The Academy Awards are coming up and even though I know a lot has already been said about the Oscars, I still want to have my share in it. I only saw 3 of the 9 nominated films. (Only 4 of them have been released in my local cinema, so I did my best.) I watched ‘Gravity’, ‘American Hustle’ and ’12 years a slave’. All of these films have earned their nominations, but they differ quite a bit.
I saw Gravity first and I must say that I was very impressed. I never really liked Sandra Bullock in a dramatic setting. She just didn’t convince me before. So, I was a bit afraid of watching a film in which she is basically the only character. However, she did an amazing job! I believed her when she laughed and cried. I even believed her fear. It did help that the setting of the film was so meticulously portrayed by director Alfonso Cuarón. He creates a beautiful world up in space. Even the 3D works. I never liked this new technology, because it never supported the story. In Gravity, it does. It was the first time I actually flinched when broken pieces seemed to fly towards me. In short, I have to say that Gravity is probably the most impressive film of the 3. Visually, it could be the new Avatar.
Next I saw 12 Years A Slave. Storywise this film spoke to me the most. It’s strange how slavery still existed not that long ago. This is a story about a free slave who gets sold by people who he thinks are his friends. It definitely pulls at your heartstrings, but it never goes over the top. 12 Years A Slave keeps it authentic and real. The performances are great. There are some very big names involved with this film: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt. However, the story is fantastic as well. Overall, this film just has it all. It is a must-see, not just for cinephiles, but also for the occasional viewer. It does not have the magnitude of Gravity though. It is not as spectacular.
Lastly, there is American Hustle. This is a difficult one. I expected a lot from this one. I mean: Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner in one film? This could only be amazing. And the performances were amazing. The setting was great as well. I liked the whole eighties vibe. The music, the clothes, the hair… But I felt that something was missing. The story did not really have me going. I dozed off from time to time, but then the performances woke me up again. The performances truly are phenomenal!
So, in conclusion: it will be difficult to choose an Oscar winner. If the Academy goes for the technically most creative film, they are going to pick Gravity. If they are choosing based on performances, they should pick American Hustle (I mean: Christian Bale truly is amazing). However, my vote goes to 12 Years A Slave. In my opinion this is the most well-rounded film. Everything is great and it is the one that emotionally got to me the most. But in the end it comes down to the choices of the Academy members and I have already learned that their opinion doesn’t always stroke with mine. We’ll just have to wait until 2 March to know the winner of Best Picture. I’ll try to watch even though the show is broadcast in the middle of the night over here and I’ll let you know.