The nine movies nominated for Best Picture are: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street. I didn't see Her, Philomena or Wolf. I was not particularly excited about this group of movies. These were important stories to tell, profound even, but there was not a feel-good movie in the bunch. I guess the Oscars don't tend to recognize feel-good, nor do I really wish they would, but this year the movies were mostly very difficult - meaningful stories, exceptional acting, but very hard to watch! My top two were Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. I found Gravity to be incredibly profound in it's simplicty. The story of 12 Years a Slave was heart-breaking (to say the least), but it felt, to me, like a movie that every single person should watch! For Best Picture this year, I'm going to pick 12 Years a Slave.
The nominees for Best Actor are: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas). I am surprised that Tom Hanks (Captain) is not on this list, but I don't know who he would replace. The only performance listed here that I didn't see was Leo DiCaprio, and I'm honestly glad to see him included, because I think the Academy tends to not give him the recognition he deserves. (I DID see him in Gatsby this year, which was a stellar performance, in my opinion). While Bruce Dern gave a powerful performance, I think Matthew McConaughey will win this year, but I would pick Chiwetel Ejiofor.
I'm ashamed to say that I saw less than half of the best performances by women this year. Had I gone about it more systematically, I would've made sure to see more of the Best Actres nominees, which are: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). I'm particularly sorry that I didn't see Philomena, beause I heard it was beautiful movie. I also have plans to see August: Osage County, I just haven't done it yet. The two performances I saw were those of Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock, and each was outstanding, in my opinion. Choosing between them, I pick with Sandra Bullock.
The supporting nominations for men are: Barkhad Abdi (Captain), Bradley Cooper (Am Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years), Jonah Hill (Wolf), and Jared Leto (Dallas). I think Jared Leto has this category, going away. He gave an amazing performance as a transgendered person- absolutely stunning! The Best Supporting Actress nominations are: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (Am Hustle), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years), Julia Roberts (August), and June Squibb (Nebraska). I feel extrememly uninformed in this category, but I hope that Lupita Nyong'o wins!
I have many more thoughts that I would love to share about each of these movies. I truly ran out of time this year, on several levels. Please share your opinions and predictions. If any of you would like to discuss these movies further, let's get together for coffee, or send me a fb message. I always love the discussion!!