Continuing its Academy Awards-nominated screenings, the Malibu Film Society will be showing a double feature of “Blue Valentine” and “Biutiful” on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue.
“Blue Valentine” is a stark, slice-of-life film about a couple (played by Michelle Williams, Oscar nominated for Best Actress, and Ryan Gosling) struggling with a disintegrating marriage. Depicted through flashbacks and present day scenes, their romance is woven in between the build toward the intense climax.
Up for two Academy Awards, for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor (Javier Bardem), “Biutiful” follows Uxbal (Bardem) as he reconciles with a diagnosis of terminal cancer and how to provide for his two children, while coping with the consequences of a separation from a bipolar wife he still loves, his illegal work and multiple tragedies. Ironically, in his darkest moment Uxbal steps into the light.
The Malibu Film Society works a year in advance on their Awards Season Screening Series.
“During awards season, we actively seek out the likely top contenders – especially those which otherwise won’t be shown publicly on the big screen in Malibu,” Scott Tallal, executive director of the Malibu Film Society, said. “The selection process actually starts when we begin to track films that are generating the most buzz on the festival circuit. By November, we start monitoring film industry trade publications and awards-related advertising by the studios and distributors, so that we can identify the three to four dozen films that are most likely to be nominated across the various categories.”
Once the film society’s programming committee makes its selections, they work with the studios and distributors, who have special departments set up to specifically manage their awards advertising and marketing campaigns. They also work with the publicists to secure the guest speakers they most often have following the film.
“Due to our limited resources, the film society can only budget a relatively small number of screenings each year,” Tallal said. “Fortunately, this year marks the first time that one of the studios has agreed to supplement our schedule by paying to have their own night of screenings.”
The MFS’ Awards Season Screening Series was scheduled to conclude with the showings of “Blue Valentine” and “Biutiful,” but, Tallal said, Sony has just arranged to extend the season by booking “The Illusionist” (nominated for Best Animated Feature) along with an encore presentation of “The Social Network” on Saturday, Feb. 12.
“Blue Valentine” will screen at 5:30 p.m. and “Biutiful” screens at 8 p.m. at the Malibu Screening Room in the MJC&S, located at 24855 Pacific Coast Highway.
Individual tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for faculty, and $5 for students in advance by purchase at www.malibufilmsociety.org or for $10 more at the door. A discount of $25 will be offered for the double feature on Feb. 9. During awards season, all voting members of the Academy are admitted free of charge.