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And The Oscar Nominees Are…

The Oscar Nominees are…

My unique take on those I have seen thus far…and those I haven’t.

 

American Hustle

I LOVE JENNIFER LAWRENCE! In this film she really is great; she makes it in my opinion, she is amazing and I love her. Girl crush aside this film is really a good one and everyone should see it! Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper all deliver outstanding performances and it is so worthy of a nomination. Many have complained about the film being too long but it is this, I feel, that sets it apart from the average con-man movie, it allows the characters to be properly developed and gives viewers time to process all the things going on. This partially true story could never develop like a standard con man film? The film is exceptionally stylish and the fashion is truly lovely and with a focus on appearance it really does well on this front. Adding to that the cinematography is well executed and really contributes to the overall feel of the film.

 

Other nominations

Best Actor: Christian Bale

Best Actress: Amy Adams

Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Costume Design: Michael Wilkinson

Best Director: David O. Russell

You get it, it’s nominated for EVERYTHING!!!!

 

 

Captain Phillips

I hadn’t heard of this film until I wrote this list so I will base this solely upon the trailer I just watched. This film looks intense! Based upon the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, I am sure it is great and an incredibly interesting look at the kind of relationship that develops between Captain and Captain of the different crews. Released in the UK in October I cannot think how it escaped my radar but it looks good, it sounds good and has clambered up my list of films to be watched! Starring Tom Hanks and Somali-American Barkhad Abdi I honestly can’t wait!

 

Other nominations

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi

Best Film Editing: Christopher Rouse

Best Sound Mixing

 

Dallas Buyers Club

From How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days to this…who saw that coming in Matthew McConaughey’s career? I certainly did not but boy is it a turn for the better (disclaimer: I LOVE chick flicks but also have to admit they can be topped!) In this very challenging role he excels, as do Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. This film is so touching and their performances are so honest that it is just a pleasure to watch them work. The story is humbling and brings up interesting moral questions, which previously I had never considered. Alongside this it remains incredibly touching, moving at points whilst remaining serious about the subject matter. This film along with a few others on this list is educational and I feel it keeps that at its core. It is (I found) a humbling and interesting watch, which on the whole just delivered exceptionally well. (This one was the hardest to review…Can you tell?)  

 

Other nominations:

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

Best Film Editing

And another few.  

 

 

Gravity

So I do not want to see/pay to see this film (I’ll wait ‘til it’s on telly) but it has a nomination so I’ll write about it anyway. To me the advert looked like it was nothing but the ultimate exploitation of 3D as an art form which is all well and good but I don’t feel I need a two hour film to understand that, also can they really top Avatar in that regard? Also I’m not a Sandra Bullock fan so the appeal really is not strong given it is a two man cast… However I am sure it does what it set out to do and, according to some astronauts, it is the film which best encapsulates what it feels like to be in space so that must be a reason to be rewarded (though perhaps not with an Oscar!) Maybe I’m biased, watch it and prove me wrong!

 

Other nominations:

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Best Film Editing

And more…maybe I am wrong!

 

Her

Though not released yet in the UK (14th Feb) I can’t wait to see this! It seems refreshing, a new kind of romance film. It revolves around a man, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who falls in love with a computer (weird) but this computer is the first artificially intelligent operating system, thus a kind of human or at least with human reactions or something. Somehow she (it’s a she, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson)) is human or humanesque or there is a humanity about her or something. Anyway it seems to be something different and a different genre for an Oscar nomination (I think) obviously with a viewing things could change but right now I’m excited and honestly can’t wait to see it.

 

Other nominations:

Best Original Score

Best Original Song

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze

 

Looks like it’s set to be ‘Original’…

 

 

Nebraska

Another one that passed me by in the cinema, but I caught up with it later and, it paid off. Much quieter than the others, it doesn’t document a great life or shocking events simply the deterioration of an old man, convinced he has won 1 million dollars. Shot in black and white this film is visually beautiful and this really adds to the calm nature of the film, the cinematography is astoundingly lovely and very well considered. In all honesty it took me about half an hour to get into this film, but I urge everyone to give it a go. Films like this one aren’t for everyone as it doesn’t offer the same level of escapism as others on this list, but I persevered and have been rewarded. Beautiful performances, even an appearance or two from Buzz from Home Alone (I was surprised to see him that’s for sure!) and just a film that, though not big and boisterous or harrowing and upsetting, stands out.

 

Other nominations:

Best Actor: Bruce Dern

Best Supporting Actress: June Squibb

Best Cinematography: Phedon Papamichael

Best Director: Alexander Payne

 

  

 

Philomena

This film is lovely, whilst being sad it is a gem. Telling the true story of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) and her hunt for her son after being separated from him by a convent in mid-twentieth Century Ireland with the help of Michael Sixsmith, a journalist (Steve Coogan). I missed this in the cinema, but am very pleased to have seen it since it is a much simpler story than the others. I feel I know Philomena, I feel I know Michael. Every character is so real and so much more relatable than those of some of the other true stories in this selection, which I feel is important given some of them seem utterly fantastic. All in all this film is simple and I could watch it with any family member and not feel embarrassed or worry for their future mental health.  

 

Other nominations:

Best Actress: Judi Dench

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat

Best Adapted Screenplay: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

 

 

12 Years A Slave

There is only one word I can use to describe this film and that is raw. Raw brilliance, raw beauty, absolutely raw. Impossibly sad and harrowing the story of Solomon Northup’s life was well worth telling. This film seems honest not fabricated in any way. True excellence and it delivers a truth perhaps untold (certainly untold to me) of what it was to be a slave. So much less fantastic than last year’s Django, it is just one of the best films I have ever seen. Though it is so intense and hard, it is well worth the strain. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Micheal Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, oh just everyone, every performance is exquisite and thank goodness for Lupita Nyong’o another addition to our slowly growing list of female inspirations. Go and see this film!

 

Other nominations:

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

Best Costume Design: Patricia Norris

Best Director: Steve McQueen

Another one with A LOT of nominations!!

 

 

Wolf of Wall Street

WOW OK so I was not emotionally prepared for this film or rather SO MANY BOOBS AND SO MUCH NAKEDNESS AND SO MANY DRUGS AND OH MY GOD!!!! Seriously it is intense and I’m sure you’ve all heard about the opening scene! This aside this film is really good it’s fabulous and it’s huge and it’s extreme much like the life of Jordan Belfort with yet another true story at this years Oscars. (It almost feels like a competition about who had the best/worst life!) That aside this is an interesting film it is unbelievable but also it just couldn’t be made up, everyone delivers just excellent performances and maybe this will be Leo’s year. I feel it’s about time but the competition is fierce. Overall this film delivers, it does what it does well, but it is not for the mild hearted, you should go in prepared and then you will appreciate it for what it is…the story of an incredibly controversial life.

 

Other nominations

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Supporting Actor: Jonah Hill

Best Director: Martin Scorsese

And one or two more.

 

 

All in all, what a strong set of films! It was an honour to watch and review them all and those I haven’t seen yet. I’m even quite excited to see Gravity! I’ll leave you to make your own minds up about which one deserves the award, as I certainly could not decide, I do not envy those with that job. Winner or not every one of these films that I have seen thus far deserves a watch as they all accomplish something different whether it be to portray a life, whosever life that is and however they chose to live it, or to imagine the possibilities of the lives of others these films all achieve something glorious, something worth rewarding!

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