Ranking the Best Picture Nominees, 2014

I had nearly forgotten about making this yearly Oscar post, when I happened upon the following bit of inspiration in my Twitter timeline:

Fortunately, I’ve had enough free time while avoiding studying for field exams to watch all of this year’s nominees and then some, so ranking them wasn’t too hard. In order of personal preference:

  1. American Hustle
  2. Dallas Buyer’s Club
  3. Her
  4. Nebraska
  5. 12 Years a Slave
  6. Captain Phillips
  7. Gravity
  8. Philomena
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street

I usually am prepared for my favorite nominees to deviate pretty heavily from the actual winners, and this year is no different. I’m guessing that 12 Years a Slave will probably win Best Picture, although I preferred four distinctly more light-hearted films. I’m opening myself to criticism on the choice of The Wolf of Wall Street as my least favorite film, as I’m sure I just didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of Scorsese’s satire; I found myself bored halfway through. Gravity was another film which disappointed me – I love the idea of a Scifi film set in present day, but the drama was thin, and the female lead character was obnoxiously weak. A great action film to be sure, but no Best Picture.

I didn’t see enough of the outsiders to complain about the selections, although by year’s end I hope to have watched Blue Jasmine, Rush and August: Osage County. Inside Llewyn Davis and The Butler were solid, if not outstanding. The one film I’d say deserved more praise was All Is Lost, a must-see if you have any affinity for the Survival genre.