So this without a doubt has to be one of the most embarrassing selection of best picture nominations I’ve seen in quite some time. When I look back at the piece I did last year on the 2018 nominations for the Oscars (click this link to check that out), I wish for a list as strong and full of such incredible films as that. I vividly remember struggling to rank those films, as almost all of them were full of something that was genuinely special; I struggled too not give them all the top spot for one reason or another.
However, this year, I find myself struggling to decide which one of these films is worse. Don’t get me wrong, a number of these films are good – and one in particular holds within it the same special magic that many of last year’s nominations had – but that’s the problem, most of them are only good films, while some actually outstanding films seems to have been ignored completely (‘First Man’ or ‘You Were Never Really Here’, for example). Minus a few of them, there’s nothing on this list that stands out to me as a film I remember having a significant impact on me. For most of these films, when I was writing the review for them, I remember how underwhelmed or how forgettably fine I was with them. To look at this list and see some of the films that are now being given a significant spotlight to shine makes me… sad.
Anyway, enough with my frustrated ramblings. Let’s get on with the ranking and find out where each film falls on the list. Read more
Vice, written and directed by Adam McKay, is a film that always felt on the verge of ascending into something truly incredible; something that completely captivated you – and that’s all because of the film’s primary focus (Dick Cheney and the tornado of people around him) and the actors that perfectly embody some of history’s most defining politicians. But… there is one massive and obtrusive obstacle in the way of this really good film from being something truly great, and that is Adam McKay’s ‘shock and awe’ style directing, and frankly… his ego. So, the question is: does this film’s incredibly rich characters and its monumentally important story break through all the nonsense of Adam McKay’s writing and directing and deliver something worth seeing? Well, let’s figure that out together in this review, shall we? Read more
Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is uplifting, full of heart, and will certainly gain a few well-earned laughs from you. The greatest achievement of this film is that it takes the time to really explore its varied characters, and because of that, it ended up feeling like a more complete experience. Coming from the perspective of the characters first and then letting the story build up around them, both benefited my connection to the people who mattered and led into me being invested in their story. And so, it’s thanks to patience and some noticeable attention to detail (of many elements) that the film has you feeling like a part of the journey, throughout. Let’s bring this introduction to a close and start exploring all that, Battle of the Sexes has to offer, shall we? Read more
So now that I have seen all the films nominated for best picture, and reviewed them all, I wanted to go ahead and create an easy place for anyone to be able to find and read my full and in depth reviews on all of them. I also wanted to rank the films from what I felt where the best to the not so best. Now what I mean by not so best, is that while the films are certainly still good they just don’t compete on the same level as the ones higher on the list. At no point am I saying that these films are bad or shouldn’t be seen, simply that they lack the same level of quality and deserved attention as some of the others.
Before I jump into the films I want to give my thoughts on the selection itself. Personally for me this year the assortment of films was weak compared to previous years – that’s frustrating because there have been some films that have more than deserved the attention and recognition, but for some reason where overlooked or perhaps not even considered (I’m not sure).
Personally for me, four films that have certainly been overlooked and were much more deserving of a place in the best picture category were Sicario – directed by Denis Villeneuve (you can read the full review for that here), Carol – directed by Todd Haynes (full review for that here), Steve Jobs – directed by Danny Boyle (the review for that is here) and finally Creed – directed by Ryan Coogler (of which the review for that is here). In my mind all these film were astounding watches and far more deserving of the nomination. What would I have taken out in place of those films? That’s easy – Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian and most definitely The Big Short. Again all great films (except one of course) but let’s be honest nowhere near the same level as the films I’ve just mentioned.
But anyway that’s my two cents on all of that. Now I want to get onto the main purpose of this whole piece – The Best Picture Nominations. So what I’m going to do is rank the films from 1 to 8 (favourite to least favourite) and then give you a quick snippet of what I liked (or didn’t like) about the film. Also if you want to know more, you can click on any of the films and get taken to my full reviews which will let you know more fully what I thought about the film. Sound good? Great, then on with the show then. Read more
The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay is a film that seems hell bent on getting in its own way and making it almost impossible to deliver a story that is tolerable to sit thorough. So much of the film is unnecessarily gaudy and intrusive. More than delivering what is an interesting point in our history – The Big Short is intent on trying to show off just how clever and different it is… it doesn’t, it just fails. Read more
Foxcatcher directed by Bennett Miller is a film of remarkable performances and chill inducing storytelling, all which goes towards creating a captivating film that leaves you enchanted and at the same time uncomfortable from the films content. Read more