As many have noted (including us), there are fears that this year’s Oscar telecast will be especially low-rated because few viewers have seen the nominated movies, so it’s unlikely that they’ll have enough emotional investment in the voting results to tune in. Fortunately, the AMC cinema chain is doing its part to remedy that situation. On Saturday, Feb. 24 (the day before the Academy Awards), many AMC screens across the country will be showing all five Best Picture nominees in a 12-hour marathon. For $30, you get to see all five movies (starting at 11 a.m. with Babel, then The Queen, The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, and wrapping with Little Miss Sunshine), plus you get all the popcorn and soda you want, as well as a collectible pass commemorating the event.
Now, PopWatch doesn’t have any marketing ties to this event, but we’re endorsing it for two reasons: first, because these are five fine movies, worthy of your rooting interest at awards time, and second, because we’d be fascinated to know what it’s like to sit through all five of these movies in one afternoon. So if any of you plan to go and risk movie-seat saddle sores, salt-and-cola-induced hypertension, and grim depression from all the death and misery in these five pictures, we’d love for you to report back on your experiences. If you can convince us below why we should pick you as our designated Oscar marathoner, we’ll post here on EW.com your account of your day spent watching all five films.
A word of caution: Babel is emotional and moving — literally moving, too much so. It features the shakiest, jitteriest steadicam work since Husbands and Wives, and watching it actually made me motion-sick, so much so that I had to run to the bathroom two-thirds of the way through and hurl my breakfast. So you might want to wait until The Queen to grab your snacks and drinks.