Beginning Friday, Feb. 1, Turner Classic Movies will be spending 31 days in uninterrupted Oscar heaven. Each day has a theme, from adventure films to musicals, politics to sci-fi. Each night, on the other hand, is devoted to a different time period, starting with the 1920s and running all through way through the present. It’s an homage to films we love and films we should have heard of. TCM has done this each of the last several years. Personally, I love having a chance to catch some of the classics that I’ve never gotten around to seeing, like The African Queen, On the Waterfront, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and All About Eve.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that things may indeed be looking up in the battle between the WGA and the muckety-muck studio heads, this year’s Oscar broadcast remains in jeopardy. In fact, the powers-that-be have started making contingency plans for Oscar night, just in case things don’t go off without a hitch.
Since the Oscar broadcast is the only awards show I tend to watch from beginning to end with anything close to devotion, I would be highly miffed should I not get my yearly dose of pomp and circumstance. But, after reading throught the list of films that TCM plans to offer up in the course of the next moon cycle, I’ve decided I could likely survive the havoc of an Oscar-less February. Here are just some of the films (or entire days) during which I plan to plop down on my sofa with a big bowl of popcorn, a very large diet soda, and a nice cozy blanket.
Friday afternoon, Five Easy Pieces will be my first stop on the cinematic cruise line. Why would I want to sit through Jack Nicholson‘s testosterone-fueled adventure across the country? Two reasons, really. First, despite the part of my brain that wishes it were otherwise, I love Jack. Second, I plan to play a little game of "Where’s Fannie?" Somewhere in the midst of this road trip saga is a young Fannie Flagg. That’s right, she didn’t just write Fried Green Tomatoes.
On Saturday, I don’t plan to leave the sofa at all. Starting at 7:15 in the morning, I can revel in an entire day of sci-fi greatness, including 2010, Forbidden Planet, Them! and the original The War of the Worlds.
The following Saturday, Feb. 9, I plan to relive my high school heyday with a series of ’80s flicks that include a cartoon rabbit and his very well-drawn girlfriend Jessica.
I’ll also stick around for Wargames, Stand By Me and Dead Poets Society.
On Feb. 23, I will again be spending an entire day doing nothing but solidifying my status as a couch potato. That’s Alfred Hitchcock day. It starts with Shadow of a Doubt, gets a little Psycho in the middle and ends with Tippi Hedren in The Birds.
Not into Hitchcock? How about a trio of Jodie Foster flicks, sprinkled throughout the month? Watch her discuss dining habits with Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs on Feb. 10.
See her make Contact on Feb. 24.
And admire her poker face as she dukes it out in Maverick on March 2.
With more then 350 films in 31 days, I’m sure there’s something in there for all of us. Well, except for lesbian content, that is. We shouldn’t get greedy.