23 January 2014 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

There's just time to see all those weighty Oscar-nominated films you never quite got around to seeing earlier. So how come watching so many of them feels like having to do homework?

This is the time of year when everyone is frantically trying to catch up with the Oscar nominees they never quite managed to see: Nebraska; Inside Llewyn Davis; 12 Years a Slave; August: Osage County. You know what I'm talking about. Films of import. Films of substance. Films that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hollywood has a conscience. Films that star Meryl Streep.

This is no fun. This is homework. Take in more than one of these films in a 48-hour period and your nervous system starts to shut down. The same thing happened with last year's crop: Lincoln; The Master; Zero Dark Thirty. These were all films of import. Films of substance. Films that mattered. »

- Joe Queenan

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