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Film

Reel Forecast: Oscar Predictions, Oversights & Free Live Feed at Cinema du Parc

Posted by Andrés / March 5, 2010

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Lots of Oscar substitutes for FRIDAY MAR 5 to THURSDAY MAR 11

Oscar weekend is here and no one seems to care. Ratings have slumped in recent years as more viewers switch off the 4+ hour-long ceremony for better things: like bed. Others watch only the red carpet, hoping to gleam some trendy new million dollar dress, permutations of which may one day be hidden on a Winners sale rack. I'm all about the results, which in recent years have been anything but inspiring for a film enthusiast. This year Oscar shakes things up: two hosts, ten Best Film nominees. Below find my predictions, recommendations and what the Oscars would look like if I were in charge. You can be sure there would be no grab bags or inane political speeches at the podium. Cue music.

Despite an early push by critics for Up in the Air, the two real contenders in the Best Film category are Avatar and The Hurt Locker. The other seven choices are commendable, but filler. Like Titanic and Slumdog Millionaire before it, James Cameron's 3D film will probably win as the Oscars try to drag in more casual viewers to the program, as well as make a push for more theatre-going experiences in which we can spend more money to wear plastic glasses. Though if they want to surprise everyone (as they did in 2006 picking Crash), they could pick the Animated favourite Up. If Avatar wins Best Picture, the Academy will likely forego picking Cameron for director and instead go for Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), making her the first female director to win the award. In the Best Actor and Best Actress categories I would be surprised not to see Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) win, with Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo'Nique (Precious) taking the Supporting awards. Up in the Air and Inglourious Basterds will likely pick up in the writing categories, automatically disqualifying them for Best Picture. Expect Avatar to win most of the technical categories, either to supplement its Best Picture win or in favour of one. White Ribbon will deservedly win Best Foreign Language Picture, while Up will take Best Animated Film, though Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline were more memorable and cohesive experiences for me (Up sort of fell apart after the initial 45 minutes). The Cove will win in Documentary. It is a strong documentary, but less important than Food Inc.

Everyone was (here comes a pun) sort of blind-sided by some of the picks in the Best Picture category, but the additions of five more nominees has given the Academy place to highlight film that normally would be forgotten. Regardless, there are notable absences: (500) Days of Summer, Adventureland, Bright Star (outside of Costume Design), The Informant!, Sugar, Tulpan, The Hangover, 35 Shots of Rum. Despite this, the move to include more nominees is a welcome one. There were no outstanding films in 2009, as opposed to 2007, a year that really would have benefited from ten nominees. There also needs to be more of a separation of categories a la Golden Globes, as it's always difficult to choose between the mainstream entertainment fare that is Avatar and a limited release film like The Hurt Locker. It all comes down to limited critically-acclaimed release vs. record-breaking wide release on Sunday, and you can watch the showdown at Cinema du Parc for free!

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FRIDAYGOSSES DE TOKYO (dir. Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1932, 100 min) A classic silent by legendary filmmaker Ozu accompanied on piano by Gabriel Thibaudeau with French intertitles (FO) Cinémathèque québécoise 6:30pm $6-7 More Info / WAITING FOR LOVE (dir. James Lee, Malaysia, 2007, 70 min) A minimalist film on three couples who reevaluate their relationships (EST) Cinémathèque québécoise 7pm $6-7 More Info / DU NOUVEAU À WITTSTOCK (dir. Volker Koepp, Germany, 1992, 96 min) Twenty years of living under communism, twenty years in the lives of textile factory-working women, twenty years of complicity between the women and the director (FST) Goethe Institut 7pm $6-7 More Info / KINO MONTREAL Short films made by members of the local chapter of Kino (EFF) Lion d'Or 8pm Free More Info / QUAND PASSENT LES CIGOGNES (dir. Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1957, 95 min) Deux jeunes Moscovites tombent amoureux, mais la guerre les sépare sans qu'ils aient pu se dire au revoir (FST) Cinémathèque québécoise 8:30pm $6-7 More Info / FILMS OF TAMAS WORMSER Lyrical documentaries by a local filmmaker; screening of Hand to Hand, Traveling Light, and Touched by Water; followed by discussion with director (EO) Casa Obscura 9pm Free More Info

SATURDAYTHE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF GIRL (artist: Diyan Achjadi) "The Girl", a forever-flat golden-skinned girl of unspecified ethnic or national origin. She exists in an imaginary pink- and red-hued space, where she may be both the heroine and the victim of a series of vague circumstances in changing urban landscapes; animated contemporary art exhibit runs until April 10th (EFF) Oboro More Info / SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (dir. Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, USA, 1952, 103 min) I really shouldn't have to say too much about this film, except that if you haven't seen this comedic musical about the move from silent film to talkies, this is the time to do it (EO) Cinémathèque québécoise 5pm $6-7 More Info / THE LAST CARAVAN (dir. Peter Benovsky, Slovakia, 2008, 64 min) A documentary about the life of the last travelling puppeteers of Central Europe, from Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany (EST) Théâtre Outremont 5pm $8 More Info / LES VERTES ANNÉES (dir. Paulo Rocha, Portugal, 1963, 90 min) L'idylle entre un apprenti cordonnier et une jeune serveuse « moderne » qui travaille comme employée de maison dans un luxueux appartement (FST) Cinémathèque québécoise 8:15pm $6-7 More Info / MARTIN (dir. George A. Romero, 1977, 95 min) Before returning to zombies for which he is best known, Romero made this little-known character study of a young man who believes he is a vampire (EO) Cinémathèque québécoise 10:30pm $6-7 More Info

