I try to avoid writing about the Oscars because, well, its track record speaks for itself.

When you look back on the last several years, do films like The Artist and Argo spring to mind as the movies that meant the most to you? Were The King’s Speech and Crash the movies that illuminated the heights of cinema’s powers?

Why do we treat this America-focused fiasco like its awards are actually meaningful on the subject of assessing artistic excellence, in view of the great feast of cinema offered around the world every year?

But I’ll make an exception on Monday. I’ll talk about the “Best Picture” nominees with some particularly insightful friends. The occasion will afford us an opportunity to discuss whether or not the films highlighted by this year’s Academy actually have much meaningful to offer us.

And you’re invited.

So… Monday could be just your first day of a long week. Or it could be the day you have dinner at Hales Ales Brewery & Pub in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and listen to me join a Kindlings Muse discussion with Dr. Jeff Keuss, novelist Jennie Spohr, and musician Anna Miller.

It’ll be a live podcast recording of our conversation about all of this year’s Oscar Best Picture nominees and just how artful and meaningful they are.

I can guarantee you this: While we don’t claim the be the last word on the year’s greatest cinematic art, we will give you something more substantive about these films than the actual Oscar ceremony will.

Since we can’t prevent the Oscars from happening… let’s have a party and make something worthwhile out of the whole endeavor. Claim your seats here, so you can join us. Maybe you’ll want to ask a question during the last part of the show when we open it to the audience. Maybe you just want to relax and watch something more interesting than a presidential campaign debate.

Or maybe you just want to wait and listen online when the podcast is posted at The Kindlings Muse. But… oh, I shouldn’t forget to mention this… the burgers at Hales are the best I’ve had in Seattle.

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