The 2014 Oscar nominations were released yesterday to much fanfare, with little surprises in the main category for best picture. It’s also at this time of year that College Humor releases its round of Oscar “honest movie posters,” where they replace the title of the film with the most bare bones description of its plot.
So without further ado, your 2014 best picture nominations as told from the straight shooter perspective.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
The second this movie hit theaters, there was a great disturbance in the force. As if a million bros cried out in joy.
The Wolf of Wall Street is like I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell except with a lot more sex, substance abuse, profanity, and immoral shenanigans. And when I say “a lot more,” I mean enough to satisfy a grizzly bear for the winter.
This is basically a movie that teaches you that screwing people over to get money and power is awesome and how to do it. No complaints, right?
When Top Gun came out, the Navy had its single highest recruiting boost since World War II. When this movie came out, Wall Street probably had its single highest candidate boost since the Dot Com boom. The f-bomb is dropped a feature film-record 506 times, probably 384 lines of cocaine snorted, 84 quaaludes digested, 30 pairs of boobs, and surprisingly, only five beers drank. Oh, and Jonah Hill’s penis. That too.
And in case you were wondering, that sound was four of your friends changing their major to finance while you were reading this paragraph.
2. American Hustle
For a movie tied for the most Oscar nominations, with 10, there isn’t a general consensus of opinion. Seriously, half of people hated it, half loved it. It’s slow. It’s charming. It’s boring. The girls are hot.
For some reason, no one can decide if this movie is any good, and yet, it’s nominated for 10 freaking Academy Awards.
Pretty much any movie with Jennifer Lawrence in it at this point is going to get recognition because pretty much every male aged 12-old enough to get it up is obsessed with her. It also has a lot of terrible hair styles (wigs), overweight Christian Bale, and cheeky humor – everything on your lazy, sweats + couch + ice cream movie checklist.
This is also the type of movie that either makes you thankful the 70’s, mercifully, are over, OR sad because the 70’s are over.
Probably the first one, though.
This movie is a two hour anxiety attack. Don’t see it. It will, in all seriousness, take one, maybe two years off of your life due to the stress it will induce. Picture yourself in a car that just went off of a bridge and is sinking in a body of water. That fear you’re imagining? That’s what watching Gravity is like. If you’ve seen it, you know it.
The film itself is very well made, for Alfonso Cuaron is a master of cinematography and powerful visual effects, so it’s certainly worth your time and money. If you’re a masochist, that is. This flick could also be renamed Sandra Bullock’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, With George Clooney.
I’ll be honest. Ever since I saw Gladiator as an 11-year old, the image of Joaquin Phoenix as an evil and tyrannical bastard was permanently seared into my mind. But my bias notwithstanding, it’s an original idea that, despite its premise, is translated to the screen really quite beautifully, both visually and chemistry between Commodus and, erm, his electronics.
From the poignant use of the color red to Phoenix’s mustache to a bunch of internet fanboys fapping to Scarlett Johansson’s alluring voice, Her is really quite a heartwarming story.
Still, though. Dude falls in love with a computer. Which, gives aforementioned fanboys hope for the future, I guess?
5. 12 Years a Slave
If you’re a white person, you will leave this movie and donate to your local NAACP chapter and begin working with underprivileged youth of all backgrounds. Also, the Native Americans were right.
On a lighter note, you get to see Brad Pitt play a Canadian, so there’s that.
6. Dallas Buyers Club
Being married to Ben Affleck is rubbing off on Jennifer Garner, from Pearl Harbor to an Oscar nomination!
I mean, it’s not as good as 13 Going on 30 or Elektra, but does have Matthew McConaughey doing dreamy Matthew McConaughey things (with a little more intensity), and Jared Leto, who pretty much only does movies about depressing controversial topics (see: Lord of War, Requiem for a Dream).
If I had my choice as to who would play a conflicted character with HIV in a feature film, you better believe my number one pick would be Tom Hanks. Number two? Mr. McConaughey, of course.
This entire movie is in black and white, kind of like Clerks. In a weird way, they’re kind of the same movie if you think about it. It also has Will Forte in a serious (sort of) role. MacGruber!
Judi Dench plays a stern, yet adorable old lady on a journey – a completely new and totally not overplayed role for her. This movie also hates religion. So if you like old ladies and hate religion, this is the movie for you.
Conversely, if you’re a fan of Jesus and dislike your 83-year old neighbor, stay away perhaps.
10. Captain Phillips
Did you know that the real Captain (Richard) Phillips was actually kind of a jackass? One that ignored multiple warnings advising ships to not come within 600 miles of the Somali coast and instead came as close as 250.
Yes, this entire event and subsequent movie would not have occurred if Dick Phillips (pun intended) had listened to warnings (and common sense). Or maybe it was all a conspiracy implemented by Columbia Pictures from day one to get Tom Hanks another Oscar. Could happen.
Whatever, though, Tom Hanks can play literally anyone on Earth and have you sympathize with the character. Yes, that includes Justin Bieber, Dick Cheney, and even Alex Rodriguez. (Tom Hanks in… Pain and Gain 2: The Alex Rodriguez Story).
Captain Phillips is pretty much what you would expect it to be. From the guy that brought you the Bourne trilogy, this movie will have nail-biting suspense, thrilling action, and guns. Lots of Guns.
And a fantastic performance as the pirate leader from Barkhad Abdi, a guy who was a cab driver prior to this film. Way to go, Barkhad.