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Oscarfest opens tonight

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Wheeler Film Society’s annual Oscarfest opens tonight at the Wheeler Opera House. Oscarfest features films that have been nominated for Academy Awards in the major categories.

The series opens with “Traffic,” with screenings tonight through Wednesday, March 21. “Traffic,” a vast vision of the world’s drug trade that stars Michael Douglas, earned Oscar nominations for its director, Steven Soderbergh, for supporting actor Benicio Del Toro and for best picture.

“Erin Brockovich,” based on the true story of an attorney’s lawsuit against a California utility company, shows Thursday and Friday, March 22-23. The film earned another best director nomination for Soderbergh, as well as nominations for best picture, best actress candidate Julia Roberts and best supporting actor candidate Albert Finney.

“You Can Count on Me,” showing Sunday through Tuesday, March 25-27, was nominated for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s original screenplay. Laura Linney also was nominated in the best actress category for her portrayal of a single mother struggling with her job, her young son and her troubled brother.

“Chocolat,” a romantic fantasy set in a French village, earned Oscar nominations for director Lasse Hallstrm, actress Juliet Binoche and supporting actress Judi Dench, as well as for best picture and best adapted screenplay. It shows March 28-29.

The ancient Roman epic “Gladiator,” showing April 2 and 4-5, earned 12 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. Also nominated are director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe.

Also showing as part of Oscarfest is “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” a nominee for best picture. No dates have yet been set for the martial arts film, directed by Ang Lee.

All films show at 8 p.m.

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