Every year when the Academy Awards nominees come out, my friend Paul and I try to see as many on the list as we can. He goes to movies all year long, but I cram them all in during a 4-week span.
When the nominees were announced, I had only seen two films on the list: The Devil Wears Prada and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. As usual, I have a lot of work to do.
To succeed in the quest for Oscar completeness, there will be days where you watch three movies. You must have your priorities straight. You need to carry the list of nominees around with you everywhere and update it whenever you see a film. In the theater, aim for films with multiple nominations. On Friday, I saw Pan's Labyrinth, up for six awards.
I found it hilarious that the box office at Ronnie's 20 felt compelled to post signs warning customers that Pan's Labyrinth and Curse of the Golden Flower "have SUBTITLES." We definitely weren't at the Tivoli. Very, very powerful film, btw. That little girl should be up for best supporting actress, not the screamer from Little Miss Sunshine.
In the the quest for Oscar completeness, prepare yourself to see some really bad films. Troy, Pearl Harbor, A.I.--all nominated for Academy awards. When that teddy bear whipped out a piece of DNA so that the dead boy could be cloned, I started screaming at the DVD player. Have you ever noticed how many of Spielberg's movie have some kind of treacly, cop-out ending? I expect this year's clunker to be Click, up for best makeup. It doesn't matter; completeness is the goal. That and winning the prize for the most correct guesses.
In addition to films still in theaters, the quest for Oscar completeness requires a lot of DVD viewing. To save you the time of figuring out all the current releases, here's a list of all the nominees currently out on DVD or to be out by the date of the Oscars, February 25. Release dates are in ().
- Babel (2/20)
- Black Dahlia
- The Departed (2/13)
- Flags of Our Fathers (2/6)
- Half Nelson (2/13)
- The Illusionist
- An Inconvenient Truth
- Jesus Camp
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Marie Antoinette (2/13)
- Monster House
- The Prestige (2/20)
- Superman Returns
- United 93
Although ... there's now YouTube, which seems to have some. It's hard to tell though, and they may not be there for long. Search for the following:
- "Binta y la Gran Idea"
- "Blood of Yingzhou District" (trailer only)
- "Eramos Pocos"
- "Maestro" (search for Maestro Toth)
- "No Time for Nuts"
- "Two Hands (search Two Hands Kahn, and it's only an about-the-film short)
That's it. Good luck on your quest. The bonus is that you'll get a lot of knitting done. I'm off to watch The Illusionist and work on the short row sling.