No Good Excuse.
No, that’s not the name of a Best Documentary nominee at the upcoming Academy Awards. Though if it was, you’d have an excellent chance of being able to watch it before the big show airs live on ABC on Feb. 28.
Even if it came out 10 months ago and only screened for a couple of days at some obscure film festival.
After all, this isn’t the 1990s, when you’d have to stake out your local Blockbuster Video (remember videos?) in hopes of catching someone returning the only copy of “Shakespeare in Love.” Or the 2000s, when Netflix by mail (by mail!) was your best chance of catching “Being Julia” before Oscars night.
We’re living in an on-demand world now. Meaning: Over the next week or so, you can see every film nominated in all of the major Oscar categories, pretty much on your schedule. You have no good excuses not to. All it takes is a savvy blend of going out to theaters and staying in to stream or, gulp, turn on your TV.
Below, we’ve outlined three different approaches that each would let you see large chunks of the nominees in the eight top Oscar categories: Best Picture, Lead Actor and Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress, Director, Animated Feature and Documentary. Whether you’re just trying to catch that single obscure nominee you somehow missed (Charlotte Rampling, cough, cough!) or starting the process completely from scratch, one or a combination of all of these approaches is your ticket to being the seen-‘em all, know-it-all of your Oscars night viewing party.
However you watch these movies (legally, anyway), it’ll cost you. Admittedly, that’s a good excuse for skipping some — although attending the Best Picture Showcase (see below) is one good way of economizing, as is sharing streaming costs and screens with friends.
I. The “Marathon Man”-it Approach: Named for the 1976 Oscar-nominated film (Laurence Olivier lost Best Supporting Actor to “All the President’s Men’s” Jason Robards), this isn’t for cinema sissies. But it’s hands-down the best way to catch up on dozens of nominees in one sitting. OK, two sittings. AMC’s Best Picture Showcase (BPS) takes over three area theaters here for the next two Saturdays to show the eight nominated movies back to back to … well, you get the idea.
On Feb. 20, “Bridge of Spies” kicks things off at 10 a.m., followed by “Room” (12:45 p.m.), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (3:05 p.m.) and “The Big Short” (6:10 p.m.). On Feb. 27, it starts with “Brooklyn” at 10 a.m., followed by “Spotlight” (12:15 p.m.), “The Martian” (2:45 p.m.) and “The Revenant” (6:15 p.m.).
The BPS is at these AMC theaters: Forsyth 12 in Cumming, Parkway Pointe 15 in Atlanta and Sugarloaf Mills 18 in Lawrenceville. Tickets are $35 each day (go to amctheatres.com or fandango); or save $5 on a two-day pass (only available at box office).
Plus: Talk about one-stop shopping! Besides all of the Best Picture candidates, you’ll be able to cross off your list two Best Actor, two Best Actress, four Best Supporting Actor, one Best Supporting Actress and all five directing nominees (see below for specific names).
Minus: That’s a lot of sitting and popcorn-crunching.
II. The not yet “The Departed”-it Approach: Departed from movie theaters, that is. Named for the 2007 Best Picture winner, this one’s ideal for people who just need to fill in some gaps in their viewing.
Many of the nominated films opened in late 2015; some haven’t shown up on cable or streaming services yet and instead are still in area theaters. Note: Some are only screening once or twice a day in a couple of theaters, so you may have to venture outside of your usual cineplex comfort zone to see everything you want before Feb. 28.
As of last week, the following nominated films were still in area theaters (check listings before heading out): Best Picture nominees “Brooklyn,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room” and “Spotlight.”
Also: “Carol” (Cate Blanchett, Best Actress; Rooney Mara, Best Supporting Actress), “Joy” (Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress), “45 Years” (Charlotte Rampling, Best Actress), “Creed” (Sylvester Stallone, Best Supporting Actor), “The Hateful Eight” (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Best Supporting Actress).
Plus: Somehow, somewhere, you can see every single nominee for Best Picture, director and all four acting categories, except for Best Actor and Supporting Actress (for that, see Approach III) — without having to sit through two days of marathon screening. Or you can catch that one great film or performance you’ve heard so much about, even if you’re not determined to see every nominee in every category.
Minus: That’s a lot of scrutinizing movie timetables and maps.
III. The “As Good as It Gets”-it Approach: Named for the 1998 Best Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Actress (Helen Hunt)-winning film, Because, seriously, what’s better than getting to lie around at home all day, watching movies on your TV, laptop, phone — maybe all three at once! This approach has the added benefit of letting you watch all five Documentary and all but one of the Animated Feature nominees.
Because streaming options are almost as plentiful as bloated Hollywood sequels these days, we’ve rounded everything up by category:
“The Big Short”: On iTunes Feb. 23. Available now for preorder on Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
“Bridge of Spies”: Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, Xfinity on Demand.
“Brooklyn”: Available Feb. 23 on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play.
“Mad Max: Fury Road”: Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Xfinity on Demand (also currently playing on HBO).
“The Martian”: Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, Xfinity on Demand.
“The Revenant”: Preorder on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play.
“Room”: Available Feb. 16 on iTunes, Amazon.
“Spotlight”: Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xfinity on Demand, Vudu (Feb. 23).
Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”): See Best Picture.
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”): Available now on iTunes. Available Feb. 16 on Amazon, Vudu; preorder on Google Play.
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”): Available now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, Xfinity on Demand. Vudu (Feb 16).
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”): Available Feb. 16 on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube.
Brie Larson (“Room”), Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”): See Best Picture.
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”): Preorder on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play.
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”): Preorder on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”): Not available.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale (“The Big Short”), Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”), Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”): See Best Picture.
Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”): Available Feb. 16 on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara (“Carol”): See Best Actress.
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”), Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”): See Best Actor.
Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”): See Best Picture.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”): Preorder on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”): See Best Picture.
BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
“Amy”: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, Xfinity on Demand.
“Cartel Land”: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, Xfinity on Demand.
“The Look of Silence”: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play.
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”: Available on Netflix.
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”: Available on Netflix.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Boy and the World”: Not currently available.
“Inside Out”: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”: Available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube.
“When Marnie Was There”: DVD available for purchase on Amazon.
Plus: You never have to get out of your pajamas.
Minus: That’s a lot of time in the same pajamas.
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