It’s just days until Oscar time. Are you up to speed on your nominated films? It’s not too late to catch up. Newsday’s Jan Stuart and Gene Seymour offer a last-minute roundup of films available on DVD:

‘Michael Clayton’

Remind me: George Clooney cleans up other people’s messes in a twisty legal thriller that makes you feel very smart, provided you can keep up with it. Bring pad and pen: You’ll want to spring some of these lines on your boss.

What it’s up for: Picture, actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, original score, original screenplay.

‘Elizabeth, The Golden Age’

Remind me: The Virgin Queen as played by Bob Dylan. No, Katharine Hepburn. Oh, it must be Cate Blanchett. More fractured history, more gilded fabrics, more crashing music and Clive Owen throwing his cloak over a puddle.

What it’s up for: Actress, costume design.

‘American Gangster’

Remind me: Ridley Scott’s stab at a sprawling, “Godfather”-y epic, Harlem-style. Denzel Washington traipses to Vietnam to shop for drugs and beats the competition. Ruby Dee shines as the good Southern Mom in serious denial about what’s paying for her big estate.

What it’s up for: Supporting actress, art direction.

‘Away From Her’

Remind me: “I feel as if I were beginning to disappear” is how Julie Christie’s character describes the first stirrings of Alzheimer’s. Gordon Pinsent plays her husband, who fights to hold on to her in Sarah Polley’s prodigious adaptation of Alice Munro’s short story.

What it’s up for: Actress, adapted screenplay.

‘In The Valley of Elah’

Remind me: The “Crash” filmmaker returns with a Johnny-comes-marching home tale for the war in Iraq. Tommy Lee Jones looks implacable and righteous, like all four heads of Mount Rushmore rolled into one.

What it’s up for: Actor.

‘Eastern Promises’

Remind me: David Cronenberg’s London-based crime thriller about the Russian mob stars Viggo Mortensen as yet another scary guy with a questionable hair style. Lots of skin-crawling violence and thematic content but, hey, it’s Cronenberg, right?

What it’s up for: Actor.

‘La Vie En Rose’

Remind me: Marion Cotillard stunned the world as she melded her very being with the spirit of Edith Piaf in this dreamlike story of France’s “little sparrow.”

What it’s up for: Actress, costume design, makeup.


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