It's no surprise to anyone that knows me that I love the Oscars and eagerly anticipate them each year. And like each year, I try to watch most of the nominees. This year, I've gotten as far as I ever have and I have to say that I haven't really been impressed by the batch of nominees this year, especially the ones for Best Picture.
To be honest, the best movie that I've seen so far this year has been "Captain Phillips," a film that I wasn't too interested in seeing when it was first released. But the non-stop action and heart-pounding suspense kept me on the edge of seat throughout most of the movie. It was surely this year's surprise film. Tom Hanks, despite his numerous nominations, should have once again received an honor.
When I first heard of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" I couldn't wait to see it. I thought it would blow me away as much as "Children of Men" did, but it did not. Sure, there's some great cinematography and action sequences, but it just left me as cold as the deep void of space. I had a hard time getting myself vested in the emotional predicament of the characters. With the great cast headlining "American Hustle," I thought it was likely going to be one of the genuinely best pictures of the year, and while it's definitely a fun ride, that's about the only thing it's got going for it.
After "Captain Phillips," I think my next favorite nominated film of 2013 is "The Wolf of Wall Street." While it does drag on a little too long, it's incredibly entertaining and I hope that Leonardo DiCaprio finally goes home with the gold, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'd say it's most likely that Matthew McConaughey will be taking it home.
Speaking of McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" was an entertaining film, for as entertaining as a film about the AIDS epidemic can be. But it still didn't strike a chord with me the way I was hoping it would be.
"12 Years a Slave," while being a harrowing film, just didn't live up to all the hype surrounding it. But I will say that the performances were pretty impressive and I wouldn't be surprised if an actor or actress from the film ends up taking home a trophy.
It's really a mixed bag here with some good movies and some great performances, but nothing that really sticks out at the best picture of the year, at least nothing like in previous years. But then again, it's the Oscars. Nothing really matters. Especially when Marisa Tomei has one but Alfred Hitchcock does not.