The season heats up with the Academy awards around the corner. Play your bets safe because anticipating the Oscars for your pick might have you at Hello! We are talking about the best of the best. Big names, bigger stars and the biggest films compete for the golden statuette at Los Angeles this year.
My plate is never too full when it comes down to Oscar nominated films. The dynamically variant fabrics used for weaving wondrous pieces of cinema have come live on the big screen weeks before the award commences. From scientific accuracy in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity to the tale of science fiction romance in Spike Jonze’s Her, the directors have shown consistency in bringing out the best researched films of 2014.
While ‘Family Guy’ Seth Mac Farlane kept his wit on display last year; television icon Ellen DeGeneres makes a comeback to host the Oscars in 2014. My bohemianism (read romance) got rewarded with the diversity in the genre of Hollywood productions that have been nominated this year. There were human tales, fictionalized events, films based on true stories, biographies and movies that brought science with logic; a fiesta for anyone having a healthy appetite.
Tom Hanks who sported a French bearded look as Captain Philips successfully expanded his territory with a brilliant performance. Paul Greengrass envisioned and Bill Ray translated the fiercely captivating story of Richard Philips on screen. Like most of the nominations, this one too received critical and commercial success.
If there is anything remotely inexpensive in any frame of a film, you know you are watching David O. Russel’s American Hustle or its colorful cousin The Wolf of Wall Street. The star cast of both the films ensured their names signaled presence of the sweetest nectar. American Hustle, the multi-starrer runner which was designed to be of glamour and glitz, sketched the sting operation of the 70’s and 80’s. Though the film received mixed responses from the audience, the actors were a talking point for their creative ability. Leonardo DiCaprio who has earlier paired with filmmaker Martin Scorsese returns for a fifth time as the director-actor duo. While this film was in and out of controversies for its content, the audience’s reactions were mostly positive. The Wolf of Wall Street also became historically the first film to be distributed entirely digitally.
Both the audience and the media could not refrain from drawing parallels between last year’s Django Unchained and the 2014 release 12 Years a Slave. While there might be similarities in the films, they differed on many counts. Steve McQueen’s film about a Negro being kidnapped and sold into slavery was a highly sensitive narration of the human spirit finding freedom after being caged for twelve years. This film has received tremendous appreciations from all corners and is considered to be a potent winner in many categories for the Academy awards.
The titles that made into the race for the Oscars have films heavily processed with visual effects. So while Sandra Bullock and George Clooney kept you at edge of your seat, they were playing with wirework on earth. Much of what charmed the audiences throughout the film was due to the technological miracle VFX. The trend of recreating an era for a period film or bluffing the viewer to believe a whooping crowd in a stadium is picking fast. Among the films that used VFX extensively was The Wolf of Wall Street.
Mathew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club is on the list of many who predict the winner for The Best Actor. The film about smuggling drugs by AIDS affected Ron Woodroof for the betterment of his fellow sufferers is undoubtedly one of the most unique attempts of creating a biopic. Amongst the other entries this year, the list features Philomena and Nebraska.
Oscars have had the privilege of being looked upon as the platform where the cast and crew of the year’s successful films are honored. With every participant possessing a charm of its own, it is anything but easy to predict. So as clichéd as it might sound; only time will decide…
By Soham Bhattacharyya