Oscars 2014 – Best Picture Predictor

We have come to the last and biggest category and it comes with a gift. A predictor to tell you the winner. Watch this video and try it out for yourself, then dare to place your bets. 🙂

And the nominees are….

American Hustle

Now I can finally let loose on how much I enjoyed this film. It was very well written, had an excellent ensemble cast and was filmed beautifully. There was not a hole in the story, nothing I did not believe, not a moment of boredom, the characters were well fleshed out, complex and interesting. Overall, this was a very enjoyable and extremely humorous movie-going experience, in fact it was my favorite movie this year. American Hustle has my vote for Best Picture.

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Director: David O. Russell, Writers: Eric Warren SingerDavid O. Russell

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips, based on real life events, is a very well made film. The suspense was very real as it kept me on the edge of my seat and engaged the whole time. The performances, with the title character played by Tom Hanks and the supporting role played by Barkhad Abdi, were solid. It was interesting to have glimpse into a lifestyle we don’t know much about and rarely ever even think about. The dangers out at sea are real. And Piracy, which I feel is borne out of desperation and necessity in times of economic and political hardship, is very real too. I would hate to be married to a “Captain Phillips”. The pay may be good, but is it worth it? Anyway, good movie!

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. Based upon the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea”

Director: Paul Greengrass, Writers: Billy Ray, Richard Phillips, Stephan Talty

Dallas Buyers Club

This film will have a good number of followers because of its subject matter dealing with the treatments and stigmas in the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But the subject is not what makes this a great movie, and that it is! Like Captain Phillips, this film is based on a true story, but it has a much stronger script. The telling of this story leaves no questions unanswered, shows the terrible reality of the early days of AIDS treatment and its devastation. The Characters are wonderfully interesting with very clear agendas and very honest feelings. A very touching story with excellent performances. This movie could get my vote for best picture too.

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallee, Writers: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Gravity

This film is visually amazing. Watching it in 3D, in a large IMAX theatre, makes you truly feel like you might be in space. And that is scary! But it’s beautiful! Sandra Bullock and George Clooney carry the entire film as the only two characters. And eventually Sandra’s character is forced to face her worst enemy – herself! I like her story and her girl power overcoming, I like the visual effects, the experience and all that good stuff, it’s a really good movie, and I really like Sandra Bullock, but for me personally, this is not my best picture choice. Maybe it’s because there is just that teeny weeny bit of disbelief for me (and probably fear :-)), but that’s just me. This film is definitely a must see, so if you haven’t yet, go see it.

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón, George Clooney

Her

I thought I was not going to like this film before I saw it, but was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked it a lot. I did feel it was a little slow in parts though. Nonetheless, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson took us on a most delightful love journey in this film set in LA in the future when computer operating systems are just short of becoming human. Brilliant imagination and delivery by Spike Jonze. Joaquin is such a talented actor. He was on the screen almost all the time and you could feel everything he felt and went through with him. It was an excellent journey into a world that may not be that far off, but do we really want to go there? Well, that is a whole other conversation.

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze, Writer: Spike Jonze

Nebraska

Excellently done, sweet film about an aging dad who just wants to do better for his children and the children who want to do the same for him. I love the essence of this film and if you are in that age group where this is a reality for you, this film touches home even more. The performances were so wonderful, and the characters so myriad and warped, you could smile all the way through even though it was not a comedy at all. It’s just that the truth and the reality of things sometimes, even when they may be painful or less than favorable,  just make you smile. Loved it.

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne, Writer: Bob Nelson

Philomena

I am only just going to see this film TODAY…the day before the Oscars…so I can not comment from my personal experience of the film. However, from what I have seen and read, it sounds like this is a keeper. Definitely a very touching subject matter. Will give you my review of it tomorrow 🙂 (not that it will matter much any more then)

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

Director: Stephen Frears, Writers: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Martin Sixsmith: book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee”

12 Years a Slave

This film needs no further introduction, it is another film that could totally win Best Picture. It is a very troubling subject matter, delivered in the real-est and yet most beautifully done way, with performances that could keep you awake at night. Based on a true story, from the book of the same name.

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen, Writers: John Ridley, Solomon Northup (Book: 12 years a slave)

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nasty, Naughty, Dirty, but well made and entertaining film. Great film making, great performances, but I would never vote this as my best picture. (there is a little good girl left in me yet ;-)) Leonardo said in an interview that this was a “cautionary” tale, but I did not find enough caution in it. Seemed to me like they may have got caught, but in the long run…they got away with a lot. All this film tells me is the good old saying “money talks…”

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese, Writers: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort (book)

Now drum roll please…the winner is…..

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