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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

Marshall Cinema opens two more Best Picture nominees

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 9:42 AM

"Life of Pi" depicts a story of survival for a boy sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. It opens at Marshall Cinema this weekend with fellow Oscar contender "Silver Linings Playbook".
Starting tomorrow, Marshall Cinema will be screening two more of this year's Best Picture Academy Award nominees. On Friday at 7 p.m. the local independently run cinema will begin runs of "Life of Pi" in 3D and "Silver Linings Playbook", continuing a recent trend of screening the latest Best Picture contenders.

"Life of Pi" has been nominated in a total of 11 categories in this year's Oscar contest, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, and almost all of the technical categories. It is an adaptation of the popular novel of the same name by Yann Martel. It tells the story of a boy who is stranded at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The tiger is a ferocious killer trying to survive the ordeal, like the boy. He's a real tiger, not some nice film pet version of one. This makes the boy's ordeal to survive that much more difficult. Through this experience, the boy finds his faith in God to be strengthened rather than weakened.

The movie is a visual feast, providing some of the most beautiful cinema made over all time. It benefits greatly from its 3D presentation. It is a family friendly film, although it isn't a Disney-style comedic romp. It's a serious look at survival for a teen. I liken it to my experience seeing the movie "Black Stallion" as a kid. It's more mature than most family films, but it's a satisfying experience for all ages. It holds the number 5 spot in my Best Films of 2012 list.

"Silver Linings Playbook" has been nominated for a total of 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the first movie in 31 years to have nominations in all four acting categories. Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, it tells the story of a man sentenced to a mental institution after a violent outburst. Diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, he is remanded to the care of his parents and immediately sets out to get back together with his wife, who has taken out a restraining order on him. He meets another woman with her own social difficulties who agrees to help him get back together with his wife if he will dance with her in an amateur competition. The two are drawn together through their similar social difficulties.

The story is essentially a romantic comedy with some serious issues at its core. There are some very funny moments and some emotionally dramatic ones. The performances are as good as their nominations might suggest. Starring Bradley Cooper from "The Hangover", Jennifer Lawrence from "The Hunger Games", Robert DeNiro and Jacki Cooper, the film is a good crowd pleaser. It is rated 'R' for some pretty harsh language and some sexuality.

The Academy Awards will be announced February 24th live on ABC at 6pm.

Marshall Cinema will also continue its screenings of "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" in 3D. My review of that film will be posted tomorrow.

Read my review of "Life of Pi" here and my review of "Silver Linings Playbook" here.

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Andrew is a professionally trained actor and stage director. He was a reporter for the daily newspaper The Marshall Democrat News. He has been critiquing film since Mr. Lucas released the first of his "Star Wars" prequels in 1999. His reviews can also be seen at his blog site.
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