Oscar-Nominated Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 2/21/19 – 2/27/19

In so, so many ways it’s crunch time in New Orleans right now.  Parades are rolling, Mardi Gras costume supplies are frantically being hot-glued together, and everyone’s social calendars are bursting at the seams.  Awards Season movie distribution slows down for no one, though, and the 2019 Oscars ceremony is arriving this week whether or not this city is prepared for it.

To help keep the volatile clash of Oscar buzz & Bourbon Street daquiri buzz manageable, we’re going to keep this week’s local screenings round-up as simple as possible. Here are some recommendations for Oscar-nominated movies that are screening around New Orleans, what they’re nominated for, and where to find them.

Roma, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina De Tavira), Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay – Alfonso Cuarón’s staggering black & white period-piece epic & personal memoir is a major Oscar contender, but most people have  only had a chance to see it at home on Netflix. We’re one of the few cities where audiences can fully immerse themselves in its lush cinematography & meticulously detailed sound design on the big screen. Returning for a second theatrical run at The Broad Theater.

The Favourite,  nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, and Best Production Design – Yorgos Lanthimos follows up the stubbornly obscure The Killing of a Sacred Deer with his most accessible feature yet: a queer, darkly funny costume drama about a three-way power struggle between increasingly volatile women (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz). It’s both a gorgeous laugh riot and a pitch-black howl of unending cruelty & despair. Fun! Only playing at The Broad Theater.

If Beale Street Could Talk, nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Regina King), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score Barry Jenkins follows up his Best Picture winner Moonlight with an adaptation of a James Baldwin novel set in 1970s Harlem. Brimming with gorgeous costumes, sensual romance, and a seething indictment of America’s inherently racist system of “justice.” Only playing at The Prytania Theatre.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse nominated for Best Animated Feature Film – In the abstract, the concept of a 2010s CG animation Spider-Man origin story sounds dreadful. In practice, prankster screenwriter Phil Lord explodes the concept into a wild cosmic comedy by making a movie about the world’s over-abundance of Spider-Man origin stories (and about the art of CG animation at large). Spider-Verse is a shockingly imaginative, beautiful, and hilarious take on a story & a medium that should be a total drag, but instead is bursting with energetic life & psychedelic creativity. Playing at AMC Elmwood & AMC Westbank.

Cold War, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography – A Polish romance drama from the director of Ida, covering multiple decades of a single relationship in 90 swooning minutes of crisp black & white splendor and despair. Playing only at The Broad Theater. Playing at The Broad Theater & AMC Elmwood.

-Brandon Ledet

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