2013 was a stacked year for movies. Week after week great films were released, especially towards the end of the year.

Going into the Oscars, there were a number of movies that could have been nominated for Best Picture. But in the end there can only be nine, well there could be ten but, the Academy seems to favor only nominating nine movies for best picture lately.  Those nine movies are: 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

 

Photo: Japp Buitendijk/Fox Searchlight

A scene from 12 Years A Slave. Photo: Japp Buitendijk/Fox Searchlight

With last year being a major exception, the movies that aren’t nominated for Best Director don’t have a great shot a winning Best Picture. Which puts Her, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena out of the running, leaving 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, Nebraska, and The Wolf of Wall Street to battle it out for the top prize.

 

 

Out of those five, Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street are the probably the weak links. They were both well received, but not as universally acclaimed as the other three. It is also doubtful that American Hustle will win the award. Not because it’s lacking in quality, but because 12 Years a Slave and Gravity are both in the category as well.

In any other year, either of these two films would almost definitely win Best Picture. Putting them in the same category makes for some serious competition.

Gravity is a technical masterpiece. It is Alfonso Cuaron’s best film, and pushed cinema farther than any film this year. On the other hand, 12 Years a Slave is the best film about slavery ever made, and a brilliantly crafted picture.  It has a message and some commentary attached which the Academy tends to favor. It could go either way though.

If it were up to me, Her would win. But I don’t make those decisions.

 

What are your thoughts?  Let me know who you think will win Best Picture in the comments below.