The 5-Day Oscar Countdown: Her, Great Documentaries & Lana Del Rey

Pack in some high-quality Oscar prep before Sunday's show

  • Share
  • Read Later
Warner Bros. Pictures

There’s only two more days until the Academy Awards, so it’s time to kick your Oscar prep into overdrive.

Today’s final Oscar cheat sheet will let you know what to watch before Sunday’s party. And if you don’t have time, just watch the trailers and read their Wikipedia pages. No one will know.

Watch in Theaters: Her

With two Best Picture nominees (Philomena and Her) left to see in theaters and only one day left to see them, this was a tough choice. Both films are frontrunners in just one category — Her for Best Original Screenplay and Philomena for Best Original Score — so it came down to setting. Which of these movies would benefit most from seeing it on the big screen? The answer, of course, is Her. This is a beautiful movie, and its vision of the near future isn’t dystopian — it’s just nice. Spike Jonze’s Los Angeles is a skyscraper and pedestrian-filled technological marvel, and his surprisingly gentle love story between a man and his operating system is one you won’t soon forget. Philomena can wait to be rented. The many, many, many tears you’ll shed can wait, too.

Watch at Home: 20 Feet from Stardom or The Act of Killing

If you’re in the mood to watch a documentary at home between now and Sunday evening, ask yourself one question: do I want to be shocked and horrified, or do I want to applaud my television? If you’re opting for shock and horror, watch The Act of Killing, a doc about the 500,000 people killed in Indonesia between 1965 and 1966. If you’d rather stand up and cheer, go with 20 Feet from Stardom — a rousing movie about the lives of the backup singers from music’s biggest acts. The decision is yours, so choose wisely.

Listen Right Now: Lana Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful”

Before the Academy Awards on Sunday, listen to the biggest snub of the night. Lana Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful” was the best part of a very bad movie (The Great Gatsby) and featured as a crucial element of making its (very few) good scenes effective. In my heart, she’s a winner. After listening, you may feel the same way.