Oscar Race: The clock is ticking for fans to devour nominated films

NEW YORK — As a film fanatic from Oklahoma City, Elyssa Mann has little time to lose and only has four more films to tick off her Oscars list before Sunday’s Academy Awards airs: two animated films, one for cinematography and one for costume design.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Steve Tornello has only one left — the latest “Avatar” — before he can fairly judge all 10 Best Picture nominees.

In the perfect multiverse, time would bend to allow movie buffs to watch everything at once, anywhere. But in the real world, not the wide-eyed world, time ticks on, and that makes it difficult for die-hard movie enthusiasts to fill every gap in their personal Oscars list.

“I have four Oscars films left to watch all nominated for picture/act/craft/etc.,” Mann wrote in a tweet, “and it feels kind of insurmountable.”

By the looks of it, the time change on Sunday morning (don’t forget to jump ahead) means an hour less to munch on.

“I’m a person who thrives under pressure like I need the deadline. So it’s good that he’s around,” Mann, a 31-year-old marketer, said during a phone call. “Now I have to watch her.”

She’ll look at two or three Saturdays and save whatever is left for Sunday before the ceremony. Since the New Year, she has seen almost 30 of the nominated films and escalated her project when the nominations were announced in late January. She acknowledged there isn’t enough time to look at the nominees in a handful of categories, including documentaries.

It would take days without sleep to watch each of the more than 50 films that have received at least one nomination in one of the roughly two dozen categories that receive awards.

In theory, Academy voters should watch every film. But even for the pros, that doesn’t seem to happen. Does anyone have time?

Tornello, an aspiring screenwriter and creative director for a tech company, is trying to carve out some time this weekend to finally trudge to the cinema to see Avatar: The Way of Water, the last movie on his list.

“I’ve got a lot on my mind right now,” he says. “This is a film that I know I have to see in theaters to get the full experience.”

He mostly watched the rest at home via a streaming service.

Drawn by all the hype, he saw Everything Everywhere All at Once shortly after its release last spring. Earlier this month he saw “Women Talking”.

“I try to see as many films as possible that I think will be nominated before the Oscar nominations come out,” Tornello said. “I want to see them all so I can really enjoy the show.”

Like Mann, James Bramble has already seen all the nominees for Best Picture and More.

“So I’ve seen that every picture has been nominated for Best International Film, Best Documentary, Best Animated Film, and before Sunday night I’ll be done,” he said, saying he has a few more in the short film categories that don’t have much time take a look.

Inevitably, each year films are nominated that he considers a waste of time. Not this year, he said.

“I’ve really liked everything I’ve seen so far. Yes, it’s a good year,” said Bramble, a Salt Lake City attorney.

Man hopes to beat the clock.

On her watch list this weekend: The animated films Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Blushing and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris for costume design and Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths for cinematography.

She should have started earlier, she confessed.

“It’s something I’ve always considered, but it just seemed like too big a project for me,” she said. But with the deep winter doldrums, she needed a way out. “I love movies. So I thought this would be fun.”


For more information on the Oscars, visit https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards

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