Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards are quickly approaching, and as usual, a few films we played at the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema were in the mix.
The science-fiction epic Dune received 10 nominations — second only to Jane Campion’s psychosexual Western The Power of the Dog, which received 12. You may have seen director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel at Sidewalk back in October. Hopefully, you saw it on a big screen somewhere; its unparalleled (and Oscar-nominated) cinematography, visual effects, and sound add up to a grand spectacle particularly designed for theaters.
Did you catch Drive My Car back in January? The tender Japanese drama from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi is an unexpected contender in the best picture race. Despite coming from a small distributor (the fantastic folks at Janus Films) without the big advertising dollars the studios have, and largely based on excellent word of mouth from critics and audiences, Drive My Car became the first Japanese film nominated for best picture, and Hamaguchi the first Japanese director to contend for best director since the great Akira Kurosawa was nominated in 1985 for his King Lear adaptation Ran.
Speaking of Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Macbeth was a popular ticket at Sidewalk in January, and Denzel Washington is now an Oscar nominee for his thunderous lead performance in Joel Coen’s brilliant reimagining. This is Washington’s 10th Oscar nomination. But receiving her first is Kristen Stewart, so gripping as a tormented Princess Diana in Spencer. We played director Pablo Larrain’s biopic-as-psychological-thriller back in November, where its unpredictable story was particularly captivating on the big screen.
And you may have caught two of the year’s biggest documentaries at Sidewalk. Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), director Questlove’s brilliant music documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, was a popular selection at the cinema and the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival, where it played in the beautiful Lyric Theatre. And we just closed our run of Flee, the innovative animated documentary that tells the story of a gay Afghan refugee’s coming of age. Flee popped up as a nominee in the categories of best-animated feature, best international feature, and best documentary feature — a historic hat trick.
Finally, best international feature and best original screenplay nominee The Worst Person in the World. The charming and inventive Norwegian romantic comedy, one of the most surprising films of 2021 played as part of our Women In Film Week.
Join us at Sidewalk on Sunday, March 27, to watch the Academy Awards! We’ll be hosting a watch party along with a FREE, LIVE Academy-Award Edition Podcast recording of Sidetalks, the official, film-centric podcast of Sidewalk Film. RSVP here.