And the best pic­ture Os­car goeszzzzzzzzz...

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Leanne Italie

NEW YORK — Nancy Zwiers was gen­uinely psyched to see Lin­coln, but some­thing hap­pened be­tween the ticket pur­chase and the cred­its. Off screen, that is.

“Yes, I fell asleep,” con­fessed the 54-year-old mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive in Long Beach, Calif. “I only have two clear mem­o­ries of the movie: a bunch of old white guys sit­ting around talk­ing and Sally Field in a per­pet­ual state of angst.”

That was shortly af­ter its re­lease in Oc­to­ber. Fast for­ward to Jan­uary and a dozen Academy Award nominations for the 150-minute epic and an­other ac­co­lade has emerged: nap wor­thy, with and with­out apolo­gies from the snoozy to Steven Spiel­berg and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Movie nap­ping is al­most cer­tainly as old as cin­ema it­self. It strikes the over­tired and the well­rested, film nuts and oc­ca­sional the­atre­go­ers. Some blame it on so­porific pop­corn. Oth­ers on the en­velop­ing dark­ness and a comfy seat. The the­atre is too hot. The the­atre is too cold, too crowded, not crowded enough…

Any which way, cin­e­matic snooz­ing seems near epi­demic pro­por­tions this awards sea­son with buzz plus ZZZs for Lin­coln, the 157-minute sung Les Mis­er­ables, the 169-minute The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney and oth­ers cited as good for a snore, but not al­ways due to ex­tra min­utes.

For­get the the­ory that movie watch­ers of a cer­tain age are more heav­ily af­flicted.

“I don’t re­al­ize I do it and I wake up 20 min­utes later and then ev­ery­one’s, like, ‘You were asleep,’” said Rose Liu, 31, a pro­gram man­ager for a Los An­ge­les non-profit. “I snore and then it’s em­bar­rass­ing, but I really can’t con­trol it. I wake up and I’m re-en­er­gized!”

Liu has movie dozed on dates and out with friends, some of whom have nudged her awake at the re­quest of strangers sit­ting nearby.

She, too, was done-in by Lin­coln. She’s not a fan, but she also caught some shut-eye dur­ing the two-hour Argo, which she liked. A power nap­per in reg­u­lar life and a movie­goer about once a month, Liu ac­knowl­edged it would make sense to avoid late screen­ings, but that’s usu­ally not pos­si­ble.

Lay watch­ers aren’t alone. Pro­fes­sional movie- watch­ers fall vic­tim, too.

One en­ter­tain­ment writer, who asked — for ob­vi­ous rea­sons — that his name not be used, once fell asleep at an in­ti­mate screen­ing for the 1994 satire Pret-a-Porter, sit­ting right next to the di­rec­tor, Robert Alt­man. And not just a few winks but a 45-minute power nap about 10 min­utes in.

“I don’t think he no­ticed,” the writer said with a laugh.

Count psy­chol­o­gist Jen­nifer Thomas, 43, in Greens­boro, N.C., as a nap per­son out­side of the­atres and in. With four kids at home, she watches a lot on Netflix but gets out to the the­atre about once ev­ery three months.

Thomas de­cided to take in Life of Pi in 3D on the rec­om­men­da­tion of friends who en­joyed the book. In a rare moment of par­ent­hood, Thomas was alone — in the dark, in a cushy seat.

“It was some­where with the boat and the water and the lion, and they had set­tled into the story, and I just had this feel­ing that, ‘I’m just go­ing to lis­ten to the movie for a while and I’m just go­ing to close my eyes,’” she re­called of her 15-minute break from the largely sym­bolic ac­tion. Who among us hasn’t been there, at least once? Collin Roberts of Man­hat­tan has seen four of the nine films nom­i­nated for a best pic­ture Os­car: Argo, Beasts of the South­ern Wild, Life of Pi and Lin­coln, the lat­ter def­i­nitely not her thing but a favour to her hus­band.

“The so­lil­o­quies started. That was some­thing I didn’t know about Lin­coln, his ten­dency to give long-winded speeches at in­ap­pro­pri­ate times. The el­derly lady next to me fell asleep and started snor­ing softly. And be­fore I knew it, I was nod­ding off, too,” she said.

En­ter­tain­ment Weekly has dubbed this the most thrilling race for Os­car in years, but the length of some con­tenders has earned at­ten­tion. Over at Satur­day Night Live, a re­cent skit sug­gests the next two Hob­bit movies morph into 18 in­stead, in­clud­ing The Elf Queen Tries to Pick an Out­fit.

The writ­ers at SNL in­cluded this mock re­view from film critic Peter Travers: “I fell asleep for 45 min­utes and when I woke up the dwarfs were as­sem­bling an IKEA dresser.”

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Coming soon: a well-de­served nap at a the­atre near you.

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