Every year AMC theaters host Oscar movie marathons. They have showings for both The Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action, Documentary, Animation, and The Oscar Nominated Best Pictures. This year I was able to attend the first day of the Best Picture Showcase which is split into two Saturdays. The films start at 10am, with 30 minutes between films and 60 minutes during the dinner hour. You may ask yourself, who is crazy enough to sit in a theater for an entire day? The answer would be me and I’m not the only one. Theaters also sell tickets for movie marathon of favorites such as Marvel and Star Wars.
I love going to the movies and watching films. The nice thing about the Best Picture Showcase is it attracts movie lovers. Not once did someone talk during a film, turn their phone on, or bring a child. It is pretty much a movie goer’s dream come true. Well, except that the staff couldn’t figure out when to turn the lights on and off for the films, but hey, next time I’ll bring a flashlight.
The first day was a somber day. The films included (in order) Manchester by the Sea, Fences, Hell or High Water, and La La Land.
Manchester by the Sea is a very moving film, and as the credits rolled I was already feeling emotionally drained for the day. Casey Affleck was amazing in this movie and I can see why he is a front runner for best actor. Next up was Fences, and since I had actually already seen it, I contemplated going outside and playing Pokemon Go. but settled on staying. I was extremely glad I decided to watch it for the second time, as I enjoyed listening to the audience’s reaction when they were shocked or mad at the main character. It is a true testament to a film when you watch it for the second time and still enjoy it; Fences is one of those films.
By now, it was time to get a beer, I headed to the bar to drown my sorrows and found it to be a long wait. Everyone in line was there for the Best Picture Showcase and was happy to chat about films. I made it back to the theater with 2 minutes to spare, but no time to make my sandwich. My mother had done the Best Picture Showcase they year before and was prepared. She had come with me this year and had brought all the makings for sandwiches (including a cut up avocado), chips, grapes, homemade popcorn, and sodas. Mothers are the best!
We were about to start the third film and all I could think was please let this be a happy film. Yet Hell or High Water did not bring me the happiness I was seeking. It’s not as somber as the first two films, but it’s not going to make you feel like you can do anything in the world. I enjoyed the film, but it isn’t on its way to being a plausible winner for best picture award. After the film I turned to my family and said “Don’t worry, the next one is a musical; it has to be happy!” I then focused on making my sandwich and got another beer.
La La Land, as it turns out, is not the happy musical I was anticipating, yet that doesn’t stop it from being a beautiful film. While I still found Casey Affleck’s performance in Manchester By the Sea to be the winner of the day, my mother was on Ryan Gosling’s side. She proclaimed that his singing and dancing made him far more deserving. My aunt was also in love with him and was looking up all of his films so that she could watch them later. It was clear if Ryan Gosling ever comes to a family dinner, he is going to find himself sitting between two drooling old ladies.
I found the first day to be a success and since SDCC badge sale isn’t occurring this weekend I am looking forward being able to attend day 2 of the event on Saturday.
Have you seen any new (or Oscar-nominated) films recently? Join the conversation on FoCC!