Oscars for dummies: a guide to pretending you actually know something about this year’s Academy Awards
Sunday night is Oscars night. That means one thing: Oscar parties. The coolest kids will be the ones who know everything there is to know about this year’s best picture nominees. Haven’t had the time to see them all? Not a problem. Below, a crash course in the best Hollywood has to offer.
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo and John Goodman
Plot: The emergence of talking pictures threatens to halt the career of silent movie star.
Do say: “This is the silent movie that is bringing silent movies back.”
Don’t say: “Can you turn the volume up? I can’t hear what they’re saying.”
Where to see it: CO Sheppard Grande, 4861 Yonge Street, Canada Square, 2190 Yonge Street, CO Varsity and Varsity VIP, 55 Bloor Street West, AMC Young and Dundas 24, 10 Dundas Street East, Rainbow Cinemas Market Square, 80 Front Street East at Jarvis.
Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller
Plot: After the death of his wife, a father tries to reconnect with his two daughters.
Do say: “George Clooney gives such a powerful performance in this movie.”
Don’t say: “Isn’t that the pregnant teen from MTV?”
Where to see it: Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond Street West, The Beach Cinemas, 1651 Queen Street East, Cumberland 4, 159 Cumberland Street, CO Varsity and Varsity VIP, 55 Bloor Street West, Empire Theatre at Empress Walk, 5095 Yonge Street.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock
Plot: A boy learns to cope with the loss of his father on 9/11.
Do say: “The kid in this movie is great! Did you know it’s his first movie?”
Don’t say: “Is this a true story?”
Where to see it: Canada Square, 2190 Yonge Street, Kingsway Theatre, 3030 Bloor Street West.
Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer
Story: An aspiring writer returns home to write a book about white families from the point of view of the help.
Do say: “This is such an important story,” or, “Octavia Spencer really shows her range as an actress here.”
Don’t say: “Can we hurry this up? My chauffeur is waiting.”
Where to see it: On DVD, Netflix, iTunes.
Director: Martin Scorcese
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee
Do say: “Martin Scorcese is so versatile, to be able go from The Departed to something like this.”
Don’t say: “Oh, it’s a kids movie?”
Where to see it: Kingsway Theatre, 3030 Bloor Street West, Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond Street West, CO Varsity and Varsity VIP, 55 Bloor Street West, Mt Pleasant Theatre, 675 Mt. Pleasant Rd, CO Sheppard Grande, 4861 Yonge Street.
Midnight in Paris
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates
Story: A young writer, on vacation in Paris with his fiancee, discovers a different world on his quest for inspiration.
Do say: “It must have taken so much research to put so many historical figures in one film.”
Don’t say: “Fitzgerald who?”
Where to see it: The Projection Booth, 1035 Gerrard Street East and on DVD.
Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright and Jonah Hill
Do say: “I don’t think Brad Pitt has ever made a bad movie.”
Don’t say: “Isn’t Brad Pitt a bit old to be a baseball player?”
Where to see it: on DVD, Netflix, iTunes.
The Tree of Life
Director: Terrence Malick.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain
Plot: This movie follows the journey of the eldest son of a ‘50s family and his relationship with his father.
Do say: “I’ve never seen a movie like this before.”
Don’t say: “I have no idea what this movie is about.”
Where to see it: On DVD, Netflix, iTunes.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis
Plot: A young man enlists to serve in World War I in order to find his horse, which has been sold to the cavalry.
Do say: “Did you know that War Horse is based on a Tony award-winning play?”
Don’t say: “He risked his life for a horse?”
Where to see it: Magic Lanterns Theatres- Carlton Cinemas, 20 Carlton Street at Yonge, Regent Theatre, 551 Mt Pleasant Rd.