We have arrived at the award of the night everyone looks forward to, and usually knows what it will be. This year is quite different. At all different awards shows, many different films have won. Critics have chosen many different films. I believe it will come down to three films, and choosing one is going to be difficult. Recent years have had ten best picture nominees this year garnered only nine. Every one of these films is worthy, not only of its nomination, but also the award itself.
American Hustle is the third film in David O. Russell’s rebirth. It is a con film that is highly character driven and loosely based on the FBIs Ab scam sting operation. With Christian Bale leads the way with his Oscar nominated performance, this all-star cast makes the film. The story isn’t particularly strong or even anything new, but it makes for great entertainment. I just don’t think it’s enough to pull the big award of the night.
Paul Greengrass fell just short of getting a director nomination for Captain Phillips. However, Captain Phillips did get its reward, with its best picture nomination. With American treasure, Tom Hanks in the starring role, it is a gripping true story that has you holding your breath the whole time. It’s a great movie, but unfortunately it won’t walk away with any hardware.
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto drive the third nomination of the night, Dallas Buyers Club. The true story of Ron Woodroof is one of tolerance and even corporate greed. It is the dark horse of the night that very well could sneak in and win. It has gained momentum with its acting awards and perfectly timed release on DVD. I just don’t think it has enough to make it the big winner.
Gravity has broken a lot of rules, all be it new rules, by becoming the first 3D film to be nominated for a best picture award. Alfonso Cuaron directed a masterful space adventure that gives the viewer white knuckles from beginning to end. It is most definitely a contender of the night and could take it all but I don’t think it will.
Spike Jonze has created a futuristic world that is not only believable, but interesting. The love story created is one of the most touching and moving in a long time. With great performances from Joaquin Phoenix and the sultry voice of Scarlett Johansson. Spike Jonze will most likely win best original screenplay, but it won’t take home best picture.
Alexander Payne has once again made a picture nominated for best picture of the year. It’s no secret any more that Payne is one of the best directors in Hollywood. He has done it once again with Nebraska while educating younger viewers on the brilliance of Bruce Derns acting and making him a household name after over 40 years in the business. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it’s going to be one of the films that comes away empty-handed.
Six of the nine films nominated, are based on true stories. Philomena is one heart wrenching story that you almost can’t believe is true. Judi Dench turns in a nominated portrayal of Philomena and has you wanting so much for her that your heart breaks when hers does too. It won’t win best picture, but it should not be missed.
We have arrived at the two most controversial movies of the night. The first being Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a Wall Street hustler who made millions amidst drug use and womanizing to the extreme. He lost everything and will lose the best picture award too.
12 Years A Slave is the brutal true story of a free black man in New York in the 1840’s who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Having a few different owners of varying kindness from caring to abusive. Solomon Northup is eventually reunited with his family as weak and almost broken man. Last year had two movies deal with the subject of slavery and most likely split the best picture vote. This is the year a slavery movie wins best picture and this is the best picture to do it. It’s a time and place that shouldn’t be forgotten and shouldn’t be repeated.