Artfully Edmonds: The rush is on to see Oscar-nominated movies

Every year, it’s the same thing. Oscar nominations come out, and the rush is on to see as many films as possible before the Academy Awards ceremony. This year the deadline is Sunday, Feb. 24.

Personally, this gives me less than a month to see the 12 remaining movies on my list. It’s slightly insane, but I try to see every film nominated in the best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and supporting actress categories before the awards ceremony. It’s always a challenge.

A few films, like the highly lauded Roma, will be available on various streaming services. But if I can find a nominated film playing in a theater within a 30-mile radius, I’m going – and as far as I’m concerned, the more indie the theater, the better.

It’s a classic American pastime – the shared experience of watching a movie amongst a community of film lovers, nestled in with your popcorn, (Edmonds Theater’s is GMO free and uses real butter) — ready to be entertained and possibly amazed for a couple of hours. Sometimes I feel like people don’t fully appreciate what a great asset our little theater in downtown Edmonds really is. It draws people from all walks of life and makes our downtown core just a little more vibrant. It’s a gem.

Recently, as the credits rolled for Green Book, the Edmonds crowd I was with gave the film a rousing ovation. That’s an intangible quality to a moving picture experience that you can’t duplicate at home.

Edmonds Theater manager Chris Mayes

Fortunately, the Edmonds Theater manager, Chris Mayes, always does his best to populate the marquee with Oscar-nominated films. This year, his predictions were spot on. A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, all of which have received multiple nominations, have already had runs at the theater.

Currently they’re playing Vice, an amusing (I thought) and edifying portrayal of Dick Cheney that received eight nominations, including one for Christian Bale for his portrayal of Cheney.

On The Basis of Sex (the Ruth Bader Ginsberg biopic I’m dying to see), opens Feb. 8. RBG, also about Ruth Bader Ginsberg, garnered a nomination for best documentary feature.

The Favourite, which received a boatload of nominations, will begin its run at the Edmonds Theater just a couple of days before the Oscars hits the airwaves. If I haven’t OD’d on frozen Junior Mints and Cherry Coke by that time, I’ll see you there.

In the meantime, our two local community theatres are both preparing to open new shows. The Driftwood Players is presenting a serious historical drama entitled Silent Sky. Here’s the synopsis:

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

Learn more at

It opens Feb. 8.

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As always, The Phoenix Theatre will be striving to tickle your funny bone with It Could Be Any One of Us. Here’s what they say about it:

In a windswept country house a family of artistic failures wrangles over a will. A detective who has never solved a case, a writer whose works have never been published, an artist who’s never shown a painting, a composer whose compositions have never been performed, and a dysfunctional teenager are the prime ingredients for this murder mystery. The victim, however, is not who it should be, and the murderer’s identity changes overnight. Throw in a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and comedic thrills, and you’ve got The Phoenix Theatre’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s It Could Be Any One of Us.

Learn more at

Opens Feb. 1.

— By James Spangler

When not actively scheming about ways to promote the arts in Edmonds, James Spangler can be found (highly caffeinated) behind the counter of his bookstore on 4th Avenue.


  1. While not in Edmonds but certainly close enough, both Roma and Free Solo are currently playing at the Crest in Shoreline. I hadn’t been to the Crest in probably 15+ years but really wanted to see Roma on a bigger screen than streaming at home. At a $4 ticket price, it was well worth it and it’s my favorite movie of 2018. The seats at the Crest have been upgraded and are comfortable. I returned a couple weeks later to see Free Solo (Oscar-nominated for documentary), which was simply exhilarating! Just a correction to the article, On the Basis of Sex is not nominated for best documentary, that is RBG.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I too, love the Edmonds Theater. We are so lucky to have this “gem” in Edmonds!

  3. Michelle – thanks for the correction and the Crest mention. I’ve been wanting to see Free Solo as well and the Crest is my (second) favorite!


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