My ignorant opinion reviews on the 9 Best Picture Oscar Nominees of 2014.

Like all people, I have an opinion. Here are mine on the 9 Nominees for Best Picture.

The Wolf of Wall Street (5 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Actor: Leonardo Dicaprio

3. Best Supporting Actor: Jonah Hill

4. Best Director: Martin Scorcese

5. Best Adapted Screenplay

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is purportedly the most profanity-laden film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. With more than 500 uses of the F-word (there’s some debate as to how many times the word is actually uttered; estimates range from 506 to 569), Wolf easily defeats the previous “record holder,” Scorsese’s ownGoodfellas (1990), which documented 300 utterances of the F bomb.

This is a ‘boys film’ that glorifies drugs and dishonesty and makes it look ‘oh so fucking cool’. Of course it would be baller to have a billion dollars to fling around – but at who’s expense. For me and my moral standards, the best part of the movie is when it all starts falling to shit with the FBI busting their drugged up, adulterous asses. But that’s just me.

That said, it’s a great watch, if you can suspend the aforementioned moral compass. It’s well made, with lots of cool scenes. Whether Leo deserves the (Much deserved) Oscar for THIS film is debatable. Throw-back and give it to him for Basketball Diaries, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Romeo + Juliet. Hell, even Titanic. Although, if you squint your eyes – all those performances blur together. A great actor Leo is. A diverse one, perhaps not. But that’s not always a fair comparison.

Her (5 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Music – Original Score

3. Best Original Song.

4. Best Original Screenplay

5. Best Production Design

This is a modern sci-fi romance of a guy who falls in love with his OS (Operating System) – voiced by Scarlett Johanssen. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that voice?

Predictions wise, I don’t think it stands much of a chance for winning ‘Best Picture’ as it has no Best Actor noms to back it up, but it’s definitely in the running for music as it’s score is hauntingly brilliant by Arcade Fire, and best Original Screenplay.

Do I think you should watch it? Yes.

It’s a wonderful film, and captures the ideas of love in a very unique way. It will make you question reality and the way it’s moving – and stay with you for days later.

Shout out to Joaquin Phoenix for a brilliantly acted role. This is the man who brought us Johnny Cash, one of the coolest mo-fos around, and in Her he plays such an awkwardly sweet, nerdy character – so well – that it seems to be impossible that it isn’t the way he is, all the time.

Personally, I found the storyline believable and engaging but the ending seemed a bit rushed and too conveniently contained, But to avoid ‘spoiler alerts’ perhaps you should watch it for yourself and let me know.

Nebraska (6 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Actor: Bruce Dern

3. Best Supporting Actress: June Squibb

4. Best Cinematography

5. Best Director: Alexander Payne

6. Best Original Screenplay

At age 77, Bruce Dern’s Best Actor nomination for Nebraska comes 35 years after his first-ever nomination for a supporting role as a Vietnam vet in 1978’s Coming Home.

Have you heard of him? Me neither. This is the only Oscar film I haven’t seen. I’ve seen the trailer. It’s in black and white. Unless you’re talking a Kevin Smith film, or Charlie Chaplin – I’m not that keen to watch a movie in black and white in 2014. It’s nominated for best cinematography – so perhaps the Academy has gone hipster.

This is one of the most nominated films, but if this guy wins the Oscar, I’m going to call ‘ageism’ and that they are only doing it to give him something before he croaks. Perhaps I should watch the movie – but i don’t really want to.

12 Years a Slave (9 Nominations)

1.Best Picture

2. Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor

3. Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender

4. Best supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

5. Best Costume Design

6. Best Director: Steve McQueen  (Not that one)

7. Best Editing

8. Best Production Design

9. Best Adapted Screenplay

This is my favourite of the Nominees. It is a traumatic film, as most slavery epics are – however, this one doesn’t seem to add gratuitous violence (Ala Django) or too much drama (Ala Colour Purple) – it’s the most hauntingly acted, gorgeously set and wonderfully edited story of the most brutal injustice this planet has ever committed to itself.

