading role), Warrior (Nick Nolte is nominated for best actor in a supporting role), Beginners (Christopher Plummer is nominated and should win the oscar for best supporting actor), Bridesmaids (Melissa McCarthy is nominated for best supporting actress, the comedy is also nominated for best original screenplay. If she wins over Meryll Strip, I will be very upset!), Drive (Sound Editing), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Makeup), Real Steel (Visual Effect), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Visual Effects), Margin Call (Original Screenplay), Kung Fu Panda 2 (Animated Feature), Rango (Animated Feature), Anonymous (Costume Design),  Jane Eyre (Costume Design),  Rio (Music – Original Song). Additionally, two of the documentary feature nominees are available on demand: Hell and Back Again and If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

AMC Oscar Showcase
If you want to see all 9 nominees in one go (pretty efficient way to do it if you haven’t seen any of them or need a refresher) AMC Georgetown 14 is participating in the AMC Best Picture Showcase Marathon February 25, starting with Hugo in 3D at 11AM and wrapping up Sunday morning with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close at 6:20AM. Tickets for this 2 day event are $60, which includes a $10 AMC gift card. You can’t bring outside food, so if you do this, be prepared to eat a LOT of popcorn 😉 If you don’t think you can handle the whole one night deal, you can also split it into two at a couple of theaters I’ve never been to because they’re not really in D.C.: Hoffman Center 22, Potomac 18, Rio 18 and Shirlington 7.  On February 18, these theaters will be showing War Horse (11AM), Moneyball, The Tree of Life and The Descendants (7:20PM). On February 25, they will screen Hugo in 3D (11AM), The HelpExtremely Loud and Incredibly CloseThe Artist and Midnight in Paris (9:05PM). A Day One pass (February 18) will set you back $30, Day Two is $40, two-days is $60.

National Geographic Global Glimpses
I’m a little sad neither Le Havre nor A Declaration of War got nods, and of course I understand that silence is not a language so The Artist couldn’t be nominated either… oh well. I’m happy to see Quebec and Belgium represented in this category and I’m looking forward to watching them during National Geographic’s Global Glimpses that screens all 5 nominees over a weekend (February 17-19). Other than A Separation (which has been playing at Bethesda Row for a few weeks now), most of the nominees in this category are slated to come out in theaters later in the yaar, so this is kind of your only chance…The schedule is as follows: February 17 at 7PM Iran’s A Separation; February 18 Belgium’s Bullhead at 5PM and Israel’s Footnote at 8PM; February 19 Poland’s In Darkness at 2PM and Canada’s Monsieur Lazhar at 6PM. Individual tickets are $8.

The National Archives
Don’t miss the 8th Annual Showcase of Academy Award®–Nominated Documentaries and Shorts presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives. The tickets are free and seating is on a first come first served basis. GET THERE EARLY! Trust me. The documentary feature nominees will be screened at 7PM on February 22 (Hell & Back Again), 23 (Undefeated), 24 (Pina – in 2D), 25 (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) and at 4PM on the 26th (If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front). The Live Action Short Films (Pentecost; Raju; The Shore; Time Freak; Tuba Atlantic) will be screened Saturday, February 25 at noon. The Animated Short Films (Dimanche/Sunday; The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore; La Luna; A Morning Stroll; Wild Life) will follow at 3:30PM. The Documentary Short Subject nominees (The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement; G-d is the Bigger Elvis; Incident in New Baghdad; Saving Face; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom) will be screened at noon on Oscar day.

West End Cinema is screening all of the Documentary Short Subject nominees on February 10th.  Landmark E Street Cinema will screen the Animated and Live Action Short Films starting 02/10. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is available on demand from HBO.

I’ll keep updating this list as we get closer to the Oscars on February 26th. In the meantime, please let me know if you hear anything about A Cat in Paris. As a cat owner and Parisian, I’m dying to see it! And of course, don’t forget the watch the Academy Awards on February 26th!

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