And The Oscar Goes To...

I almost made it this year. I saw eight out of nine Best Picture nominees. I just couldn't bring myself to go see 12 Years a Slave. I'm sure it's as good as everyone says it is and I know it's an important story to tell, but I'm a baby and I just can't watch violence. I probably would have seen it if it was still out in a theater nearby, but I didn't want to drag someone to a small theater an hour away. So, here are my reviews of eight of the nominees.

American Hustle David O. Russell turned a pretty boring story line into an interesting movie. I was thoroughly entertained the whole time. I loved the music, costumes and hair. The entire cast was awesome, especially Louis CK who isn't getting enough credit, but Jennifer Lawrence absolutely stole the show. 

Captain Phillips I had such anxiety while watching this movie! In fact, when I left the theater, my jaw ached from clenching my teeth for two hours. I don't think I've ever been that nervous by a non-horror movie. I know I'm in the minority, but I think there were times that Tom Hanks overacted. I'm still shocked he wasn't nominated for Best Actor. The supporting cast was also incredible. And scary.

Dallas Buyers Club It's definitely inspiring, but mostly a sad story. I knew of Ron Woodroof before this movie and some details were changed, so I was a little bothered. Still, the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients was accurately portrayed and an important part of history to share. Matthew McConaughey gave a spectacular performance. I wouldn't mind at all if he won Best Actor (though I'm rooting for Leo). Jared Leto was brilliant. I wasn't expecting that much from a supporting role. I didn't even hate Jennifer Garner, who usually annoys me. 

Gravity This was another super stressful movie. I sat on the edge of my seat, completely silent the entire time. It was beautiful, perfectly acted by Sandra Bullock, and a simple, refreshing take on a typical space movie (which I love anyway). It gave me chills, made me cry, and kept me in awe. I'm so glad I was able to see it in the theater. I don't know how a regular TV will do it justice.

Her It was odd, heartbreaking, sweet, and funny. I feel like it verged on the themes of a regular old rom-com with a little sci-fi mixed in and it was too slow at times, but I stayed interested and really loved the cinematography. I've never been a huge Joaquin Phoenix fan, but he won me over in this movie. 

Nebraska I don't know that I would have seen this movie if it wasn't nominated. I liked it, but didn't love it. It was minimal, sentimental and sad, and also too slow at times. I got annoyed by the music, but thought black and white brought just the right amount of melancholy. I don't know. I feel like the sadness outweighed the funny/quirky stuff, which is ok, but wasn't enough for me. However, it is a character driven movie and the cast was pretty great.

Philomena What an interesting story! I hadn't heard anything about it until I saw the trailer. That's when my sister said she would never see it, because as a mom it would be too sad. Part of me agreed, but I'm also able to put that aside (for the most part) and get lost in a story. I'm so glad I saw it. Yes, it was very sad, but not as heavy as I expected. There were plenty of laughs and it was truly heartwarming and entertaining. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan were the perfect pair!

The Wolf of Wall Street I thought it was a fun, highly entertaining movie that made me feel all the emotions: joy, disgust, excitement, sadness, jealous, appalled, etc. I definitely enjoyed the fast-paced, hard partying first half more than the slow-moving, downward spiral second half, but the entire movie was really good. The language, nudity, and drug use didn't really faze me. I expected that going into it. Leonardo DiCaprio was perfect. He made me love him and hate him at the same time. Jonah Hill also surprised me in his supporting role. 

So here are my predictions.
Red marks who I think will win,  is how I would vote, and * denotes a movie I haven't seen.

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
✓ Gravity
*12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor
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

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
✓ Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Supporting Actor
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

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
✓ Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
*Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
*Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
✓ Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
 Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
*John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
 Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Documentary 
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
✓ The Square
*20 Feet from Stardom

So who are your Oscar picks? One of these years I have to host an Oscar party again. I did it five years ago, but none of my friends are as into it as I am, so it was kind of a bust. I went to one the following year and had a really good time with people that were much more interested, but I haven't attended one since then. Next year, my house. You're all invited!


Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

I am still kicking myself for not seeing American Hustle in theaters. AND also Dallas Buyers Club. I love Matthew and really wanted to see this flick!!!

I'm going to predict Matthew getting best actor only because all that went into the role. Sorry Leo.

I agreed with you on the Jared Leto - again didn't see it but he really stretched himself for the role (I can tell from photos, and previews). Man I need to see this.

Misty C. said...

None of my friends are as into is as I am either. We should meet in another city and host one together there and invite all our internet friends. Haha! #TotallyNotKidding

I love Matthew McConaughey SO MUCH, but would totally lose it if Leo were to win. He's deserving too.

I'm also rooting for Jared and Lupita. I think the Best Actress category is wide open. For some reason, I think it's going to Dench.

Karen M. Peterson said...

Don't feel bad about skipping 12 Years.