Sadly, every year since 2007, I have failed to see them all. "Michael Clayton" eluded me then, as did "The Reader" in 2008, "A Serious Man" in 2009, "Winter's Bone" in 2010, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" in 2011, and "Amour" in 2012. This year, after six years of failure, I was finally successful. Here are the nominees for the 86th annual Oscar Awards (in my personal order of preference):
3. Wolf of Wall Street
5. American Hustle
6. Dallas Buyer's Club
8. Captain Phillips
9. 12 Years a Slave
While the commentators have speculated that the award will come down to a fight between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave (with a possible wild card from Gravity), it's largely irrelevant. Winners are often bought with bribes, favors, and media hype, while the true "best pictures" are content with nomination. Regardless, there was really an excellent array of movies this year, and I'd encourage any of you to check out the list between now and March 2 (Oscar day).
As an English teacher, it's often assumed I prefer books to movies. Not so. I think books have a lot of value in that they have no time constraints, giving the author complete freedom to tell the story to the depth he or she feels is best, however they are no necessarily superior. Books are the legacy entertainment material, but films are the true medium of our time. A quality film and a quality book can have equal value both in entertainment, symbolism, thought, and literary value. Ignore those who would attempt to shame you into reading novels as they are inherently superior...there's great value in many media.
We'll see who wins in a month and a half. Until then, enjoy the Oscar season!