The Awards Forecast: Best Picture

After seeing a vast majority of films this year, I can confidently say this list of nine movies represents the best that cinema had to offer in 2013. There was such a range, from simple storytelling in black-and-white to space odysseys with stunning visuals.

Come March 2, three films will be battling it out for the statue: “American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.” All three of these films should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the award season thus far: “Hustle” dominates the acting fields, “Gravity” sweeps up visual effect awards and “12 Years” has a unique picture of both. All of them have equally gained and lost momentum in the mayhem of the season, and it is still too close to call.

Check below for a list of all the Best Picture nominations and my dissections of each, and tune in on March 2 to see the big winners!

“12 Years a Slave”


Why it SHOULD Win: A moving, original piece about a sensitive historical subject matter, complete with brilliant direction and passionate acting.

Why it MIGHT Not: The film may end up splitting votes with “Gravity” and pushing some voters away due to the sensitive subject matter.

“Gravity”


Why it SHOULD Win: The film is a visual marvel and breaks the boundaries of cinema.

Why it MIGHT Not: While the screenplay is decent, it does not compare to the likes of “12 Years” or “Hustle,” and since the film only features two actors, the Academy’s largest voting branch may not take so kindly to it.

“American Hustle”


Why it SHOULD Win: David O. Russell proves once again he is a masterful storyteller in what may be his best film.

Why it MIGHT Not: At its core, the film is driven by its story and acting performances. It may end up losing out to a bigger spectacle.

“Captain Phillips”


Why it SHOULD Win: A tense screenplay and focused performances drive this film, which hits the audience hard.

Why it WON’T Win: The film is good, but it is not great, especially compared to the other nominees.

“Dallas Buyers Club”


Why it SHOULD Win: Amazing performances lead this incredible moving film based on a true-story.

Why it WON’T Win: While the actors are stand out, the film as a whole is nothing extraordinary.

“Her”


Why it SHOULD Win: The film is one of the most original pieces of cinema that has been produced in the last decade.

Why it WON’T Win: Sadly the Academy does not often lean towards films of smaller production values but big heart. However this is my personal choice and favorite film of 2013.

“Nebraska”


Why it SHOULD Win: A black-and-white film with a big heart, Payne’s latest outing has character and charm.

Why it WON’T Win: The film is far too simple to garner attention from every branch of the Academy.

“Philomena”

Why it SHOULD Win: This remarkable true story was translated brilliantly for the screen thanks to incredible acting and a flowing screenplay.

Why it WON’T Win: Again, the film is lacking in spectacle or huge impact. I’m just happy to see its name on the list.

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Why it SHOULD Win: This three-hour epic combines stunning visuals, a complicated plotline and solid performances.

Why it WON’T Win: In other years, this film may have stood a chance, but controversy surrounding its delicate content may have stirred some voters clear.

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