The Golden Globes were this past Sunday. Now that they're over, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has permission to announce their nominations.
Back in 1999, I scored a major accomplishment. I actually saw every nominated film in the Best Picture category, so I was able to watch the telecast with an informed opinion. This feat has not been accomplished by me since. When they extended the category from 5 to 10 films in 2009, I just gave up on the pursuit. Let's see how well I do this year.
In the category of Best Picture, the nominees are:
American Hustle - I know at least two people who have been in David O. Russell films. Neither of them were in this one. Haven't seen it. I'll probably get around to it.
Captain Phillips - Didn't see it. I saw Saving Mr. Banks. Tom Hanks is always good... except for that one episode of "Happy Days" where he tried to beat up the Fonz.
Dallas Buyers Club - I found this slow and the characters were not compelling. The only other people in the theater walked out... Wait! I'm thinking of Mud (the OTHER Mathew McConaughey movie). Didn't see it.
Gravity- I TOTALLY SAW THIS ONE! In 3-D! Yeah! Space!
If you didn't see it, but would like to simulate the experience, do the following. 1. Lock yourself in a dark closet. 2. Breath heavily for two hours. 3. Repeat.
Her- I like all of Spike Jonze's movies, so I'll probably like this one when I finally see it. No, I don't think I would fall in love with Siri if "she" sounded like Scarlett Johanson.
Nebraska- Didn't see it.
Philomena- I don't know anyone who saw this. I think the Academy is legally obligated to nominate anything with Judi Dench until she retires... unless it's a James Bond movie... but even Skyfall won for music.
12 Years a Slave- Didn't see it... but I did see The Retrieval. If only that film had distribution, I'm sure it would be on this list right now. If there's a film festival in your area, it will either be there soon or it was already there last year. Follow it on IMDb and see it if you can.
The Wolf of Wall Street - Didn't see it; but I hear this film comes with a second Oscar nomination for Jonah Hill. I notice this is where the generational divide happens. Older folks are saying, "Really? The kid from Superbad who's not Michael Cera?" while the kids are saying, "Cool! Superbad's getting Oscars!" I'm not sure if this means they think the 2007 film is somehow still eligible for Oscars, or if they think Jonah Hill's name is actually "Superbad."
So, if the Academy Awards were based entirely on which ones I've actually seen (which they aren't), then it would be a tie between Gravity and a massive write-in for The Retrieval.
I refuse to make any actual predictions. That can only lead to embarrassment... like in 1999 when someone predicted Phantom Menace would sweep every category. This prediction was, of course, made two days before the film's release. It wasn't made by me... but it was still embarrassing.
Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony on ABC on March 2, 2014.