Watch An Oscar Nominee At Tower Theatre

by Chris Narloch

It looks like it will be another rainy weekend in Sacramento, which means that indoor activities such as movie going are a great option if you find yourself with any free time.

The Tower on Broadway is just the place to have a post-Valentine’s Day rendezvous, and this weekend the theatre offers the added bonus of helping you get caught up on your Oscar nominees, since all four films playing there are in the running for Academy Awards this year.
Fact-based feel-good films were popular with the Academy this year, as witnessed by the Best Picture nominations for “Hidden Figures” and for this movie, about a five-year-old Indian boy separated from his family for decades who is reunited with his birth mother years after being adopted by another family.

The terrific young Indian actor who plays the lead at the start of the film is even more amazing if you know that he had never acted before, and handsome Dev Patel also gives a skillful performance as the adult Saroo.

A powerful and moving true story, “Lion” also features strong supporting work from Nicole Kidman, as the adoptive mother, and from Rooney Mara, as the girlfriend of grownup Saroo.

20th Century Women
I was disappointed that the great Annette Bening failed to receive an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her superb work in this funny film, but the movie did pick up a well-deserved nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, “20th Century Women” follows a teenage boy (Lucas Jade Zumann) whose worldview is altered by the three wonderful women in his life.

Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, and Billy Crudup round out the very accomplished cast.

The Salesman
This devastating Iranian drama is the movie I’m rooting for this year in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Cannes Film Festival Best Actor and Best Screenplay winner “The Salesman” follows a young couple living in Tehran that is forced to move into a new apartment after their old flat becomes damaged.

Eventually, an incident linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes the pair's life and drives a wedge between the formerly happy couple.

“The Salesman” is a fascinating study of how men and women view violence and mercy differently.

The Red Turtle
This is the only movie currently playing at Tower that I have not seen yet, but I will be rectifying that situation shortly. The film’s trailer looks beautiful, and the movie is nominated in the Best Animated Feature category at this year’s Oscars.

Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli explores a new creative direction with this realistically drawn feature created in partnership with Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit, who received a Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize for his work.

“The Red Turtle” is the dialogue-free tale of a shipwrecked man who establishes a family and a new life on an island inhabited only by majestic animals.

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