Ranking the Best Picture nominees



I’ve seen 7 of the 9 movies, I’m not going to see more than the 7 out of 9. I have a beef with Tom Hooper, thanks to the Academy, and the movie itself (Les Miserables) seems to be nothing more than a gutter musical. As to the other one, Michel Haneke’s Amour, neither is the plot least bit tempting nor is the director one whose body of work you’d like to get familiarized with.

If I were to rank the 7, they’d be in the order of

Zero Dark Thirty
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi

I put Zero Dark Thirty at the top because it’s quite simply tremendously well made; and many others would have too, had it not been for the torture-gate. The controversy’s first victim was Kathryn Bigelow who was snubbed for the director nomination and with that, you’d have to say also went the chances of it being named the Best Picture. I’d be pretty pissed if the controversy went on to claim another victim in the form of Jessica Chastain. If Jennifer Lawrence gets it, it would mean the old white males (academy voters have a mean age of 62) liked the sight of her tush in pajamas, and if Riva, the oldest contender, gets it on her birthday, it would mean just that; Academy voters vote for the ageing actress as a nice gift on her birthday since the other contenders can still be recognized down the line. You must be naive to think it’s all about the performances. It claims to be all about the performances but it isn’t. News flash. But, most importantly, if Chastain doesn’t get it, it would mean the voters who like to think of themselves as saints and lack the ability to separate politics from movies, had their way. If you don’t like torture, protest against the government who indulged in it! Don’t be a pussy and then take the high road and pat yourself on the back by voting against a movie you claim depicts torture as useful.

David O. Russell then becomes my pick for the Director’s award. But with the category being pruned up nicely, I wouldn’t bet against them having done that precisely to clear the way for Spielberg. Tarantino not getting nominated isn’t much of a surprise, but Ben Affleck not getting nominated is. Once again, they could just be clearing the decks for Spielberg. The thing about Argo is I didn’t like it very much. Also, the thing about Argo is it’s got all the qualities to make Americans and American film-voters drool all over it.

1) Innocent average-Joe Americans going about their innocent jobs are held hostage by an evil Iranian regime following an Islamist revolution.

2) Ingenious Americans devise a clever plot and succeed in making the Iranians look like idiots.

3) The said plot is a Hollywood film.

If this film doesn’t get voted Best Picture, I don’t know what will. Ben Affleck deserves some credit, I suppose, for not going overboard and being circumspect and tasteful even with all that at his disposal. One can make the case for Beasts of the Southern Wild being better made than Django Unchained, and one would be correct, but one would also have to acknowledge the fun one had watching Tarantino model slavery to deftly fit into his line of humor.

As for Lincoln, the acting of the ensemble is pristine but every time Spielberg uses a score composed by John Williams to convey the poignancy of the moment, I lose my shit. Also, cross-voting. I couldn’t understand what convinced them to change their mind. I know ‘who’ convinced them, but only in some cases was I clear regarding ‘what’ convinced them.

Lastly, I trust you’ve all made acquaintance with my opinion about Life of Pi.


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