“A movie of such humanity and grace, that at every moment you feel that you’re seeing something essential”.

This film manages to capture a man who refuses to be broken into the hopeless acceptance of slavery. Then, through acting brilliance – the moment he breaks- at a graveside, joining in with the gospel singing in the most reluctantly resolute manner all visible only on his face, in one long take. The editing uses long takes, that just let the gravity of every scene sink in, without too many hollywood rapid-cut theatrics. Slow, long takes where the landscape plays a character, as it must.

A tale of the stripping of all hope, the loss of hope, the utter loss of hope and the glimmer of hope returning.

I love that this film exists, I hate that it has to. Please see it. Your heart will break, but it’s needed – a reminder to be more mindful of other humans and less evil. And not to ever use your time machine to travel to Cotton Plantations in the USA South. (Unless it’s to whoop ass.)

I will be happy if 12 Years a Slave wins all 9 of it’s categories and I will be outraged if Chiwetel does not win Best Actor.

This is my hope, I am aware it may be a very emotional opinion – but it’s impossible not to want to pick up the lead character (and all other non-white actors in this film) and wrap them in cotton. Although, they probably wouldn’t want to see more cotton, ever.

American Hustle (10 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Actor: Christian Bale

3. Best Actress: Amy Adams

4. Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper

5.Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

6. Best Costume Design

7. Best Director: David O. Russell

8. Best Editing

9. Best Production Design

10. Best Original Screenplay

This movie. Sigh. it pains me to have to write about this movie because I have to relive the 2 hours of my life I will never get back – at having watched it. If I’m on my deathbed and about to say the most important last words, but die before I cough them out – blame American Hustle for robbing me of those 2 hours, in which you might have acquired information that would have saved the planet.

It’s nominated for 10 oscars? TEN!? I’m sorry, but the emperor is naked. This movie is NOT that amazing. it’s not amazing at all. It’s a ‘Hustle’ movie full of plot holes and nothing even ‘amazing’ happens. It finishes with the biggest anti-climactic wrap up. I just can’t deal. I was so bored, but by the time I realised I was bored, it had gone on for too long, so I had to watch to the end – in case. I hoped – in vain.

I watched it with a friend. He is reviewing our friendship, because he no longer likes me, because of this movie.

It’s not badly acted. It’s great actors in the worst script ever.

Watch it, but you’ve been warned.

 

Philomena (4 Nominations)

1.Best Picture.

2. Best Actress: Judi Dench

3. Best Original Score

4. Best Adapted Screenplay

This is a very sweet movie.

I don’t think it will win any of the awards, and honestly, I’m not sure how it snuck in there as ‘best picture’ as it screams of BBC feel-good TV movie more than Hollywood epic life changing film.

It’s a true story of a woman hunting down her son who’d been (non consentually) given up for adoption by nuns. Another film showing the vast gaps between Catholic dogma and true religion.

I will be surprised if it scoops any awards at the Oscars. Judi Dench is always a great actress, but this role doesn’t really stretch her that much.

I’m not bashing the film in any way. It’s worth a watch, but it pales in the company of the other 7. It’s better than American Hustle though. I mean – it actually has a point. 

 

Gravity (10 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Actress: Sandra Bullock

3. Best Cinematography

4. Best Directing

5. Best Film Editing

6. Best Original Score

7. Best Production Design

8. Best Sound Editing

9. Best Sound Mixing

10. Best Visual Effects

Sandra Bullock is in space for the first time, doing some specialised work – when all hell breaks loose with some Russian shrapnel (Blame Russia) and she finds herself alone – trying to get back to earth.

Gravity is a very well made film. It’s nice to see Sandra in a more Hilary Swanky role than the usual Rom-Com. She pulls it off well, but that said – it’s mostly just face acting as she’s in the space suit, scared. She doesn’t deserve best actress (For the record, I’m rooting for Cate Blanchett from Blue Jasmin, which isn’t best picture nominated so isn’t in this list).

