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Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

This year's Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday and social media has been buzzing with opinions and predictions. To help you catch up on the contenders you might have missed, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few movies to see this weekend.

Steve Walker

The Road Movie, Not rated

Courtesy Panic Film Fest

Horror, thriller and science fiction might get dismissed as genre movies (as if recognizable storytelling conventions undermine true quality), but thankfully that didn't deter audiences from making classics out of "Rosemary's Baby," "The Silence of the Lambs" and last year's "Get Out."

Sony Pictures Classics

Six weeks may seem like plenty of time, but the 90th Academy Awards will be here before you know it. Now's the time to start catching up on the films that could be up for contention (official nominations are announced on January 23).

NEON

Pre-Oscars movie-going crunch-time is upon us and what better way to get prepped for it, than a sit-down-and-chat with Up To Date's Film Critics? They'll review what's showing now on area screens, including Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread, Small Town Crime, Proud Mary, The Post, I, Tonya, and Darkest Hour.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott made national headlines last fall for wearing a bullet-proof vest in protest of a new state law allowing concealed weapons on campuses. He said he’d wear the vest until the law changed.

And with start of the spring semester this week, Willmott is keeping that promise.

fdecomite / Flickr -- CC

Can marbles come back? Inspired by an exhibit at the National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, we take a look at the history and appeal of the game.

Then: a conversation about I, Tonya, the movie that shines more of a light on Tonya Harding's story. We discuss class, gender, abuse and fame on the ice rink.

Guests:

InAweofGod'sCreation / Flickr -- CC

Coco, the latest movie from Disney's Pixar Studios, has been praised for its portrayal of Mexican folklore. Meet the local children's book author who has been tapped to turn the screenplay into a book.

Plus: From the frigid temps over the holidays to today's sleet, you're probably tempted to stay in and hunker down until spring. But some people are choosing to go and do things outside. We find out why.

Guests:

Focus Films

The holidays are officially over and now, well, it's just a gray winter stretching ahead of us. Exhausted from the week back at the old grind? Tired of always being cold? Our Film Critics have some ideas for how you can relax — and stay warm — this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines 

Darkest Hour, PG-13

In our January arts show: we hear more about a new exhibition at The Nelson that features artifacts from the tombs of kings of ancient China — including a burial suit that's made from over 4000 pieces of jade.

Anna Weber worked on the set of the Steven Spielberg's movie, The Post. She shares how recreating the newsroom made her think about history and the role of journalism ... and about her dad, a longtime editor at The Kansas City Star.

Then: a look at the ongoing challenges for families who are trying to find a great school for their kids with special needs.

Guests:

Cohen Media Group

It's the last weekend of the holiday season and maybe you're looking to do that anti-New Year thing — you know, just kick back and relax. Well, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have some avenues of escape you can travel for a few hours. 

Steve Walker

Faces Places, PG 

Justina Mintz / A24 Films

If you've ever even driven past a theater on Christmas weekend, you know it's a huge one for movie fans and studios. But if the road to a big-money blockbuster is a little too well-worn for you, these recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics might be just the ticket. In the woods of silver-screen entertainment, these off-beat features are the path less traveled by, and it can make all the difference.

Cynthia Haines

Stigma Films Ltd.

Well, another year is drawing to a close, which means it's time to get the Up To Date Film Critics' picks for the best movies of the year. They also review what's currently showing on area screens, just in time for the holiday break. The titles include comedy, drama and a sci-fi romance: The Shape of Water,  Kaleidoscope, Wonder Wheel, Disaster Artist, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,​ and Lady Bird.  

Best Films of 2017:

Cynthia Haines:

Kerry Hayes / Twentieth Century Fox

People the world over will be rushing out to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, but a select few will get to watch from space. NASA confirmed the movie will be screened for astronauts in-orbit on the International Space Station. If you can’t afford a ticket on a Soyuz rocket, hitch a ride on a SpaceX Dragon — or if endless strings of prequels just aren’t your cup of tea — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have got you covered.

Steve Walker

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Kansas City has been blessed with an unseasonably warm fall this year, though you won't be able to tell by stepping outside during the first half of this weekend. While you wait for the return of 50-degree weather — and you won't have to wait long — take in a good indie, foreign or documentary movie. The latest recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics may not make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but they will keep you warm and cozy while you avoid the outside.

Courtesy Lyn Elliot

Can you name one practical thing you learned from a former partner?

This question was the seed of "Lessons from Exes," a new short film featuring five vignettes by Kansas City filmmakers.

“I was making some popcorn in a pan on the stove,” Lyn Elliot remembers, “and the thought came into my mind that a particular ex-boyfriend had taught me how to do that.”

Gloria Baker Feinstein / Argot Pictures

It's December, which means the holiday season is well underway. We've passed the Thanksgiving turkey, racked up those Black Friday credit card charges and driven by the now-illuminated Country Club Plaza. It seems like there's no hiding from this jolly time of year. For those looking to hold off on watching It's a Wonderful Life and Elf for a few more weeks, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations.

Steve Walker

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