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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Magic Lantern adding Oscar shorts to its menu

Above: A scene from Carol Dysinger's Oscar-nominated short documentary film "Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)."

Those of us who see movies that play regularly at the Magic Lantern are well aware that the theater has been running its own Academy Award mini-festival for the past few weeks.

Among the films showing there, several are Oscar-nominated, including "Little Women," "Jojo Rabbit," "Parasite," "Harriet" and "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."

Adding to the list, on Friday Spokane's movie arthouse will screen the Oscar-nominated short films programs: animation, live action, and documentary (which will be split into two parts).

This is what Chris Hewitt of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote: "I’ve probably typed some version of 'the fictional short films nominated for Oscars this year are a mixed bag' a dozen times, but that phrase doesn’t apply in 2020. All 10 are good and several are great."

And Al Aexander of the (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger wrote this about the documentary shorts: "Unlike last year’s lame, too-often bleak package, this bunch is a huge step up in quality, as they address important social and political issues from China’s now-defunct one-child policy to children and pets fighting abuse. There’s humor to be found, too, but what all 15 have in common is that they seldom fail to make compelling viewing."

The Oscars broadcast will occur on Sunday, with red-carpet coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. What better way to prepare than to see all the nominees beforehand?