The Oscar nominations are in, which means it’s time for our annual pre-award show marathon. You could spend a day catching up at a cineplex, watching back-to-back best picture nominees Hugo and War Horse, or study Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But we found a few films off the beaten path.

For your consideration:

Albert Nobbs
Glenn Close played Nobbs, an Irish woman passing as a man in order to work, on stage in 1982; nearly 30 years later she stars in the film adaptation she’d been trying to make since she first auditioned for the role.
Nominated for: best actress (Close), best supporting actress (Janet McTeer), and best makeup.
See it at: Harvard Exit Theatre, starting January 27.

The Artist
Form and content both star in this (mostly) silent black-and-white about the end of the silent-film era and an actor struggling to transition, while his former costar flourishes. Aptly, one of the film’s 10 nominations is for best original score.
Nominated for: best picture, best actor (Jean Dujardin), best supporting actress (Berenice Bejo), cinematography, art direction, costume design, directing (Michel Hazanavicius), film editing, original score, original screenplay.
See it at: Harvard Exit Theatre, Majestic Bay Theatre, out now.

The Descendants
George Clooney plays a less-than-doting dad forced to re-evaluate his life as his wife lies dying, leaving him to care for their two daughters. But as much hype as there is for Clooney’s performance, we have a soft spot for Nick Krause, who steals the show as the teenage daughter’s slacker boyfriend.
Nominated for: best picture, best actor (Clooney), directing (Alexander Payne), film editing, adapted screenplay.
See it at: Landmark Guild 45th, Regal Meridian 16, out now.

The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher? Yes, please. If only Helen Mirren had a cameo as the Queen Mum, this could have been a best picture nominee.
Nominated for: best actress (Meryl Streep), best makeup.
See it at: Landmark Guild 45th, out now.

My Week with Marilyn
It’s both a plum job and a terrifying opportunity to be tasked to play the blondest of bombshells, Marilyn Monroe—but Michelle Williams, recently nominated for best actress in Blue Valentine, was up to the task.
Nominated for: best actress (Williams), best supporting actor (Kenneth Brannagh).
See it at: Big Picture Redmond, Varsity Theatre, out now.

Pina
In this visually stunning documentary, director Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club) pays tribute to the late German dance pioneer Pina Bausch with excerpts of her most elaborate pieces—The Rite of Spring performed on a stage covered in dirt—and company members reimaging her choreography in meadows and at factories. In German, French, and English, with English subtitles; copresented by SIFF Cinema.
Nominated for: best documentary feature.
See it at: Seattle Cinerama, February 10–16.

Oscar-Nominated Short Films
Before the Oscars air at the end of the month, Landmark Theatres offers a rare opportunity to watch nominees before the final vote is cast. Live-action and animated shorts are separated into two feature-length events.
Nominated for: best animated short ("Dimanche/Sunday," "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," "La Luna," "A Morning Stroll," "Wild Life"); best live-action short: "Pentecost,""Raju," "The Shore," "Time Freak," "Tuba Atlantic").
See it at: Varsity Theatre, starting February 10.