It's between 12 Years A Slave and Gravity in our 2014 Academy Award Predictions – Part 4
Wrapping up the predictions for the 86th Academy Awards, it is time to focus on the big prizes – Best Director and Best Picture. Everyone has a different opinion what is the best movie of the year. Rarely does my absolute favorite win but I usually feel pretty good if the victor lands somewhere on my annual Top Ten Movies (click the link to read my list). As you will see, five of the nine nominees actually made my list. While I consider the other four very solid film’s in their own right, I won’t lie, I will still be disappointed if anyone not in my top five takes home the statue. No matter what others might say about AMERICAN HUSTLE, I believe this is a two horse race between 12 YEARS A SLAVE and GRAVITY. Without further adieu, Part 4 of my 2014 Academy Award Predictions.
Achievement in directing: “American Hustle” David O. Russell, “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón, “Nebraska” Alexander Payne, “12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen, “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese
The majority of the time, history will show whoever wins Best Director will also win Best Picture. So this category can be very telling. While all great in their own right, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese have all lost or won with better films. So they can quickly be discarded. Steve McQueen may have one in a different year, but Alfonso Cuarón pushed the boundaries of film making and achieved an epic masterpiece never before seen on screen.
Winner: Alfonso Cuarón for GRAVITY
Best motion picture of the year: “American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers, “Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers, “Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers, “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers, “Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers, “Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers, “Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers, “12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers, “The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined
2013 was a fantastic year for movies and this year’s race appears to be pretty tight with GRAVITY (my personal favorite), 12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE trying their best to squeeze into the top spot. David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE is a fun actors piece but it’s an inferior film to last year’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK which wasn’t able to beat lesser competition. Oscar winning history shows us that 12 YEARS A SLAVE has all the elements the Academy usually rewards – great performances, historical relevance and a greater issue that affects everyone emotionally. It is truly a powerful film and a worthy winner. Yes, DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB has those same elements but the fact is, the film simply isn’t put together as well by comparison. Hopefully its recent boost in public opinion doesn’t give this very decent and lovely film even more overblown credit. Overall, this is a great list of nominees and while GRAVITY has received a lot of credit, I still believe it is massively underrated as one of the greatest films, not only visually but in its deeper emotional themes about the human spirit and as a metaphor for being reborn.
Winner: 12 YEARS A SLAVE