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Article – Best Film – The Oscars 2014


Posted February 27, 2014 by

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Best Film – The Oscars 2014

Award season is upon us with the Golden Globes and BAFTA’s already out the way, the 86th Academy Awards are just round the corner. The Oscars – doesn’t everyone want to win an Oscar and go home with trophy? Well I am sure that every filmmaker, director, actor and special effects expert who has been nominated is dreaming their name will be called out until the night finally comes. Of course, there are many worthy categories at this ceremony but the one that everyone raves about and the one that arguably gets the most press is ‘Best Film’. Over the last year we have seen some truly stunning films. Films that will make you laugh, make you cry, even make you angry. This years the list of nominations are truly inspiring. Each and every film nominated is worthy of this award, but there can only be one winner, right?

So let’s take a look at the nominees:

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Wow…where to start? But let’s start from the top shall we?

First up is David O. Russell’s FBI infested American Hustle. With a killer of a cast, consisting of the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale to mention a few, American Hustle was set for big things the moment it went into production. But what really sells the film for this one is the script. Alongside Russell’s fluid direction the words uttered on screen really bring this narrative together. And low and behold Russell had hand writing alongside Eric Warren Singer who is equally worth a mention for this fantastically worded script. The production values were also very strong. The sets, costume and hair completely embody the late 70’s, early 80’s feel where the actors really look their part. Above all American Hustle is captivating to watch. A refreshing film from an up and coming director, who seems utterly fascinated with everything to do with relationships.

For that, I score American Hustle with ‘5 out of 5’.

Up next, the rather disappointing Captain Phillips. I know this one went down pretty well with audiences and critics alike, but there was definitely something missing. Even Paul Greengrass’s shaky cam couldn’t save this one from sinking. Tom Hanks as the Captain of a ship that gets hijacked by Somali pirates sounds good at face value until you have to endure it. The complete lack of emotion until the final scenes of the film, really let this one down.  Sorry guys, but this one didn’t get my vote.

A low ‘1 out of 5’ Captain Phillips for letting Richard Phillips book being adapted so poorly.

Now this was better than I expected it to be. Dallas Buyers Club presents a very frail looking Matthew McConaughey playing an AIDS victim (who could easily give Christian Bale a run for his money when it came to dedication to a role). This is an emotional watch and represents 80’s America dealing with such a disease down to a T. Delivered by fairly unknown director Jean-Marc Vallee, we have the likes of Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto and funny man Steve Zahn all chipping in to make a great heartfelt feature. Dallas Buyers Club is a fascinating true story with gritty realism intertwined with excellent performances.

This nearly racked up a high score but I think ‘4.5 out of 5’ will do for Dallas Buyers Club.

Houston, we have a problem! Come in Housten…are mainly the words utter by Dr. Ryan Stone (and copious amounts of screaming!) in the hit British film Gravity. Director Alfonso Cuaron really struck gold with this special effects fuelled space story starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The things that were achieved in Gravity were groundbreaking. The 3D alone was stunning, never mind the fact the entire film was re-created digitally which they told Alfonso was virtually impossible, yet here we are.

A film that was only let down by its script, Gravity scores a ‘4 out of 5’ in my book.

Her…Oh Her. Spike Jonze’s latest film is breath of fresh air. Her is a gem of a film that takes us through the life of a sad lonely man who finds connecting with a machine far more better than human interaction. I know what you’re thinking, and yes they do have a relationship in a world where technology is on the verge of completely taking over. Much like the world we live in now, yet this is a far more superior universe created by the wonderful mind of Jonze. If you thought Being John Malkovich was brilliantly off the wall; you’ll love Her. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson’s sultry voice throughout, what’s not to like?

This cyber love flick all about Her scores a ‘5 out of 5’ from me!

Nebraska is a beautiful, hilarious and poignant narrative. Making the interesting and very refreshing choice of shooting in black and white, director Alexander Payne chose to create a film without frills but boy did he hit spot. Bruce Dern as lead character Woody gives the performance of his life alongside Breaking Bad star Bob Odenkirk as one of  Woody’s sons, Ross Grant. A film that is receiving a lot of good criticism at the moment and one that everyone should make the time for; even if it doesn’t appear to be that stimulating from the trailer.

‘3.5 out of 5’ for Nebraska.

Philomena was another great British film of this year. Starring the fabulous Judi Dench and Steve Coogan as a mother and son who find each other late in life. This heartfelt, feel good film has got some attention but not near enough the amount it should. Possibly not up to spec to be this year’s winner, but definitely comes very close.

‘3.5 out 5’ for Stephen Frears direction and some brilliant performances in Philomena.

12 Years a Slave is the film on everyone’s lips at the moment – and so it should be. Steve McQueen has done an amazing job at showing the world some extraordinary filmmaking and most importantly getting a very powerful message out there. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a very moving performance alongside upcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who we shall expect great things from in the future. Both of whom deserve every recognition for what they achieved on screen, along with Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Paul Dano.

This could possibly take the Oscar home – 12 Years a Slave ‘5 out of 5’!

Oh Leonardo and Scorsese together, again? Yes please! The Wolf of Wall Street is also on everyone’s mind at the moment, but for very different reasons than McQueens film. Wall Street takes everything to the enth-degree. The comedy, the sex, the script – everything is utterly outrageous but isn’t this what film is all about, pushing everything to its furthest point?

‘5 out of 5’ for The Wolf of Wall Street simply because this is an excellent piece of work from an excellent director.

There we have it. Only Saturday 2nd of March will tell, and we can finally see who takes home the Oscar for Best Film. If you haven’t managed to catch this wonderful selection of films get to your local cinema to see what all the fuss is about.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.05.17

Gloria Daniels-Moss
Freelance Contributor


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