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Commentary: Columnist watches every nominated film

23 March 2014 By Nick Salacki, Columnist No Comments

This past winter and prior, I used all of my free time to visit as many cinemas, theaters and movie houses to see as many films as possible that were involved with this past year’s award season, including the Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and the Oscars. It was my goal to watch, or rather experience, all Oscar-related films so I could make my own personal and critical votes for almost all Academy Award categories. It was only by chance that I would be granted the opportunity to write five-plus columns for The Towerlight, analyzing and commenting on the four acting categories and Best Picture category from the Academy Awards. This is how I was able to experience the majority of this past year’s critically acclaimed films.

For films nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes, I visited a total of four theaters, watching a total of approximately 25 motion pictures, including the Oscar-nominated short “Get a Horse!” which was shown before “Frozen.”

In July 2013, my family and I visited the Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, Md. to watch Noah Baumbach’s film “Frances Ha,” starring Greta Gerwig, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

In Oct. 2013, I visited Cinemark Egyptian 24 to watch Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.” Both of these films were nominated for countless awards, with “Gravity” sweeping the board for most of the Oscars pertaining to the artistic side.

Throughout winter break in Dec. 2013 and Jan. 2014, I visited the great Charles Theater, one of Baltimore’s top attractions. I sometimes went with a friend and other times with my mother. At this theater, I watched “Dallas Buyers Club” (turning out to be my favorite film from 2013), “Philomena” and “Nebraska.” I have been to the Charles Theater many times. It is so quaint and I recommend that everyone pay it a visit.

On a single day, and for the whole day, in early Jan. 2014, I traveled to Washington, D.C. via a MARC train to visit a friend in the hospital, later visiting an underground, independently owned theater, the West End Cinema on M Street, to watch two films. At 5 p.m., I watched the one-man survival film with the handsome Robert Redford, “All Is Lost.” Redford only received a Globe nomination and the film only received one Oscar nomination for Sound Editing.

After watching the Redford film I then went outside to the lobby to purchase one of the best popcorns I have ever tasted. I took my seat in the next theater to watch the three-hour-long French love story entitled “Blue is the Warmest Color.” Yes, there were multiple graphic sex scenes and they may have overshadowed the movie’s message, which was most likely why the film was snubbed for an Oscar nomination. The girl-on-girl love scenes were a bit overdrawn. Disregarding this, the rest of the film was so enjoyable that it did not even feel like a three-hour film.

As a result of spending the day in the cold D.C. weather, I unfortunately contracted a terrible cold the next day, which lasted for an entire week. Was the trip worth the infection? Definitely.

I could not wait to watch the two films I watched and I found a new movie theater that I can add to my list of favorites.

The other 17 motion pictures that I watched all played at Cinemark Egyptian 24. I work there part time and I have the privilege of seeing movies for free.

I greatly appreciate my secure job at Cinemark because I definitely would not be able to afford seeing over a dozen films with just a student discount.

I wouldn’t be wasting money because I love movies, but I would be spending a great deal of money. So I am happy to be able to save that money instead.

The 17 films I saw included “Blue Jasmine,” “August: Osage County,” “Frozen” (one of my favorites), “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Prisoners,” the visually stunning “The Great Gatsby,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Lone Survivor,” “Iron Man 3” and the Mickey Mouse short “Get a Horse!”

After reminiscing about my adventures of watching all these fantastic films, I can safely say that it was the highlight of my winter break.

It was more fun than making money at my job, more fun than my crazy night on New Year’s Eve and more fun than nearly getting frostbite shoveling snow.

This past year has been an adventure and I am already making a list of possible Oscar contenders for 2015 including “The Lego Movie,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Nymphomaniac.”

I can’t wait to do this again.

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