Here are the nine nominees: (Winner in Bold)
12 Years a Slave
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street
My Overall Thoughts:
Despite having 9 nominees, I think this was a weak year for Oscar because only two of the films IMHO really are worthy of being counted among the best films of the year. The rest are quite good, but not amazing cinematic achievements.
- 9. – American Hustle – Superb acting and an above average story make for an interesting movie, but something is still missing.
- 8. – Dallas Buyers Club – Pretty good movie, but McConaughey is what makes this movie so watchable. It’s definitely his best performance. MM and Leto are both amazing here, but the story lacks the epic feeling and isn’t as powerful as one would hope.
- 7. – Philomena – Very moving story that would be much more unbelievable if we didn’t know it was true. Acting is superb and the message of the movie is clear. Powerful story but still lacks an emotional connect that feels missing along the way.
- 6. – Captain Philips – Hard to go wrong with Hanks, but parts of the story feel too far fetched despite being based on a true story. Very well done movie, but doesn’t live up to all the hype. Interesting story and acting.
- 5. – Her – Very interesting take on love and relationships. Asks the age old question of what we are attracted to; the mind, the body or both. There are no simple answers but Phoenix and Johansson both give excellent performances based on a deftly written script by Jonze. Also says a lot about our reliance on technology for so many facets of our lives in this day and age. Perfect analogy for how we all are connected to our phone. Phoenix is superb here with Johannson’s voice also eliciting the perfect tone for it all. Unfortunately, it tapers off towards the end.
- 4. – Nebraska – Great movie that builds strong characters who make us all realize what it means to get older and decide what is important in life. Excellent cast. Story is written extremely well. Payne knows how tho write great characters and its so entertaining watching the ones here, but is it really a story worthy of being BP?
- 3. – The Wolf of Wall Street – Scorsese knows how to give us epic tales, but this one goes on for much longer than it should and loses a lot of its impact in the final act. Great Scorsese movie. A bit long and very graphic. Hard to believe some of it is true, but still a fun story to watch unfold.
- 2. – 12 Years a Slave – Epic story based on a true event that definitely does what it’s meant to do. Parts are a bit choppy along the way, but still quite powerful. Excellent movie that shows the brutal ways slaves were treated in the South. A story of hope and survival. Not the best movie of the year, but definitely ONE of the best.
- 1. – Gravity – Spectacular “simplistic” movie that has amazing special effects, thrills and characters that we can easily care about. Minimalistic film making at it’s best. Was robbed of Best Picture, but it still got enough awards to prove it’s worth. Can’t wait to see how this movie’s success will effect future films. Thrilling tale that gets everything right from both the human and technical aspects. We can really connect to the characters and their story.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Nope. I think Gravity was a better movie, but I can honestly live with 12 Years a Slave winning because it is also a powerful and epic film.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!