Award-winning films showing in MKE

The+Landmark%27s+Downer+Theatre%2C+located+in+Milwaukee%2C+is+now+showing+several+Oscar-nominated+short+films+among+other+movies%2C+including+%22The+Assistant%22+and+%221917.%22

Photo by Jordan Johnson

The Landmark’s Downer Theatre, located in Milwaukee, is now showing several Oscar-nominated short films among other movies, including “The Assistant” and “1917.”

Whether it’s animation or live-action, fairy tale or real-life, films have a way of helping many escape reality for a few hours, or even just for a few minutes. With The Oscars just having released their choices for top work in the film industry at their Feb. 9 ceremony earlier this month, it seems like an ideal time to catch up on those picks.

Just outside of Marquette’s campus, several theaters are currently showing some of those works. Here are five must-see films now showing, the theaters showing them — along with their proximity to campus — and directions for how to get there.

Landmark’s Downer Theatre, located at 2589 N. Downer Ave., is showing a few Oscar-nominated short films among other award-winning films, including “Oscar Nominated Short Films 2020: Live Action,” “1917” and “The Assistant.”

A 20-minute bus ride on the Gold or 30 bus lines will drop you off just five minutes away by foot from the theater.

Oscar Nominated Short Films 2020: Live Action (NR)

1 hour, 44 minutes

The Oscars annually recognize top films in the industry. The awards show has two short film categories: live-action and animated. The live-action category typically features narrative stories.

Sit back and relax as the live-action films take you on a journey into Tunisia when a son finally returns home after a long journey with his peculiar wife in “Brotherhood,” and then jump into the middle of a barren desert where two brothers find a donkey wearing headphones in “Nefta Football Club.”

Then, watch the Academy Award winner for Best Live Action Short, “The Neighbors’ Window.”  In this story, a woman who had fallen into her daily routine as a mother gets her life shaken up when she realizes the new neighbors can see inside her apartment.

The short film “Saria” follows, telling the heartbreaking story of two orphan sisters as they experience abuse and many other hardships at the Virgen de La Asuncion Safe Home in Guatemala, and finally, “A Sister,” where one woman has to make a life-changing decision for herself.

The short films will be showing until Feb. 27.

1917 (R)

1 hour, 59 minutes

In the middle of World War I, two British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, are tasked with an incredibly daunting quest: sneak into enemy territory, deliver a message and prevent hundreds of soldiers from being killed in a planned attack. The plot only becomes more complicated when they find out Blake’s brother is one of the soldiers at risk of being attacked.

The film, directed by Sam Mendes, won Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects at this year’s Oscars.

The Assistant

1 hour, 28 minutes

After Jane, an aspiring film producer, lands her dream job as a junior assistant to a notable figure in the entertainment industry, she is stuck doing stereotypical tasks of an assistant — taking messages, ordering lunch and making copies.

As she becomes burdened with the chores of her higher-ranking employees, we see the deeper problems within her workplace regarding degradation and social injustice.

As we take a closer look into Jane’s everyday life, Jane realizes that being a junior assistant might not be her dream job after all, and she finally takes a stand.

The Oriental Theatre, just slightly closer to campus, is also showing a handful of renowned works, including “Parasite” and “Olympic Dreams.”

A bus ride on the Gold or 30 lines or on a transfer from lines 12 to 21 will get you there in around 20 minutes.

Parasite (R)

2 hours, 17 minutes

The Park and Kim families could not be more different. While the Park family seems to have all the money in the world, the Kim family is barely able to make a living.

However, they each have things that the other doesn’t. After the Kim children offer tutoring and therapy to Ki-woo, the Parks’ son, when he struggles in school, the Parks return the favor with luxurious and generous acts.

Bong Joon Ho, the director of Parasite, tells the story of two families that form a symbiotic relationship in their exchange of strengths and weaknesses. But when class status and greed get the best of them, will they be able to overcome it?

If that wasn’t enough to catch your attention, the fact that “Parasite” was also the winner of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Academy Awards might be.

Olympic Dreams (PG-13)

1 hour, 25 minutes

When the quiet, first-time Olympian and cross country skier Penelope first meets bubbly, outgoing volunteer dentist Ezra at Athletes Village, they seem to be complete opposites. However, Penelope opens up more as she finds herself forming a surprisingly quick connection with him.

But how do you balance personal connections with achieving your biggest dreams? And what happens after you face your fears? After you accomplish all your biggest goals?

Currently titled “Best of Fest!” at the Oriental Theatre, “Olympic Dreams” digs further into the relatable and complex trials and tribulations of relationships through Penelope and Ezra’s love story.

This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at skyler.chun@marquette.edu. She can be reached on Twitter @skylerchun_.