Limited Release, Big Impact

brie larson
brie larson
IAN SMITH | PHOTO COURTESY
For independent actors like Brie Larson, the Oscars can lead to wide-spread recognition.

How many people have seen “Brooklyn,” “The Danish Girl” or “Son of Saul”?

Despite not having a wide release, these films left an impression on critics and the Academy Awards nominating committee. For the nominated independent films, a nomination is a great honor, but they face tough competition.

Every year, large budget films are nominated for big awards at the Oscars, like “The Revenant” or “The Martian.” Although smaller, independent films tend to go relatively unnoticed, they also get nods in several important categories.

Of the films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, half have a budget under $28 million, which is relatively small in today’s cinema. The movie with the highest budget, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” has a lot more money attached to the project ($150 million) than the least expensive film nominated, “Room,” with a total budget of $6 million.

Emily Beck, executive director of Fargo Theatre, has seen many of these smaller, independent movies in her theatre. Beck thinks the nominations for these films are well deserved and good for the filmmakers and actors alike.

One movie that is actually currently playing at the theatre is “Son of Saul,” a heart wrenching foreign film depicting the Holocaust.

Some other movies that Beck has seen pass through the Fargo Theatre are “Brooklyn,” “Room” and “The Big Short.” She appreciates that these movies are deservingly nominated, because getting this kind of recognition draws a larger crowd.

Unfortunately, Beck does not believe that some of the lower budget movies have a chance at defeating flashier movies like “The Revenant” in the Best Picture category.

“Smaller movies have a better chance at winning in the acting categories, like Brie Larson in Room,'” Beck elaborates. “Brie did such a wonderful job as a mother raising her son in captivity and really deserves all the recognition she is receiving.”

Many other moviegoers definitely agree with Beck’s evaluation of Brie’s performance in the critically acclaimed drama, “Room.” This year could be Larson’s for the taking. After starring in “Trainwreck” a while ago and generating Oscar buzz with her starring role in “Room,” she is gaining a lot of attention.

Despite the fact that some scoff at the Oscars because they don’t think awards should be given to some of the nominated movies, Beck appreciates what a nomination could do to an actor’s or director’s careers.

Beck noted, “Alicia Vikander has a really great chance at winning in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in ‘The Danish Girl,’ and that would definitely give her career a huge boost.”

No matter who won the Oscars, some of these independent films got large boosts from just being nominated. If Beck’s favorites Larson or Vikander win in their respective categories, then it won’t be the last we see of them for a long time.

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