Patch Picks: Five Films to See Before Oscar Night
Here are a list of must-see movies that have been honored with nominations by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or the Oscars.
The Oscar nominations were announced this week, and it looks like there is a great deal of controversy and some really surprising nods this year. But the following, our picks for films that got some sort of acknowledgement from the Academy, is a list that should be without dispute. Go see them (or rent them) before the Oscars air on February 26!
The Descendants- Garnering five nominations (Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Picture), this touching tale of a family’s transformation is a surprising mix of humor and tragedy. George Clooney gives a startlingly unglamorous performance, and Alexander Payne’s script and direction keep the film tight and engaging (currently playing at the West Newton Cinema).
The Muppets- In a surprise move, the Academy gave Kermit the Frog a Best Supporting nom…no, we’re kidding. But the song “Man or Muppet” (penned by Flight of the Conchords cult fav Bret McKenzie) is one of only two musical numbers to be nominated for Best Original Song. So it has a 50% chance of winning, and the film has a 100% chance of being delightful for you and your entire family (currently playing at the West Newton Cinema).
Hugo- This adaptation of Brian Selznick’s groundbreaking young adult novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret (available at Newtonville Books and the New England Mobile Book Fair) earned more Oscar nominations than any other film (11). These include Best Picture, Best Director for Martin Scorcese, and a plethora of nominations in the artistic categories for this eye-popping tale of the early days of robotics and film-making and a young Parisian boy’s search for answers to family mysteries (playing at the West Newton Cinema).
My Week with Marilyn- Most actors will tell you that it is incredibly difficult to portray a real person, so imagine how Michelle Williams (Marilyn Monroe) and Kenneth Branagh (Sir Lawrence Olivier) must have felt to hear they had given performances stellar enough to earn them Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor nods respectively. The film, about tensions between the two cinematic greats during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl (available on Netflix), is a poignant peek into the Hollywood of bygone days (playing at the Embassy Cinema, Waltham)
Midnight in Paris- Even if you’re not a big fan of Woody Allen, you will almost certainly find this film charming and whimsical. Earning Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Directing and Art Direction and Best Original Screenplay, it tells the tale of a young Hollywood writer who is trying to finish his novel and find his passion in Paris and gets some magical assistance from some very familiar folks. Make sure to watch the DVD extras for a special treat (available via Netflix or at Redbox locations at Shaw’s).