To complement this year’s Oscar nominated films, Thursday is the night for Oscar classics at the Strand Arts Centre with a season of Best Picture winners from previous years.
January 21 & 28, 8pm
In 1969, John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy saw off stiff competition from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to take home the Best Picture statuette. Convinced of his irresistible appeal to women, Texas dishwasher Joe Buck (Jon Voight) quits his job and heads for New York City, thinking he’ll latch on to some rich dowager. New York, however, is not as hospitable as he imagined, and Joe soon finds himself living in an abandoned building with a Dickensian layabout named Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).
February 4 & 11, 8pm
In American Beauty, Lester Burnham is a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Fed up with his boring, stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, responsibility-shirking teenager. What follows is at once cynical, hysterical, and, eventually, tragically uplifting.
Lawrence of Arabia
February 18 & 25, 8pm
An intermission will be provided for the Strand’s screening of David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia on 18th and 25th February. Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif head the all-star cast of this audacious and accomplished wartime drama that won seven Oscars including Freddie Young’s glorious cinematography’s and Maurice Jarre’s unforgettable score.
The Deer Hunter
March 3 & 10, 8pm
Seventies maverick Michael Cimino won Best Director for his 1977 Oscar winner The Deer Hunter and enjoyed short-lived success before the unfairly maligned masterpiece Heaven’s Gate tarnished his reputation three years later. In The Deer Hunter, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel town, prepare to ship out overseas following Steven’s elaborate wedding and one final group hunting trip. In Vietnam, their dreams of military honor are quickly shattered by the inhumanities of war; even those who survive are haunted by the experience, as is Nick’s hometown sweetheart, Linda (Meryl Streep).
March 17, 24, 31, 8pm
Shirley MacLaine steals the show in Billy Wilder’s simply perfect The Apartment. She controversially lost out on Best Actress to Elizabeth Taylor who had just recovered from an emergency tracheotomy which helped to boost her popularity in the lead up to the awards season. In The Apartment, MacLaine’s superlative performance is matched by Best Actor nominee Jack Lemmon as an employee who tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.
To book tickets for the Oscar season, phone 028 9065 5830 or book online at strandartscentre.com