Almost three months left until the Oscars (2 March 2014), but the predictions of experts, film critics and editors have already started to gather around a few films that have impressed so far. Predictions will be influenced by the choices of Critics Choice Awards, The Golden Globe, Directors’ Guild Awards. For now, the closest battle is between two titles: 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.
There are over a dozen films with considerable opportunities to be on the list of nominations in the big gala. Here are the most common in a top ten.
1. 12 Years a Slave
The film directed by Steve McQueen is a captivating story about survival, winning the grand prize at the Toronto Film Festival. The script is based on real facts, in the core of which lies a black man, born free American citizen, then kidnapped, sold and forced to live a hard life full of humiliation as a slave on the plantations in Louisiana.
Gravity was one “wow” productions of the year, offering a unique spectacle. Alfonso Cuaron s drama about two lost astronauts in space can be found, along with 12 Years a Slave, in the top two favorites for the Oscars. This film with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney debuted at this year’s Toronto festival just two days after 12 Years a Slave.
3. Captain Phillips
With a topic inspired by reality, a story in which the tension is at its peak and a captivating performance from Tom Hanks, Paul Greengrass’ film drew many positive reviews. The Somali pirate attack on U.S. freighter in April 2009 is shown through the conflict between the captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips, and leader of the Somali, Muse.
It was voted Film of the Year by the National Board of Review and simply charmed critics in October, when it debuted at the Film Festival in New York. Characterized as full of fantasy, the film is placed in a near future in which a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with … its new operating system, intended to cover all his needs.
5. American Hustle
It will be released in U.S. theaters on December 20th, but it has benefited from a strong marketing campaign due to the attractive combination of talent behind the production – director David O. Russell and myriad of stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner.
The film recreates the 70s and plans to capture the attention of viewers through an alert story, the FBI, beautiful women, crooks and gangsters.
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
The film won the big prize of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival and has experienced a lot of positive reviews, which considers both the interpretation of the lead actor, Oscar Isaac, plus soundtracks and deep dramatic approach – made extremely pleasant and easy to follow.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Although it will debut in North American theaters on December 25th, a press viewing held recently raised the expectations related to the fifth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film, based on the memoirs of a former New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) centers on a fraud and corruption case involving both Wall Street, the banking world and mob.
8. Osage County
For the film version of the play of the same name, a Tony Award winner (Broadway) and a Pulitzer Prize, distribution was the most important asset. Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis make the dramatic triangle of a dysfunctional family where the mother is dependent on pills and daughters have to find resources elsewhere to overcome personal setbacks. The film is praised for intense scenes.
9. Dallas Buyers Club
It’s the movie in which Matthew McConaughey is unrecognizable due to the number of pounds lost – the role of homophobic electrician Ron Woodroof and drug addict, diagnosed with AIDS , who was told he would die within 30 days, was desired by Brad Pitt as well. The story is real and its bold and desperate plan to rescue and save the lives of other AIDS patients came to the attention of the press and the authorities, who have launched a war against it.
10. Saving Mr. Banks
Another top performance from Tom Hanks and especially from Emma Thompson, in a story that will surely captivate Film Academy members. Critics have praised almost in unison this adaptation of how the beloved film Mary Poppins came eventually to be produced, nearly 20 years after the promise that Walt Disney made to his daughters, who had begged him to turn into a film production the volumes of PL Travers.