LIST: MNL Film Club’s Last-minute Guide to the 2014 Oscars Best Picture Race

Here at MNL Film Club, we like to pretend that we are bona fide Academy members who can vote and influence the results of this year’s event.

As a product of wishful thinking, here are this year’s Oscar Best Picture contenders, as evaluated and listed (from least to most probable winner) by some of MNL Film Club’s resident movie buffs.

 

#9 Captain Phillips

Image

FOR IT: The film is effectively exhilarating but is that the kind of film Academy voters go for? Barkhad Abdi’s breakout performance might win voters over.

AGAINST IT: Tom Hanks was snubbed by Academy voters – a bold move from the people who gave him a back-to-back win in 1993 and 1994. No love for director Paul Greengrass either. The film has been compared a lot of times to Argo which just won last year.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.5

#8 The Wolf of Wall Street

Image

FOR IT: The Leonardo DiCaprio-Martin Scorsese tandem is always a force to reckon with. Leo IS overdue.

AGAINST IT: Although well-made, the film is raunchy and vulgar. Remember: the Academy voters are a conservative bunch. It might turn them off.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.75

#7 Her

Image

FOR IT: Beautiful film. Director-screenwriter Spike Jonze is loved by the Academy. So is Joaquin Phoenix.

AGAINST IT:  No science fiction film has ever won Best Picture. Spike Jonze is getting recognized in the screenplay department.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.25

#6 Philomena

Image

FOR IT: Judi Dench gave a performance of a lifetime. Pushed by Harvey Weinstein as aggressively as he always does (have you seen the ads?).

AGAINST IT:  Pushed by Harvey Weinstein. There’s just a lot of competition this year.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.5

#5 Dallas Buyers Club

Image

FOR IT: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto’s career-defining performances.

AGAINST IT: Always the nominee, never the winner. Get it?

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.5

#4 Nebraska

Image

FOR IT: The film boasts of phenomenal performances from Bruce Dern and June Squibb who both received nominations. Director Alexander Payne also received a nod. Sharp script and an endearing story.

AGAINST IT: Like the case of Dallas Buyer’s Club, the film received numerous citations but just a few awards.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1

#3 American Hustle

Image

FOR IT: All actors, with the exception of Jeremy Renner, received nods. Jennifer Lawrence. The Academy will buy anything David O. Russell has to offer. Jennifer Lawrence. Has the most number of nominations this year (tied with Gravity). Jennifer Lawrence. Cited by HFPA and SAG. Jennifer Freakin’ Lawrence.

AGAINST IT: The film is a little uneven. Audiences have to get through the occasional narrative lull to truly appreciate it.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.5

#2 Gravity

Image

FOR IT: An ambitious science fiction movie that raked in a lot of money. Sandra Bullock received her second Oscar nod while acclaimed director Alfonso Cuaron, his first.

AGAINST IT: It’s a science fiction film. The Academy has a long history of snubbing sci-fi films even if they were great, culturally significant or technically groundbreaking. You want conclusive proof? How about we start with Star Wars, A Clockwork Orange, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, District 9 and Avatar? If Gravity pulls off a surprise, then good for it and the science fiction movie. If not, let’s keep our fingers crossed for Avatar 2.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1.25

#1 12 Years A Slave

Image

FOR IT: Brilliant ensemble, directing and production. Won at almost every awards ceremony.

AGAINST IT: Voters who are pushing for Gravity or American Hustle.

MNL FILM CLUB SCORE: 1

Afterword: Unless Gravity or American Hustle pulls an upset on Sunday night (PH time: Monday morning), 12 Years A Slave’s fate is pretty much sealed.

Advertisements