Saturday, March 01, 2014

Best Picture 2013

Tomorrow's Oscar night, and the pundits say it's a three-way race for Best Picture between 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and Gravity. Personally, I think all nine nominees were fine films; this was a good year for movies. Here's how I'd rank them:

9) Captain Phillips. This movie is tense, exciting, and features a great performance by Tom Hanks, especially in the final minutes. Is it better than any of the other action movies of 2013, though, just because it's based on a true story? I think not.
8) The Wolf of Wall Street. It's a very funny movie, but I find it hard to laugh at the evil that's helping destroy our civilization.
7) Nebraska. This film features absolutely stunning black and white cinematography and a great performance from Bruce Dern, an old favourite.
6) Dallas Buyers Club. I really enjoyed this, but I would have liked it even more had the main character been given just a little more backstory. We don't really see him before he's stricken with AIDS; it would have been an interesting contrast.
5) 12 Years a Slave. Given the subject matter, I thought this film played it too safe, which sounds shocking given its scenes of cruelty. And yet I found it just a little sterile.
4) Philomena. I hid it from Sylvia, but this movie made me tear up a bit; the senseless cruelty and loss angered me, which shows the film did its job.
3) Her. Finally, an SF film that explores an important SF concept without resorting to action and explosions. A great script, superb production design, wonderful acting...one of my favourites.
2) American Hustle. Nostalgia and a fantastic ensemble cast really pulled me into this story of con men and women and complicated love and the tragedy of overreaching. Just gawking at the 70s decor and fashions was entertainment enough!
1) Gravity. The story is simple, but seen in theatres and in 3D (which I normally hate), Gravity provided one of the most tense and visceral movie-going experiences I've had in years. 

1 comment:

Sean Woods said...

Of the films I've seen on this, I rank them as follows:

3. Captain Philips
2. Dallas Buyers Club
1. Amy Adams's sideboob er American Hustle.

Seriously, I enjoyed all three.