If you were one of the brave few who sat through all 12 hours' worth of Best Picture nominees at your local AMC theater, I salute you and your numb ass. In the interest of being able to tell everyone at your Oscar party that you've seen them all, and are therefore an unimpeachable authority on the virtues of There Will Be Blood versus Juno, you suffered through half a day of burnt popcorn and caffeinated ice water. Whee. I personally think there's a better way to maximize your knowledge, experience a little culture and sound super cinematically savvy. Instead of 12 hours at the multiplex, I suggest two quality hours spent viewing the Oscar-nominated short films. These are a little more off the radar, and think of how impressed your Oscar party guests will be when you try to engage them in a spirited discussion about thematic elements in The Tonto Woman. And forget Keira Knightleyâyou'll be all over At Night's Laura Christensen for her fierce performance in the heavy Danish drama. It's a win-win situation: There's barely any butt-numbing potential, and you're likely to see something that the rest of us never will. It's a hell of a lot cheaper too. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., hosts Academy-nominated shorts as part of their Magnolia at the Modern series. Admission is a scant $8.50 with showtimes Friday through Sunday. Visit themodern.org.
Fri., Feb. 29, 6 & 8 p.m.; Sat., March 1, 5 p.m.; Sun., March 2, 2 & 4 p.m., 2008