Oscars: Ranking the Best Picture Nominees

Photo Credit:http://www.bringthenoiseuk.com/201401/music/news/film-news-nominees-for-oscars-2014-revealed

Did anyone really see nine films getting nominated this year? Regardless, here we are with once again nine Best Picture nominees. But the best films aren’t always the ones that have the best chances of winning. Here’s how we rank the nine nominated films.



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/?ref_=nv_sr_19. Dallas Buyers Club

Ok look, Matthew McConaughey is great. The story is great. But Jared Leto just shouldn’t be playing a transgender. His performance felt like a caricature almost reaching the point of parody at moments (no one agrees with me because he’s going to win…). It’s a shame because this film has a lot of wonderful themes, but it all crashes down with an offensive performance.


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535109/?ref_=nv_sr_18. Captain Phillips

Paul Greengrass’ almost journalistic take on the Somali pirates’ commandeering of US ships is too much of a documentary to really be a narrative. What worked in United 93 has a tougher time here simply because we have nothing to latch onto as an audience. The film is very tense, but there’s a reason Tom Hanks got “snubbed”.


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/?ref_=nv_sr_17. The Wolf of Wall Street

Scorsese’s switch from mobsters to corrupt bankers may not have been perfect, but it certainly was memorable. Yes, the film runs a good 45 minutes too long, easily its biggest flaw. But Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his career best performances, showing both his dramatic and comedic chops. It won’t win, but you can never say Scorsese is uninteresting.


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2431286/?ref_=nv_sr_16. Philomena

This is the nominee this year that sort of came out of nowhere, much like last year’s Amour. Like its fellow nominee Dallas Buyers Club, the 1980s AIDS epidemic is covered, but this time in the background. Philomena gets respect for not making a big deal about its LGBT themes, but besides that it is probably the least ambitious films nominated for Best Picture.


Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821549/?ref_=nv_sr_15. Nebraska

I’ll admit, when I first saw Nebraska I did not think as highly of it as I do now. Sure, Bruce Dern and June Squibb were excellent, but the film was just so slowly paced that I didn’t appreciate the rewards until about a week after I saw it. If you can handle the pace, this film is so real to life and so beautiful that it cannot be missed.



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1800241/?ref_=fn_al_tt_14. American Hustle

David O. Russell continued his winning streak in 2013 with the best ensemble of the year taking on the ABSCAM scandal in the most comedic manner possible. All five leads chewed the scenery for the admittedly long runtime, making for one of the most entertaining films of the year.



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2024544/?ref_=nv_sr_13. 12 Years a Slave

The favorite to win, and for good reason, 12 Years a Slave was one of the most difficult films to watch of the year. Featuring phenomenal performances all around, this epic story became the movie to beat since it came out in October. Expect this clean up a ton of major awards, possibly even the big one.



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/?ref_=fn_al_tt_12. Her

Easily the best film of 2013 to tackle the subject of love, this genre bending sci-fi/romantic comedy has a lot going for it. It’s not a favorite to win, of course, but it will certainly become a classic in the vein of last year’s Silver Linings Playbook.



Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/1. Gravity

The year’s best film period, Gravity actually has a decent chance of taking the biggest award home. Mostly because Alfonso Cuaron is a favorite for Best Director. Between the groundbreaking visual effects and Sandra Bullock’s harrowing performance, this could be the first sci-fi film in a very long time to bring home the Oscar.


Do you agree with our rankings of the Best Picture nominees? How would you rank them?


By Matt Dougherty

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