March is Oscar month? As Gary Cooper would say… “Yup.” This year’s March 2 ceremony marks only the second time in eight years that the biggest night in Hollywood isn’t in February, so it’s no accident that the Flint Institute of Arts movie menu for the month has an Academy-quality look.
This prestigious air is most pronounced March 27-30, when the museum’s Friends of Modern Art film series presents Academy Award-nominated short films. Expect both live-action and animated delights; by then, you’ll know which ones showing on the FIA Theater screen will have won. Consult the FIA website for our schedule of shorts.
Past Oscar nominees Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas can be seen in the FIA’s March 14-16 offering, the English drama The Invisible Woman, a current nominee for best costume design. Fiennes, who also directed, stars as the Charles Dickens you don’t know anything about – the one who maintained a lengthy, secret relationship with a much younger woman, played by Felicity Jones, who became his secret paramour and muse (111 min., rated R).
Bérénice Bejo, an Academy Award Best Actress nominee for The Artist a few years back, stars in the FIA’s March 21-23 selection, the French-Italian drama The Past. It concerns a French woman who requests a divorce from her estranged husband returning from Iran. This “almost hypnotically compelling” drama about guilt, choice, and responsibility “leaves the viewer reeling by its conclusion,” says USA Today (130 min., rated PG-13).
On March 13, the museum’s “Best of FOMA” classics series continues its once-a-month run with Winter’s Bone, the 2010 drama that brought Jennifer Lawrence her breakout role and the first of three Oscar nominations as an Ozark teen keeping her family together through unusual circumstances. John Hawkes earned a supporting-actor Oscar nomination for this film, which the FIA is bringing back for one night only (100 min., rated R).
The FIA’s March 7-9 offering is Somm, a documentary about four aspiring wine masters who attempt to pass the difficult exam necessary to joining the elite Court of Master Sommeliers. Consider this fascinating flick a warm-up for the museum’s 15th-annual wine tasting event on March 22 (93 min., not rated).
All FIA screenings begin at 7:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and select Thursdays, and 2pm on Sundays. General admission tickets are available at the door for $6, $5 for FIA members and $4 for FOMA members. For more details, call the museum at 810.234.1695 or visit flintarts.org.
Associate curator of Film at the Flint institute of arts, Ed Bradley was entertainment editor and film critic at the Flint Journal from 1989-2007. He teaches Journalism at the University of michigan-Flint and Film appreciation in the Fia art School, and has authored two books on early Hollywood cinema.