28 Feb 2014

The Culture Feature: Oscars 2014 Special

Every year I try to get as many Oscar nominate films in as I can before the big day. I never manage to see them all. I'm not sure that's humanly possible. I know hundreds/thousands of people around the world have the same pointless goal and to be honest, I'm not too sure why we do it. It's not like we're Academy judges. It's not like I'm even going to have the Oscar conversation with more than three people max. Still.

For once I figured I'd combine this time-consuming quest with a little blog post and release a Culture Feature Special: Oscars 2014. So here goes.

American Hustle
I'll just say it: boring. My original Twitter review was actually "meh." I just didn't get into it, and I'm frankly quite surprised so much of the Academy is. While the con story is interesting, I found it much too long and very complicated. I'm still not entirely sure what happened. Even JLaw didn't get me back into it, and that's saying a lot.

12 Years A Slave
Wondering why there are so many five stars ratings on this poster? Because this movie is absolutely terrific. There are few movies that can get to you the way this did, while teaching you, showing you beauty and pain and the human nature, all that with incredible cinematography and beautiful movies. This film deserves all the Oscars, no jokes. Ejiofor and Nyong'o especially were remarkable and should really be recognised for their performances. Masterpiece.

August: Osage County
I wasn't too sure what this would be like, and didn't expect this much drama from watching the trailer. But then, drama is what family is all about, isn't it? Drama and broken love stories. August: Osage County is the story of exactly that, told in a honest, sometimes brutal but strangely warm manner. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to people looking for a beautiful film that'll make them think a little. Cast wise, I was surprised to see how well these completely different actors fit together. A word has to be said about Meryl Streep, obviously, but what hasn't been said about Meryl Streep... Once again, she blew my mind and managed to become someone completely new. What a lady.

Who knew Sandra Bullock could act, is what this film probably caused many people to wonder. (I'm awful, I know, but really!) Gravity is worth the hype in my opinion: a film with a really original story, technically outstanding, carried by two actors who did a fantastic job considering how little they could interact with, and visually kinda magical. I feel like Gravity really took me to space (and I didn't even see it on 3D! Can't imagine.) Also I never want to go to space.

Such great actors in this year's Oscars! Phoenix is alone on screen 75% of the time, but somehow manages to create this story, this world, this love just by his presence. I hope his performance isn't forgotten because of the ScarJo 'is a voice-over really acting?' crisis. The real star is Phoenix, whose face can convey emotions like no other. Plus, what a truly original and quirky story, one which I'm sure will be real before long.

Dallas Buyers Club
The one true outstanding thing about this movie is its cast. A good movie can't exist without a good cast, but I think brilliant casting really makes a difference; and it did here. Incredible performance from Matthew McConaughey (whom I just googled thinking 'I've never seen this guy before' — but he actually just went through an unbelievable transformation for this film). Jared Leto is unbelievable as trans Rayon, and I really liked Jennifer Gardner's role who I thought felt a lot like a representation of the audience. AIDS is a tough topic to talk about and do it "right", and I think this film did it. It's informative, intense, entertaining and doesn't get out of your head. Watch it!

And if I was the Academy...

Best picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best actor in a leading role: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best actress in a leading role: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Best actor in a supporting role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best actress in a supporting role: Lupita N'yongo (12 Years a Slave)
Best original screenplay: Her

Catch you Sunday night to check if the actual Academy agreed... x

1 comment:

  1. Seems like you were pretty spot on! I'm not a massive JLaw fan (sorrysorrysorry) so I was really happy to see Lupita win. I still haven't seen Her, but I've heard it's beautiful, so I have to catch that soon! xxx Anne