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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 5 movies you need to see before Oscar Night

The Artist
These are the two words you’ll hear all Oscar Night. But The Artist is more than an artsy film, it's a crowd-pleaser and it makes a great date night at the movies. The Weinstein film is a contender in 10 categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Film Editing, Original Score) and a front-runner for Best Picture, Best Score and more. 

Martin Scorsese's first family film honors the thing Hollywood loves the most — Hollywood. It received more Oscar nominations than any other film (11). Hugo could take the top prize and probably will take Best Director, but most likely it will snipe a lot of the small ones. How you feel about this one will help you determine those deep picks on your Oscar Pool. 

The Descendants
Garnering five nominations (Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Picture), Alexander Payne’s touching tale of a family’s transformation is a front-runner for Best Actor (Aloha George Clooney!) and it has a strong chance of taking the other 4 categories.

My Week With Marilyn
War Horse, nominated for six Oscars, will probably win just one (Best Cinematography), so I’m suggesting you catch this sweet lil' film instead. Michelle Williams (Marilyn Monroe) and Kenneth Branagh (Sir Lawrence Olivier) aren’t front-runners to win, but in a year when the top movies all honor classic Hollywood, these two are your least surprising surprises.  

A Separation
Looking to impress everyone on Oscar Night? This little-seen Iranian film is the one to beat for Best Foreign Film, and it has an astonishingly positive 99% rating on

BONUS: The 5 you can see at home

The Help
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer should clean up on Oscar night. Their SAG acceptance speeches sealed the deal in January.
No big awards for this polarizer since people think it either fell flat or was a home run. I thought it was brilliant. But Aaron Sorkin has a good chance at scoring Best Adapted Screenplay.

Midnight In Paris
This comedy has nominations for Best Picture, Best Directing, Art Direction and Best Original Screenplay. Expect a win for Woody Allen’s screenplay.
You can pick sure-thing Christopher Plummer as Best Supporting Actor without even seeing this film, but this comedy with Ewan McGregor is worth a rental.

I should probably recommend Tree of Life, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography. But I don't want you to hate me. Just watch Bridesmaids again. There won't be any Oscars passed out for this, but Melissa McCarthy will be all over Oscar night - climbin' it like a tree.

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