This article is intended to help the reader who may also be behind in one's movie going, catch up quickly, enjoy the Oscar race and be ready to celebrate on the the big night, March 2nd when the awards are handed out.
They key is in the prioritizing. That and a little bit of conventional wisdom gleaned from observing Hollywood and reading USA Today should see you through. Below are the Trailers ( In my day we called them previews ) of the eleven pictures nominated for one or more of the Academy's major awards. By major awards we mean Best Picture. Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress. This year there are nine nominees for Best Picture, and five each for the other categories making for a total of 34 nominations in a mere eleven movies.
The nominees for best picture are are listed in alphabetical order.
One through nine.The other two are not nominated for Best Picture but both films boast nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Editors Note: All previews below are gleaned from You Tube and and rated as "acceptable for all ages" except for Blue Jasmine which is rated "acceptable with with Parental Guidance." As a family publication, We have screened all and would suggest PG for each based on lapses in language, costume, occasional violence, and subject matter. Since the films are new many of the previews/trailers begin with commercial. The average clip is about two minutes long. If you are interested in extended information on any picture, five to ten minute featurettes with cast interviews and the like are also available on You Tube.
In the Modern era of the independent minded voters, well after block busters like Gone with the Wind, and Ben Hur, nomination sweeps of all major categories are rare. Two in a row for the same Director is incredible.
The movie won't be available till March 18th on DVD( maybe later if the picture wins big) but is currently playing at the Maple and Birmingham 8.
Captain Phillips is nominated for only one other major award besides best picture and that is not Tom Hanks but Best Supporting Actor nominee Barkhad Abdi. It has left most theaters but is widely available for rental at red box (in super markets everywhere $1.29 for 24 hours) and via Baldwin Library wait list oor Amazon Kindle Pay per view at $4.99.
Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club is also nominated for Best Actor (Michael McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) Both nominees have received their share of Oscar buzz. The movie is also cause related. Aids sufferers versus the bureaucracy, with former winning thanks to a dedicated individual. Hollywood loves causes and some see this picture as challenger of American Hustle for Best Picture. There is just one problem however. No Nomination for Best Director. Dallas Buyers Club is available for purchase on DVD's starting this Tuesday, Prices start at $17 and up. The movie is also available on I tunes and Amazon Kindle Fire/HDX to Prime subscribers for a $4.99 pay per view fee. Red Box lists it as a coming attraction.
Some Oscar buzz via the Directors Guild Award Best Director is making what looks like a fairly ordinary Sci-Fi movie (albeit with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) a contender for bigger honors. The picture is right behind American Hustle in nominations but most are technical. This is the second Picture in our list however which has the all important Best Director Nomination (Alfonso Cuaron) It also has Sandra Bullock nominated for Best Actress, who had an unfaithful first husband, speaks fluent German, and does well in action films like Speed. It is available in 3D at the Birmingham Palladium and is expected to be released to DVD February 25th.
Her has no other nominations except Best Picture. That means the nomination is its award. Catch it at the Birmingham 8. It is a fairly current theater release so no available date on DVD has yet been set.
Nebraska is this year's little picture that could win Best Picture.It has Bruce Dern nominated for Best Actor who has been amusing for the almost the last 50 years (Smile in 1975 got the ball rolling). It also has 84 year old June Squibb nominated for Best supporting Actress. The Director Alexander Payne is also nominated for Best Director.
The problem is Nebraska comes on the heels of two little films which got best picture awards in the last two year. That would be The Artist and Argo. Both were about the movies. Hollywood likes films that are about movies. Nebraska is not about movie making. It is also shot in Black and White.
The 1960 Best Picture, The Apartment with Jack Lemmon, and Shirley MacLaine, was the last Best Picture winner to be shot in Black and White until The Artist in 2011. Hollywood does not count 1993's Schindler's List which was shot almost entirely in Black and White. It won Best Picture, but because a small fragment of a scene is shot in partial color (for emphasis) it is not eligible for classification as Black and White. Nebraska will be released on DVD February 25th and is now available at the Birmingham 8.
"When she fell pregnant as a teenager in 1952 Ireland, Philomena Lee(Dame Judy Dench) was sent to the convent to be looked after as a fallen woman...." This picture is about adoption and discovery. It is one of three (if you will) woman's pictures which deal with family or lack of it. The other two are Blue Jasmine and August: Osage County. All three films are nominated for Best Actress. Only Philomena is nominated for Best Picture.It is currently playing at the Landmark Main Theatre in Royal Oak. No DVD release date has been set.12 Years a Slave
This is the picture given the best chance to upset American Hustle.It is the story of a pre-civil war free black man abducted and sold into slavery. It is a story Hollywood has told often and well. Paul Muni in the 1932 release I am a fugitive from a Chain Gang comes to mind. That picture won Best Picture of 1934 and Best Actor for Muni. Eighty years later 12 years a Slave is up for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Director. It will be released to DVD on March 4th and is now playing at the Birmingham 8.The Wolf of Wall Street
Sassy, Brassy and Crass have been said about this movie which was widely advertised on television. Humor is not Martin Scorsese's forte.Don't look for it to out Hustle American Hustle's Director who was really very funny, last year.
Cate Blanchett for Best Actress.Sally
Hawkins for Best Supporting Actress.
At Red Box ($1.29). Waiting list at Baldwin.
For sale wherever DVD's are sold. Not exactly Nora Ephron. A sad movie in many respects. Like its Writer, Producer, and 78 year old Woody Allen.
August County Osage
Meryl Streep for Best Actress. Julia Roberts Best Supporting Actress. At the Maple or Birmingham 8, No DVD release date set.