With Oscar nominations now announced (and rightly derided for their lily-white tendencies), the time has come for all serious cinephiles to dig into the selections and catch up on anything they missed, and for those looking for the advantage in the Oscar pools at their work to start their due diligence. In some cases this will prove difficult for the local filmgoer – the only chance a Milwaukeean would’ve had at this point to see something from the Best Foreign Language Film category would be having checked out Embrace of the Serpent at the Milwaukee Film Festival in 2015 – but in the coming month there will be plenty of opportunities to tie up any movie-related loose ends before Oscars take place on Feb. 28.
- Redbox, streaming, DVD & Blu-Ray
If you don’t want to venture outside of your home, there are plenty of nominated films that are already available for you to stream from the comfort of your sofa/recliner. The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, Amy, The Look of Silence and numerous others can all be rented to stream or picked up from a local Redbox or even purchase if you’re so inclined.
- Check out what’s still in theaters
Luckily Marcus Theatres makes this easy on us – just check out their helpful list of Oscar-nominated movies still playing in local theaters to plot out your plan of attack. Nominees ranging from great (The Hateful Eight, Carol, Creed) to good (The Big Short, The Martian), and decent (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to outright bad (I’m looking at you, terrible Sam Smith song from the equally poor Spectre) are all still waiting for you at the multiplex. And if you’re more art house oriented, the heartbreaking and beautiful Best Animated Feature nominee Anomalisa is playing at the Oriental for the forseeable future. And keep in mind that certain movies will start to roll out locally in the next few weeks (45 Years, which earned Charlotte Rampling a Best Actress nomination, is scheduled to arrive next week)and movies like Room and Spotlight, which had recently left local multiplexes are now coming back to celebrate their awards season success.
- The Academy Award Nominated Short Films – Animated and Live Action (Scheduled to open Jan. 29 at the Oriental Theater)
In my end of 2015 piece, I lamented the lack of opportunities for Milwaukee film fans to check out my co-favorite film of 2015, Don Hertzfeldt’s remarkable World of Tomorrow, but I am happy to say that this can be rectified in just about a week’s time when the short film showcases come to the Oriental Theatre. Not to mention a bevy of other eminently worthy short selections as well (Sanjay’s Super Team from Pixar is delightful), but seeing World of Tomorrow on the big screen will be well-worth your ticket price alone, packing more emotion and feeling into its eleven minutes that most other movies can muster in two and a half hours’ time.
- Best Picture Marathons (Saturdays Feb. 20 & Feb. 27 @ AMC Mayfair and Select local Marcus Theatres)
If you want to mainline quality cinema like the film junkie you are, then your best bet is to rest on your laurel until the two weeks preceding the Oscars to take part in the Best Picture marathons being offered up at local theaters. There are some slight differences in scheduling between the marathons being put forth by AMC and Marcus, but these are your best bet if you want to lord your opinions over everyone else at whichever Oscar party you attend.
- Day 1 2/20 AMC: Bridge of Spies, Room, Mad Max: Fury Road & The Big Short
- Day 2 2/27 AMC: Brooklyn, Spotlight, The Martian & The Revenant
- Day 1 2/20 Marcus: Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies, The Martian & The Big Short
- Day 2 2/27 Marcus: Room, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road & The Revenant
On the Marquee
Wednesday, January 20: Dreamgirls
7 p.m. @ Select local Marcus Theatres ($5, click here for tickets)
Thursday, January 21: Labyrinth
9:30 p.m. @ The Avalon Theater ($5, buy tickets here)
Friday, January 22: The Boy, Dirty Grandpa & The 5th Wave all open locally
Check local listings for showtimes/pricing
***CRITIC’S CHOICE***Saturday, January 23: A Serious Man
3 p.m. @ Milwaukee Art Museum’s Lubar Auditorium (Free for members/Free with admission)
Saturday, January 23: The Devil’s Disciple
7 p.m. @ The Church in the City, 2648 N. Hackett Ave. ($3)
Sunday, January 24 & Monday, January 25: Hairspray (2007)
1/24: Noon & 1/25: 7 p.m. @ Select local Marcus Theatres ($5, purchase tickets here)
***CRITIC’S CHOICE*** Monday, January 25: Louie Bluie
6 p.m. @ Tippecanoe Library Community Room (FREE!)