It’s Oscar season everyone! With the nominations announced, now’s the time to get cracking on seeing those movies. Some people strive to see all of the Best Picture noms… some people go even further to see the the Acting, Directing, and Screenplay categories as well. But I go all out…I see everything. I try to see every last nomination from the Best Sound Editing to the Best Animated Short. I don’t always complete my goal, in fact, I’ve never finished every single category. In 2009, I came the closest I’ve ever come and saw every nominated feature except for a few in the foreign film category, and every nominated short except the documentary shorts. This year, I’m aiming to hit everything possible. Note the distinction, as there are always a few “unattainables” that I can’t possibly get to (more on those later). There are 41 feature length films nominated for Oscars this year and I’ve already seen 21 of them. It’s a good start, but I still have a ways to go. In addition, there are 15 shorts to catch and for the first time ever, a Los Angeles theater is screening the Documentary Shorts. This is huge- I’ve never seen a screening of these outside of Academy member only screenings- they’ve always been unattainables. I’m excited to knock out that category this year for the first time.
So if you’re following along or trying to catch some of these movies yourself, here’s a handy little guide to help you find them in your neighborhood:
In Mainstream Theaters – These movies should be pretty easy to find in just about any city:
Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, True Grit, Tangled, Country Strong
In Theaters, but Disappearing – These movies have been out for a while, and therefore might be harder to find. Check out the dollar theaters, or big theaters that have a lot of screens to fill:
127 Hours, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part One, Tron: Legacy, Unstoppable (also on DVD 2/15)
In Smaller Theaters and Art Houses – You may have to go a bit out of your way- the next town over, or maybe to a smaller theater you’ve never been to before:
Biutiful, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Another Year, The Way Back
Big Cities Only – Unless you’re within close proximity of a pretty big city, you’re probably out of luck with these:
Inside Job, The Illusionist, Barney’s Version
Available on DVD – Track it down on Netflix, or buy it in Best Buy, these should be easy to get your hands on. If you have a device that streams your Netflix Instant Queue, I’ve noted those available to stream:
Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, The Town, Animal Kingdom, How to Train Your Dragon, Dogtooth (Netflix Instant), Alice In Wonderland (Netflix Instant), I Am Love (Netflix Instant), The Wolfman, Salt, Iron Man 2, Exit Through the Gift Shop (Netflix Instant), Gasland, Restrespo (Netflix Instant)
In Betweenies – These are awful for someone trying to complete the list. They are movies that have all but dropped out of theaters and will not be released on DVD until after the ceremony. There’s always at least one of them…this year there are 3:
Hereafter (playing in 3 theaters in AZ, FL, MI, releases on DVD 3/15), Waste Land (playing in 2 theaters in FL, releases on DVD 3/29), The Tempest (playing in 7 theaters in OR, AZ, KY, MI, OH, MA, release on DVD TBD)
Unattainable – Just as bad as the In Betweenies are the Unattainables. They are literally impossible to find if you’re not a member of the Academy, or the actual filmmaker. They almost always fall into the Foreign Film category (occasionally the Documentary category) and this year there are 3:
Incendies (US release date – 4/1), In a Better World (US release date – TBD), Outside the Law (limited release in the US in November, but no longer in any theaters, DVD release date – TBD)
There you have it- where to find (or not find, in some cases) all the nominees. This list will change every weekend as theaters scramble to get the nominated films back in their theaters. So don’t give up on movies that may not be playing in your city- they may show up yet.
I hope you’ll follow along with my reviews and updates as I make my way through this list. Good luck and happy movie going!