Some people prep for the Oscars by planning a viewing party while others set a goal of seeing as many nominated films as they can. The latter are in luck.
Many of the movies that garnered Oscar nominations are already out on DVD or can be found through your cable company's on demand. While some are still widely available on the big screen, almost all will be on disc soon after the 86th Academy Awards on March 2.
As for those hard-to-predict categories of short films on your Oscar ballot, there will be opportunities to see them. A program of all five Oscar-nominated documentary short films will screen at Laemmle's The Royal in West L.A. beginning Feb. 14. On the same day, programs of the Oscar-nominated live action shorts and Oscar-nominated animated shorts will start screening at Laemmle's Pasadena Playhouse 7 and Laemmle's NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.
Theatre Raymond Kabbaz in West L.A. will screen two of the Oscar-nominated short films, “Mr. Hublot” (animated) and “Avant Que De Tout Perdre” (live action) 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, followed by a Q&A session with “Hublot's” director Alexandre Espigares. The event is free but attendees must RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of the nine films nominated for best picture, “Captain Phillips” and “Dallas Buyers Club” are already out on DVD. The others are still in theaters. The visually spectacular “Gravity” is due out on DVD Feb. 25, as is “Nebraska.” “America Hustle,” which received four acting and best director nods, will be out on disc March 18, and another favorite, “12 Years a Slave,” right after the Oscars on March 4. There has been no announcements yet on “Her,” “Philomena” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” but don't expect them to linger on the big screen, especially since none are expected to win.
As for all the acting nods, only four were not from the best picture nominationss. Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins got two for “Blue Jasmine,” which also netted Woody Allen a best original screenplay nomination. It already is out on DVD. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts picked up the other two for “August: Osage County,” still in theaters with no DVD release date set.
Of the animated films, “The Croods” and “Despicable Me 2” are on DVD. The big one, Disney's “Frozen,” comes out March 18. The more obscure “The Wind Rises,” from Japanese great Hayao Miyazaki, will be at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 21, and the French “Ernest & Celestine” won't hit theaters until March 14. Oscar voters are presumably watching it on screeners.
For cinematography buffs, of the three not part of the best-picture list, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is still on screens but hits disc on March 11, while “The Grandmaster,” also a costume nominee, and “Prisoners” are already on DVD. The other non-best pic nominee for costumes, “The Invisible Woman,” just hit theaters.
The American Cinemathque will screen Belgium's entry for best foreign language film, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. The organization also will screen all of the Oscar-nominated live action shorts 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and later that night, starting at 9:30, it will show the nominated animated shorts. Not stopping there, the nominated documentary shorts will be screened March 1 at 7 p.m. and again at 10:15.
Of the best documentary list, “The Act of Killing,” “Cutie and the Boxer,” “Dirty Wars” and “20 Feet from Stardom” are all on disc, and a favorite, “The Square,” is streaming on Netflix.
Best adapted screenplay nominee “Before Midnight” is out on DVD as are visual effects nominees “Iron Man 3,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” “Gravity” was one, of course, and another, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is still in theaters and waiting for a DVD release date.
Meanwhile, Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, is offering a few interesting Oscar-related nights. On Feb. 11, “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuarón will be on hand, and “Nebraska” director Alexander Payne will be in conversation on Feb. 27. A writing and directing panel on Feb. 19 includes Oscar nominated screenwriters Julie Delpy (“Before Midnight”) and Bob Nelson (“Nebraska”).
All panels will take place at The Landmark – West Los Angeles, 10850 West Pico Blvd. For passes and information go to www.filmindependent.org or call 310-432-1213.