I'm almost ashamed of how obsessed I am with the Oscars. Almost.
Anyway, I wasn't able to watch the nominations live, but I did catch the full list. Here are a few of my initial thoughts:
1. Box Office
This is the list of the 9 movies nominated for Best Picture:
"12 Years a Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
Now here's a list of the 10 highest grossing films of the year:
1 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2 Iron Man 3
3 Despicable Me 2
4 Frozen BV
5 Man of Steel
6 Monsters University
8 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
9 Fast & Furious 6
10 Oz The Great and Powerful
And while box office isn't the only criteria for a good movie, I do believe that there is a reason some movies are hits and some are not. Of the nominees, only Gravity is in the top 10 money makers of the year. As I've noted before, the Oscars are more exciting when popular movies are nomintated.
2. My Best Movies.
Here's a list of the 10 best movies of the year according to this blog:
|Man of Steel|
|World War Z|
|The Way, Way Back|
|Much Ado About Nothing (2013)|
|The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug|
|Iron Man 3|
|The Hunger Games: Catching Fire|
As you'll notice, only Gravity and American Hustle made it into the Best Picture nominations. I find that my tastes do tend to run more populist, seeing as how my top ten is closer to the top ten box office than to the Oscar nominations. But I do appreciate some small budget gems like The Way, Way Back and Much Ado About Nothing.
3. Return of the Taste Makers
The number of low budget critical darlings like Nebraska, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, and 12 Years a Slave mean that the Oscars are once again trying to tell us what is good. I'm not saying that these movies aren't good (I haven't seen them yet). But the Academy has taken it upon itself once again to tell hoi poloi what we should watch. I don't know about you, but rather than it feeling like fans enjoying and sharing their favorite movies with us, it feels like they are talking down to us and forcing their tastes on us.