Going to the theater is one of the most consistently fulfilling experiences I can think of. I’ll enjoy a movie even if it has almost no redeeming value, which likely makes me an ineffective critic. That said, I see a lot of movies, which is why I was surprised that I’d seen less than half of the 2013 “Best Picture” nominations. Here’s the list, the movies I’ve seen appear in purple.
The Academy has been introducing large nomination lists in recent years and, while I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I do think the list of actual contenders is much shorter. Even though I’ve only seen four out of nine of this years “Best Of” films, I’m confident that I’ve seen most of the likely winners (my biggest regret is missing Beasts of The Southern Wild).
That said, Here’s my prediction for “Best Picture.”
Lincoln is a fantastically made film, for more than Daniel Day Lewis’ acting. Spielberg did something interesting, or at least surprising, by making three hours of political debates entertaining. Of course, the subject matter of the film is important, though several old white men arguing will never be innately engaging, and while Lewis’ performance is completely and insanely convincing, evidence of the film’s success is noticeable outside of his acting.
Argo won “Best Drama” in last night’s Golden Globes, which was something of a surprise. While I enjoyed it, I never considered it to be a serious contender. Lincoln made me feel something, it was emotionally affecting, where as Argo was just entertaining.
Of course, Lincoln is my prediction for the “Best Picture” award, that doesn’t mean it’s my favorite film of the year.
Maybe I’m a little biased, as a huge fan of David Mitchell’s novels, I was very excited to see Cloud Atlas. It’s one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen, and I see that as a fan of the original work and a former sceptic of the novel’s ability to translate into film.
The Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer started working on the script on 2007 with the full support of David Mitchell. What’s more, I read an article from Mitchell in which he discusses the differences between the movie and the book. He writes “I met the three directors in 2008, and their plan to foreground the novel’s “transmigrating souls” motif by having actors perform multiple roles (each role being a sort of way station on that soul’s karmic journey) struck me as ingenious.”
He’s right. That cinematic decision in ingenious. It captures the tone of the novel without being a part of the novel, and it works as a much-needed mechanic when translating. Cloud Atlas is a triumphant novel and, thankfully, a great adaptation.