SUNDAYBLED NUMBER ONE (dir. Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Fr.-Alg., 2006, 97 min) Une collection de scènes à caractère ethnosocial cerne l'identité algérienne : rassemblement au temple, sacrifice du bœuf, match de foot, chique de drogue, dominos, tout y est (FO) Cinémathèque québécoise 5pm $6-7 More Info / QUARTIER SANS SOLEIL (dir. Satsuo Yamamoto, Japan, 1954, 130 min) En 1925, les ouvriers d'une imprimerie se mettent en grève. Leurs conditions de vie ne font alors qu'empirer et les familles en souffrent (FST) Cinémathèque québécoise 7pm $6-7 More Info / ACADEMY AWARDS CEREMONY 2010 Live feed of the ceremonies on the big screen; first come first served (EFF) Cinéma du Parc 7pm Free More Info

MONDAYLE HÉRISSON (dir. Mona Achache, France, 2009, 100 min) Paloma is a serious, but deeply bored 11-year-old, who has decided to kill herself on her twelfth birthday - hey, it's a comedy! (FO) Cinéma du Parc 6:30pm $10 More Info / CHECKPOINT ROCK: SONGS FROM PALESTINE (dir. Fermin Muguruza, Sp.-Pal., 2009, 73 min) Follows musicians from the towns along the wartorn Gaza Strip; preceded by the 30 minute short Up Front: 3 Palestinian Women (EST) Concordia University 7:30pm Free More Info / THE KARATE KID (dir. John G. Avildsen, USA, 1984, 120 min) Movie Mondays will present one of the greatest love stories ever told, The Karate Kid. Marvel as Mr. Miyagi takes a dopey, punching bag-of-a-Cinderfella and turns him into Ralph Macchio! (EO) Mainline Theatre 8pm Free More Info

WEDNESDAYI'VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING (dir. Patricia Rozema, Canada, 1987, 81 min) Scatterbrained Polly gets a job as a secretary in Gabrielle's art gallery. Gabrielle has a romantic relationship with the painter Mary (EFF) Cinémathèque québécoise 6:30pm $6-7 More Info / GREAT PERFORMANCES: KUROSAWA (dir. Adam Low, USA-UK-Jpn., 2001, 120 min) Celebrate what would have been Akira Kurosawa's 100th birthday with this documentary on the filmmaker (EO) Cinémathèque québécoise 7pm $6-7 More Info / EARTH KEEPERS (dir. Sylvie Van Brabant, Canada, 2009, 82 min) This documentary invites viewers to follow environmentalist Mikael Rioux as he meets exceptional men and women behind innovative projects for the future of society; followed by a discussion with the director (FO) NFB Cinérobothèque 7pm Free More Info

THURSDAYCOURTS MÉTRAGES DE FRANCOIS REICHENBACH A collection of six narrated travel docs from Houston to Paris (FO) Cinémathèque québécoise 4pm $6-7 More Info / SCHULTZE GETS THE BLUES (dir. Michael Scorr, Germany, 2003, 114 min) The story of a retired German miner who discovers the fiery music of the American South and decides travel to the States and tour with his accordion (FST) Goethe Institut 7pm $6-7 More Info / REMORQUES (dir. Jean Grémillon, France, 1939, 91 min) Jouissant d'une magnifique réputation d'héroïsme, le capitaine André Laurent sauve Catherine, qu'il sauve en pleine tempête d'un cargo en détresse, et qui va bouleverser sa vie (FO) Cinémathèque québécoise 8:30pm $6-7 More Info / THE WHITE STRIPES UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS (dir. Emmett Malloy, USA, 2009, 93 min) The film documents the band playing shows all over Canada; from local bowling alleys, to city buses, and onward to the historic Savoy Theatre for the 10th Anniversary show. A show that turned out to be the longest show the band had ever done on stage together. (EO) Cinéma du Parc 9pm $8-11 More Info

Legend: EST (English Subtitles), FST (French Subtitles), EO (English Only), FO (French Only), EFF (English & French Friendly)

20100305_reelforecast2.jpg OPENING THIS WEEK Alice in Wonderland, Brooklyn's Finest, Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

For a full listing of mainstream film theatres & showtimes visit Cinéma Montréal.

Above images courtesy press releases for respective films. Text pulled from event websites where possible.

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