Matt’s Movie Rank Tank – ‘Special Oscar Edition-Part 5: Best Picture’ by Matt Baughman

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It’s OSCAR Weekend!!!

And in honor of this joyous time of year, leading up to the telecast on March 2nd, I will be positing a series of rankings of the nominees for Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, and Best Picture. I will also share my prediction of who will win and who I felt was the biggest snub in each category.

As always, feel free to agree, disagree and/or rank your own nominees in the Comment Box below

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And Finally: Best Picture

BEST-PICTURE-OSCARS-2014

(9) The Wolf of Wall Street

MV5BMjIxMjgxNTk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjIyOTg2MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Honestly, this is one of my least favorite movies of the year. I wonder, if the movie was directed by someone other than Martin Scorsese and starred Ryan Gosling, would it be as highly praised? The movie had solid performances and could’ve been better if it was trimmed by an hour. But really, what we were left with was nudity, drug use, and Leo screaming. Rinse and repeat.

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(8) Nebraska

Nebraska_PosterThis was typical “Oscar Bait.” Good writing, strong acting from its leads and excellent cinematography. The black and white really added to the Midwestern ambiance. However, it was slow in parts and a little too droll for my taste.

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(7) Dallas Buyers Club

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This will be known more for the performances given by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and not by the film itself. Although the story-telling was a little choppy at times, it did portray a side of the AIDS crisis in a new and interesting way not seen in the movies; through a main character who was not exactly a saint. The nomination itself is the reward.

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(6) American Hustle

american-hustle-poster-2

I see the appeal, but don’t get the hype. It was a fun movie, I appreciated it, and it arguably had the best ensemble of actors from any nominated movie this year. However, if it didn’t have the pedigree involved in, it most likely wouldn’t have been on the Academy’s radar.

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(5) Philomena

philomena_movieposter_1385062211To put it simply, this was a delightful movie. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (who also co-adapted the script) have beautiful chemistry together, and they help make a tragic tale, into a heartwarming one.

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(4) Her

images (8)By far the most original script and concept of any nominee. It’s enjoyable to watch – the sets, the music, the voice cameos. Also, the acting was gangbusters with Joaquin Phoenix (and his mustache) playing awkward and lonely like a champ and Scarlett Johansson giving an all too impressive vocal performance. Surprisingly, it was one of the more realistic representations of a relationship that I’ve seen on screen.

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(3) Gravity

GravityIMAXdontletgoBlackfloatpostbig

Yes, it was a little hard to take George Clooney in a space suit seriously. And yes, the script toed dangerously into being melodramatic and a bit cheesy. But no one can argue that this was not a spectacle for the ages, with its technical accomplishments and artistic brilliance. Pair that with an award worthy performance from its leading lady, and you got yourself a deserved nomination.

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(2) Captain Phillips

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This really has no chance of winning, but what a thrill ride! Am I right? My hands were firmly clenched to the armrests, from beginning to end. A career reviving performance from Tom Hanks and an introduction to Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, this fast-paced adventure kept the audience off balance and the suspense flowing like the sea.

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(1) 12 Years a Slave

MV5BMjExMTEzODkyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTU4NTc4OQ@@._V1_SX214_This is clearly the most important movie nominated for Best Picture this year, and will be remembered for years post awards season. And beyond its historical significance, it is a phenomenal artistic achievement. From a visual level, to an outstanding cast, this film was difficult to watch….but one that needs to be. Oscar…deserved.

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WHO WILL WIN:
12 Years a Slave

WHO SHOULD WIN:
12 Years a Slave

WILDCARD:
Gravity

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BIGGEST SNUB
The Butler

butlerI think this suffered from its summer release date, as the Academy is known to have short-term memory. Given its subject matter, an outstanding cast lead by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey (who were snubbed as well), and a top Hollywood director (Lee Daniels who was ALSO snubbed), this had Oscar written all over it. But not only that, it is a moving and powerful film.

LINKS

Matt’s Movie Rank Tank – ‘Special Oscar Edition-Part 1: Best Supporting Actor by Matt Baughman.

Matt’s Movie Rank Tank – ‘Special Oscar Edition-Part 2: Best Supporting Actress by Matt Baughman.

Matt’s Movie Rank Tank – ‘Special Oscar Edition-Part 3: Best Actor by Matt Baughman.

Matt’s Movie Rank Tank – ‘Special Oscar Edition-Part 4: Best Actress by Matt Baughman.

Watch the Academy Awards on ABC on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 8 PM.

The Oscars website.