THE OSCARS // Best Picture Picks


oscars weekend 1a

One of my favorite times of year is Oscar season, and to add to my excitement- this year is the first year that I managed to watch all nine Best Picture Nominees.  It's been an incredible year in film and they were each so amazing in their own ways. Which would be your pick?


09. Django Unchained
 Artistic, ballsy, and conceptually inventive, this film engages the audience and plays with the expectations and preconceived notions of not only history, good guys and bad guys, but story telling and film in general. Although I felt that some scenes were unnecessarily violent, and had some qualms with its portrayal of slavery, I also thought there were moments in this film that were laugh out loud hilarious and filled with ironic wit.  Christoph Waltz was incredibly charismatic and funny, and I thought his chemistry with Jamie Fox was a good one.  The opening scenes up til the first third of the film where the story primarily focuses on these two were some of my favorite moments of the film.

08. Life of Pi
On a visual scale, Life of Pi was phenomenally beautiful and imaginative- a spectacular delight to the eyes.  I left the movie with a similar feeling I had with Avatar, a real and genuine sadness for not being able to see places like that in real life.  I was drawn to the main character Pi’s struggle between spirituality and physicality in the beginning of the movie, but sometimes grew impatient with the floatiness of it all and felt like the concepts were too relative and not grounded in anything concrete.   That being said, I was really moved by the ending.  Though the officials choose the "story with the animals" when Pi asks them which story they prefer, I would have chosen both.  Though life can be filled with tragedy, we find it's beauty in embracing both its physical and spiritual truths and not one over the other.


07. Les Miserables
Although the story is set during the French Revolution, the concepts it touches on are timeless and indelible-  justice, the law, mercy, innocence, condemnation, shame, and the oppression of the people. The scene from this movie that stays with me til this day is Anne's Hathaway's rendition of I Dreamed a Dream.  Although the story is largely a plot between Valjean and Javert, I’ve always been most drawn to Fantine who seems to represents a trusting innocence and beauty that is exploited and tarnished by the world.   At the height of her agony, when she chops off her hair, sells her teeth and enters into prostitution in desperate hopes of making enough money to support her daughter, Hathaway busts out this insanely heart wrenching ballad full of heartbreak and emotion that stopped me in my tracks.

06. Argo
This sharp and suspenseful telling of the real life story about a CIA mission to save American hostages in Iran will keep you entertained from start to finish. The movie, which zips back and forth between D.C., Hollywood, Canada and Tehran, has a constant suspense that keeps you on your feet, but is also filled with the humor and satire of making of a fake, science fiction Hollywood blockbuster. Although I felt at times that it was a little over simplified, I thought that it was a really well made and seamless movie.


05. Silver Lining's Playbook
This soulful story about an ex-school teacher with bipolar is the first romantic comedy that I have enjoyed in a really long time. In the midst of the chaos and emotions is a solid cast and four really amazing performances by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver. You can't help but fall in love with these characters as they try to rebuild their lives in their own nutty ways.  And, though it sounds cheesy (it is a rom com after all), it celebrates the coming together of family and friends in getting through the ups and downs that life brings.

04. Beasts of the Southern Wild
This movie is such a breath of fresh air-  unexpected, fresh and original. There's an energy and vulnerability in this movie that really moved me, and I was just eating up all the visuals and DIY and color saturated aesthetics of this modern day folk legend set in the Bathtub community of the Louisiana Bayou.  The heart of the film was undeniably the adorable and spirited Quvenzhane Wallis who charges through the story with undying ferocity, insight and infectious optimism.


03. Zero Dark Thirty
I am such a sucker for strong female characters and Jessica Chastain's performance in this film had me wishing I was an unblinking CIA agent with razor sharp instincts and an unfailing resolve.   Although there has been some controversy over the representation of torture in this film, I really respect Kathryn Bigelow’s brain, admire the work she did here, and loved this film.

02. Amour
I hope people keep making movies like this forever.  This story which focuses on an elderly Parisian couple talks about love and the inevitability of aging and death.   Primarily shot in the couple's apartment, the rooms are filled with tasteful books, furniture and music collected over time that constantly hint at a past life full of rich experiences and serve as the backdrop to the interior lives of Anne and Georges Laurent.  Though unbelievably heartbreaking to watch at times, it was a story filled with love, compassion and honesty.  Bravo to Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant for performances will haunt the hearts of people who've watched this film for a lifetime.


01. Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, a man of profound greatness, whose grandest achievements altered the course of American history forever, is one of my greatest heroes, and it was like a  dream come true to see Daniel Day Lewis bring him to life in such an incredible performance.    Everything about his embodiment of Lincoln made me feel like I had actually gotten a chance to meet Lincoln himself-  his introverted awkwardness and idiosyncrasies, the kindness and fragility of his voice, but force and power of his words, the daily details like wrapping himself in a blanket during the cold nights and mornings.  A truly inspiring performance of one of the most inspiring men in American history. 


christina marie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love watching the Oscars! Unfortunately, I have not seen a single Best Picture nominee this year, but I'll definitely be catching up on rentals at some point.

christina marie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

by the way -- I adore your illustrations!!

Emy Augustus said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I saw life of pi (internet download) and silver linings playbook (in theatre).

Still really want to watch Les Mis. (she sells her teeth?!)

That must've been super cool and relevant watching the oscars since you saw all 9 of these! Did the awards given match with your own opinions?

I'm surprised the Hobbit wasn't included...?

Translated: UnderTheSun said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Melody you're so legit: 1) for the adorable illustrations you created and 2) for watching all 9 films!

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