3D’s Best Picture Preview

I enjoy
watching the Academy Awards every year.  I don’t get into the whole
“Red Carpet” thing, but I do enjoy watching the ceremony and see the
many different films that are nominated. Eight years ago, The Baseball Widow
(yes we are close to that time again) and I started a tradition by viewing the
films that are nominated for Best Picture and then make our own assessment of
who we feel should win the “Oscar”.
I must say that eight years ago completing this task was
much easier with having no kids and only five movies were nominated.  Add
two children and four additional films and we have topped out at seven films
over the last 3 years, until this year.  This year we have been able to
take in eight of the nine nominated films.  Nine movies is too much and it
waters down the award.  I am just glad that the Academy has gone away from
the token animated film in the annual field.
Below is my field in order of preference of winning and a
brief review:
1. 12
Years A Slave
 – In a
word, Powerful.  This is an amazing story of a man kidnapped into slavery.
 I initially thought the movie was slow, but in the end that was what made
it so powerful.  The character had no concept of time or location and you
feel that in this movie.  Great acting and a great story.  Should win
in a walk, but I am not voting.
2. Philomena – I really want this to win.
 This movie was great.  As a practicing Catholic I feel guilty for
what happened to this women.  Judi Dench was great as always and Steve
Coogan was surprisingly good.  I usually don’t like British films but this
one is a must see.
3. Dallas
Buyers Club
 – Matthew
McConaughey’s greatest role since “Wooderson” in “Dazed and
Confused”.  He played a drug addicted, gambling, homophobic, white
trash Texan to a T.  The fact that he lost so much weight for this film,
that he was skin and bones is a true testament of how much he was in this
character.  Jared Leto was so good it that took me about 10 minutes of
watching to realize that it was him.
4.  American Hustle – Sorry Worcester, I just couldn’t get
this movie higher than 4, I even struggled with that.  It was a good
movie, don’t me wrong, and it is borderline Oscar worthy.  It had a
phenomenal cast and some great performances.  That, however, doesn’t
always translate to an Academy Award.  It slowed downed at one point and
you never truly find out the end to the ice fishing story.  It could have
been much better.
5. Nebraska – This is my surprise of the field.
 I went into this one with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
 I must say this film is not for everybody and some may think it is not
good even one bit.  It was good to see Will Forte play a more serious role
other than his Saturday Night Live type cast roles.  Bruce Dern also plays
a great absent minded father.
6. Captain
 – My ranking
is solely based on the theatric version of this story.  I am not going to
get into the “is it true/not true” debate.  I wasn’t there, so I don’t
know.  From a film perspective, I thought it was done well.  Good
acting and good cinematography.  However, the movie was missing the WOW!
factor that I look for in a movie.
7. Gravity –
This movie was different.  The best way to describe it was “Castaway
in Space”.  It was very imaginative and I thought Sandra Bullock was
good.  However, this is what happens when the field gets expanded.  I
don’t think this movie deserves to be nominated and I think the Academy was
reaching on this.  I think it would have been better if there was a little
more dialogue between Clooney and Bullock.
8. Her (have
not seen)
 – This story
doesn’t appeal to me and Joaquin Phoenix just bugs me. The Baseball widow
protested this movie because it was actually released in January of 2014 and
was eligible on some technicality.  The fact that it is not playing
anywhere local a month after its release makes me question it. With any luck
this may get rated one spot higher.  But it won’t be worse than #9
9. The
Wolf of Wall Street
 – I really wanted to like this movie.
 How could you not?  I mean, Scorcese, Di Caprio and the get rich story
of Wall Street.  I really wanted to like it.  The movie was about
forty five minutes to an hour longer than it should have been, it was over the
top obnoxious and there wasn’t a likeable character in the entire movie.
 My suggestion would be to save the money and watch the movie “Boiler
Room” twice and call it a day.  A real big disappointment.
That is my take, no wife involved this time.  It was
good that seven of the nominated films were depicted on true events.  So,
sit down, watch the Oscars, and if you have not caught any of these films, go
see any of them, except The Wolf of Wall Street,
Take it from me on this.

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