There's no pleasure in Seattle quite like watching a movie at the Cinerama. That enormous screen! The brilliant sound system! Those comfy new chairs! The concession stand! (Good lord, that concession stand.) And the Oscar nominees for best picture are supposed to be the best movies of the year*. This week, the Cinerama is showing all the Best Picture nominees as a buildup to the Academy Awards on Sunday. This means it's an opportunity to watch the best movies of the year in a singular Seattle viewing experience. You've already missed American Sniper (my least favorite Oscar nominee) and Whiplash (one of the best Oscar nominees), but you've still got a week's worth of great movies to watch. Tonight, the Cinerama is showing Boyhood at 4 and 8 p.m.
Boyhood is the movie I would probably choose for the best picture Oscar, if that means anything to anyone. Not only is it incredibly well-crafted, but it's also one of the most ambitious American films of the last decade. The way Richard Linklater employs time as a special effect in the film is at once virtuosic and naturalistic.
So you can plan ahead, here's what the rest of the week looks like: tomorrow, Cinerama is showing The Grand Budapest Hotel; Wednesday, they're showing The Theory of Everything; Thursday, they're showing Selma, which is the only movie this year that I'd consider Boyhood's equal or possibly better; Birdman plays on Friday. The series ends with a huge fizzle on Saturday with The Imitation Game. Go see as many of them as possible this week so you can keep up with our Oscar live-Slog next Sunday!
* Yes, this is very arguable. In fact, I don't believe it. Nightcrawler was one of the best movies of the year, and so was The Lego Movie. The Imitation Game was not one of the best movies of the year. (Of course, personal taste figures into this, but it's pretty obvious to anyone who's lived for longer than 12 years on this planet that The Imitation Game won't survive the passage of time, which is pretty much the only metric by which we can determine a film's worth. This is, of course, a flawed metric, as we remember a lot of shitty movies and we've forgotten a lot of good ones, but it's the best metric we've got.)