We love the Oscars. Sure, we don’t care for the ultra-fake speeches which are rehearsed down to the pauses, the pretend amazement and the false tears. Yes, we get annoyed by the minutely choreographed ceremony and the boring performances between the handing out of the golden statuettes. And we positively despise the Academy when its members ignore independent, off-the-beaten-track cinema and reward populist, crowd-pleasing filmmaking –which they do every year.
Yet, we love the Oscars. Thanks to the Academy Awards every year, film lovers in India have a sure-fire chance of watching movies that may not otherwise get released. Films like The Descendants and Moneyball have come to our cinemas because they star George Clooney and Brad Pitt, respectively, and not because they have been directed by Alexander Payne and Bennett Miller. However, offbeat movies like My Week with Marilyn and The Lady and The Artist get a big boost from Oscar nominations and awards. Time Out weighs in on the contest this year. Which cinematic tribute will win: the silent-era homage The Artist or Martin Scorsese’s love poem Hugo? Will it be Clooney or Pitt for Best Actor? Does Viola Davis stand a chance against Meryl Streep? Find out by reading our exclusive previews of the key films that matter this year – and will be playing in the cinemas through this fortnight and the next.