Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oscar Nomination 2014 - First Thoughts

Last year I got to watch the Oscar's nominations live from my hospital bed.  It was one of the highlights of my stay.

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" 
"Captain Phillips" 
"American Hustle" 
"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
7 Gravity
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
American Hustle
The Wolverine
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.


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