Gravity itself is only 90mins long, which is great for our attention spans. It’s so beautifully filmed, with the earth shots blowing your mind. I don’t know how they got it right without actually being in space. Give it the Best Visual Effects Oscar, and it give it to them now.

Sandra is of course the ‘sterring’ as we say in South Africa. And as the (Starring) role, we know she can’t actually die. Or else the movie will be random as hell. So they create these hair raising “Oh my God, she’s about to die for sure” moments, but then – she can’t actually. This isn’t Game Of Thrones with 278 other lead characters to pick up the storyline when the main one unexpectedly croaks. So the suspense is somewhat diluted for me.

It’s also interesting to see where media has evolved in 2014. The fact that it’s a woman lead in this action, perhaps that heightens the viewers need to protect her? (And Jody Foster played a similar role in Carl Sagan’s Contact) But Unlike Contact, there is no ‘alien’ reference. Gone are the days of mankind fighting aliens for Independence Days, this film is all about an inner monologue of actively choosing to survive (despite the character’s sad life, which gets revealed). It’s an interesting look at the more insular lives we lead now, and how she fights to regain ‘gravity’, and human connections.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie and it reinforced my resolve that I have NO desire to travel to space. Terrifying. No thank you.

 

Captain Phillips (6 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi

3. Best Editing

4. Best Sound Editing

5. Best Sound Mixing

6. Best Adapted Screenplay

This is an important film because the Somali Pirate problem needs attention. However, I found it a bit of a ‘bleh’ film. I don’t think the ‘Best Supporting actor’ nomination is warranted. Sure, it’s poetic  – it’s the guy’s first EVER acting role as he used to be a taxi driver. I hear you. Heart warmed. Etc etc. But really, all he does is wave a gun around and act angry.

Not too hard.

Not much happens in this movie – it had no obvious layers for me. (I missed the first 5 mins, so perhaps there was an EPIC character development that then robbed me of the rest of the subtext) but, really. It’s a film about a big ship that gets hijacked by Pirates, and then they hold the captain hostage as they try to escape, but America says “HELL NO” and sends in the navy and they get him back. The end. 

Perhaps it’s a boys movie and lost on me. My boyfriend loved it. Whatever. It’s a story – well told story with a beginning middle and end. So for that, it’s better than American Hustle. So. There’s that.

Don’t expect much more from it and you’ll be happy.

 

Dallas Buyers Club (6 Nominations)

1. Best Picture

2. Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

3. Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

4. Best Editing

5. Best Make Up and Hairstyling

6. Best Original Screenplay

Matthew McConaughey suddenly became the baddest ass actor in Hollywood. When did that happen?

When he started looking sick.

He’s JUST scooped the Best Actor WIN at the Golden Globes for ‘Mud’ and then got this nomination for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club (he also has a role in Wolf of Wall street… will he just calm the eff down please!?)

He does a brilliant job in this film as a Homophobic Rodeo jock/hustler who gets diagnosed with Aids in 1985 and then has to enter the naive world of drugs and ‘gays’ of the 80’s as they learned about this virus. He then begins to smuggle drugs in from Mexico that are helping people survive but not FDA approved.

Jared Leto does an excellent portrayal of an HIV infected drag queen.

I won’t be furious if Matthew wins best actor, I’d just be impressed. Two best actor awards for two different movies in one year. This from the guy who acted in the worst action movie ‘Sahara’ and who played bongo drums on Oprah. (How dare he be so weird)

But I really would prefer 12 Years a Slave to get best actor. To get all awards.

Also, let the records show that Idris Elba was ROBBED of a nomination for playing Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom. ROBBED. All we got was best Song nomination by U2.

But that’s my Ignorant Opinion.  

*high five*

About YesReallyAngel

quirky, sardonic, sarcastic, ironic, satirical girl. Lover of marshmallows and high-fives.
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