It’s that time of year again. We take a look back at the year’s best of the best films (or so the academy thinks!). This year, as a whole, I’ve been underwhelmed (sad trombone). And my favorite movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, got no love! None! I still believe we are in a time where Television rules, and Film is just a tad lackluster. But alas, we still have award season…someone must win that golden Oscar!
What I did find interesting about this year was the amount of true stories ( 12 Years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street, Captain Phillips, and Dallas Buyers Club). Pretty neat to see that trend. Also, another theme I saw across these movies was the main character’s fight for survival under excruciating circumstances. I mean, Sandra Bullock’s character in Gravity is literally floating in space…fighting for her life, while Matthew McConaughey is given 30 days to live with AIDS, and Tom Hanks is being held captive by pirates…These triumphs are what movies are made for.
- American Hustle (David O. Russell)
- Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón) ***
- Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
- 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
- The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Who will win: Alfonso Cuarón
Who should win: David O. Russell and Steve McQueen were a hard toss up for me. I like Russell’s style of directing as he is more of a character’s director. His characters are always unique and quirky. While McQueen held shots for a bit longer than you’d like, but it was to really feel the emotion of that scene. Vastly different styles of portrayals. That said, this is an incredible list of directors. Even if you haven’t seen the movies, you know they are going to be good just by looking at the names of these guys!
- Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
- Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) ***
Who will win: Jared Leto
Who should win: Jared Leto. First of all, selfishly, if he wins then I can say that I met an Oscar winner! I mean HELLO! Secondly, he was INCREDIBLE in this film. He played an HIV transsexual who’s heart and soul stole the movie from even Matthew McConaughey. He lived and breathed that character, and it was a sight to see.
- Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) ***
- Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
- June Squibb (Nebraska)
Who will win: Jennifer Lawrence
Who should win: Lupita Nyong’o. Don’t get me wrong, JLaw was my favorite character in American Hustle. She stole the show. However, Lupita’s performance was stunningly beautiful in an immensely dark situation. She is a genuine beauty and an incredible talent. (Oh, and also a new favorite in fashion trends. Can’t wait to see what she will be wearing!)
- Christian Bale (American Hustle)
- Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) ***
- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Who will win: Matthew McConaughey
Who should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor. While I think Matthew was excellent in Dallas, Chiwetel’s role was harder to watch, and he had a sincere sadness in his eyes that made you believe him, made you feel his pain, made you so angry with his slave owners. His eyes showed all of that.
- Amy Adams (American Hustle)
- Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity) ***
- Judi Dench (Philomena)
- Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Who will win: Cate Blanchett
Who should win: Sandra Bullock. She is floating in space. FLOATING and ACTING. Enough said. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
Best Animated Feature:
- The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)
- Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)
- Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)
- Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho) ***
- The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)
Who will win: Frozen
Who should win: Frozen. Frozen is easily was one of my favorite animated films to date. And yes, that also includes the early Disney films. It is adorable, funny, creative, and leaves you singing songs that you haven’t heard before. And Avery, if you have not seen this movie yet… you will LOVE it. That and, I honestly have not seen the others.
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club
- 12 Years a Slave ***
- The Wolf of Wall Street
Who will win: 12 years a slave
Who should win: I actually really enjoyed Captain Phillips…it was a simple story line with incredible circumstances and tremendous acting. 12 years a slave, however, was very hard for me to watch due to the harsh physical and mental abuse (yes, I know its about slavery), but this movie really pushes the envelope leaving me crying for 10mins straight. Thanks a lot!
There they are. My picks. We shall see what unfolds!
See you at the movies, kid.