There’s something special about seeing an Oscar-winning film before it wins the Oscar.
Anybody can pick an Oscar-winning movie to watch after it’s already won. There’ll be a big gold seal across the DVD case – “Oscar winner for Best Picture!” – to guide your choice. “See this movie, it won the Oscar, it must be good,” friends will tell you.
But it takes some cinematic intelligence to decide to watch a film before it wins. Or when it’s just nominated. Because as we know, the best films and performances don’t always win the Oscar.
With the Oscar ceremony fast approaching, on Feb. 28, time is running out to see nominated films and performances in theaters. Many, especially those that weren’t blockbusters, have already come and gone. Luckily there seem to be several Maine theater operators interested in keeping Oscar nominated films, or films with Oscar-nominated performances, around as long as possible.
Here then are some theaters where Oscar fare will likely be showing in the coming week or so. But schedules change, so check again before you go to make sure.
Nickelodeon Cinemas, 1 Temple St., Portland; patriotcinemas.com. $5 to $9.75
The Nickelodeon is currently showing five of the eight Best Picture nominees and a total of seven films with Oscar nominations. All seven will be playing Thursday, for sure, and management is “hoping” to hang on to most or all of those through Oscar weekend, said Dave Kiolbasa, vice president of the theater’s parent company, Patriot Cinemas.
The seven films are:
“45 Years,” which earned veteran British actress Charlotte Rampling a Best Actress nomination. The film focuses on a couple (Rampling and Tom Courtenay) about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary who have their lives disrupted by some shocking news.
Where and when to see “45 Years”
“Room,” the story of a mother and her 5-year-old son living their lives as captives in a 10-by-10-foot space. It’s nominated for Best Picture, and Brie Larson is also nominated for Best Actress.
Where and when to see “Room”
“The Big Short,” which is nominated for Best Picture and also garnered a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Christian Bale and a Best Director nomination for Adam McKay. It’s the story of four people who predict the housing and banking catastrophes of 2008 to invest and amass a fortune but also expose corruption. Besides Bale, it stars Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling.
Where and when to see “The Big Short”
“The Revenant,” set in the 1820s, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as man on fur-trading trip fighting to survive after being mauled by a bear and abandoned by the rest of his party. A Best Picture nominee, the film also earned DiCaprio a Best Actor nomination and Tom Hardy a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
Where and when to see “The Revenant”
“Spotlight“ is based on the true story of Boston Globe newspaper reporters who uncovered the massive scope of child molestation within the Catholic Church, and its efforts to cover it up. It’s nominated for Best Picture. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, playing reporters on the Globe’s investigative team, earned Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominations.
Where and when to see “Spotlight”
“Brooklyn is a Best Picture nominee that also earned Saoirse Ronan a Best Actress nomination. Ronan plays a young woman who comes to New York from Ireland in 1952, falls in love, then has to return to Ireland.
Where and when to see “Brooklyn”
“Carol“ is based on the 1952 novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith about two women who become romantically involved after meeting in a department store. Cate Blanchett got a nomination for Best Actress, while Rooney Mara is nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Where and when to see “Carol”
Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland; space538.org; $10
Space will be showing all five films nominated for Best Animated Short at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and at 4 p.m. on Feb. 27. The total running time for the entire program is about 90 minutes.
“Sanjay’s Super Team,” from Pixar, is the story of a first-generation Indian-American boy whose love of American pop culture does not please his father.
“World of Tomorrow” is a 17-minute film about a little girl who gets to see her distant future.
“Bear Story” is the story of a story-telling bear.
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” is a Russian film about two lifelong friends who become cosmonauts.
“Prologue” features a small girl who watches warriors battling to the death in the war between Sparta and Athens more than 2,000 years ago. Because of the violence and some nudity, Space management will post a “parental guidance” warning prior to the film. The rest of the nominated shorts, plus five other shorts on the program, are all suitable for children.
Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, Waterville; railroadsquarecinema.com. $6 to $9
Known for an eclectic mix of film, Railroad Square will likely host at least three of the Oscar-oriented films Thursday through Friday and maybe beyond, said the theater’s programmer, Ken Eisen.
They are “The Big Short,” “45 Years” and “Room.” See descriptions of all three above, under the Nickelodeon Cinema’s listing.