Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oscars Lowdown 2014

Six out of the nine films nominated for Best Picture for the 2014 Oscars awards are based on true stories from history. SIX OUT OF NINE. I think that merits enough qualification for me to write about them on this site. Here is a list of the nominees with my comments which I have been told do not jive with professional film critics. I have seen all of these. What else is there to do in this weather than stream movies illegally off of the internet go see movies? 

A look at the fictional contenders:

Gravity: Once you get past George Clooney's "charming" little stories and Sandra Bullock spinning around and around and around and around and around for what seems like an eternity, it's pretty good. Feelings of anxiety and suffocation do not dissipate throughout the movie. I wasn't sure if it was Sandra or me gasping for air? 3 stars

Her: It was interesting. Will make you fearful of a future where we become further disconnected with each other and develop more of a personal relationship with technology. I've had some good conversations on what actually makes a person a person since watching this. Regardless if they have a physical body or not. I don't now. And who woulda known, Scarlett Johansen is a good voice actress. 4 stars I may or may not have added an extra star solely for Joaquin Phoenix.

Nebraska: This movie was insanely polarizing. Throughout the first hour I was saying things like "I want to kill everyone," "Is everyone highly medicated?," "It has it's quirky moments which seem a little too forced but still produces a tiny chuckle," "Some transitions between scenes were done with a fadeout which is the worstest," "The black and white is distracting and I hate it." BUT in hour #2 I started to love the movie. Minus the black and white. I still hate you. Seriously, I really really loved this movie. It's about an old man believing in honesty (haha silly fool). "He just believes stuff people tell him." "Eh, that's too bad." 4 stars

A look at the historical contenders:

12 Years a Slave: The TRUE STORY of Solomon Northup, a free African American who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in Louisiana for 12 years before his release. They made the 12 years seem like maybe, 1 year in this movie. There was no sense of time. This was my least favorite movie of all of them. I know it was a true story, and blah blah blah but wow me movie. Wow me. You did not. Boring. Not original. Maybe I was having a bad day. 2.5 stars.
Image sources: Wikipedia and The Daily Princetonian

American Hustle: Based on the TRUE STORY of the Abscam FBI sting run out of Long Island beginning in the late 1970s. The FBI, with the aid of a convicted con-man, videotaped politicians accepting bribes. Several politicians were arrested and convicted. This movie was kind of boring. And the acting was fine. I'm not understanding all the buzz around this movie. Maybe I was having a bad day here too. 3 stars
Image sources: The Daily Beast and The Vivant
Captain Phillips: Based on the TRUE STORY of the 2009 Maersk Alabama ship hijacking, Captain Phillips is about the captain being taken hostage by pirates in the Indian Ocean. Not that great. 3 stars
Image sources: NY Daily News and
Dallas Buyers Club: The TRUE STORY of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas after he found that they were effectively improving his symptoms. All I knew about this movie going into it was Matthew McCounaghey wears a cowboy hat, and Jared Leto is in it at some point. Jared, you're the woman I knew you were always meant to be. I nominate you. And Matthew McConaughey what the fuck you were alright, alright, alright too. Jennifer Garner was Jennifer Garner-ish, as always. "I'm sweet, I'm smart, I'm kind of nerdy, and a little damaged *cute dimple smile." 4 stars
Image sources: Dallas News and Slate
Philomena: This TRUE STORY is about Journalist Martin Sixsmith as he accompanies lil ole' Irish lady Philomena on a quest to find her son she was forced to give up for adoption by evil nuns. It was good. I liked it. 4 stars
Image sources: The Irish Post and Heave Media
Wolf of Wall Street: That's right, douche Jordan Belfort exists in real life because this is the sixth TRUE STORY film nominee. This movie is based off of Belfort's memoir of his sexy thieving druggie life. It's really good. Exciting. Unexpected. Entertaining. It was the best all around I think. 4.5 stars
Image sources: and

Best Picture: The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Actor: Leonardo Dicaprio just because. Matthew McCounaghey or Bruce Dern should probably win instead though.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

I'm ready to be highly disappointed this Sunday.

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