The 84th Academy Awards: The Real 9 Best Pictures of theYear!

So, it’s that time again! Time for Hollywood to stroke itself over another year of quality entertainment and inspiring film going experiences. Time for Meryl Streep to act “surprised” and “shocked” to win another Oscar. Time for another antiquated Billy Crystal performance. If you’re under the age of 35 go ahead and Wikipedia that name. Time for me to get frustrated watching the ceremony and realizing how many more deserving films were once again ignored by the members! Yes, that’s right. It’s the Academy Awards this Sunday and I hate that I care so much!

To better deal with my Oscar related neurosis I’ve decided to put together a list of my 9 Best Picture nominees. Yes, there are 9 Best Picture nominees this year, not 10, because the Academy wants to prove that they are in fact a discerning bunch! Here are my nominees in reverse order:

9.  Contagion

Steven Soderbergh’s thrilling procedural about how the world would respond to a global disease outbreak.

8.  Beginners

Christopher Plummer gives an Oscar worthy performance in this sad and funny look at a father and son coming to terms with who they really are.

7.  X-Men: First Class

I did feel a bit obligated to pick at least one “geeky” movie for this list, but Matthew Vaughn’s relaunch of the X-Men movie franchise is actually deserving to be here. The casting of the younger versions of Professor Xavier(James McAvoy) and Magneto(Michael Fassbender) is top notch and the film really sets up the conflict between those two characters nicely.

6.  J. Edgar

Now at the start of this film I had to contain myself from laughing at Leonardo DiCaprio’s accent, but to my surprise I was able to adjust to it and I think his performance really works for this very odd, bigger than life character.

5.  Bridesmaids

Funniest movie of the year! Some have called this the chick version of The Hangover but it’s much more than that. I look forward to whatever Kristen Wiig and her writing partner are working on next, though they said it wouldn’t be a Bridesmaids sequel.

4.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I should disclose that I’m a huge David Fincher fan and he really got it right with this one! I give him a ton of credit for remaking a recently released and effective foreign film version of the popular book series, while injecting it with some much needed Hollywood style, polish and pacing. I especially liked the James Bond inspired title sequence.

3.  Submarine (UK, 2011 U.S. release)

This is listed as a 2010 film but was released in the U.S. in 2011 so that works for me. I really loved this film! Think Harold and Maude meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and you pretty much get the idea and sensibility of this picture.

2.  Meek’s Cutoff (2011 theatrical release)

Again, a movie listed as 2010 but was officially released in 2011. One of my favorite films of the last 10 years was Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy with Michelle Williams and this new offering from Reichardt continues that same high standard of artistic vision. Again starring Michelle Williams, the story is about three families traveling across the Oregon Trail in 1845 and what consequences they face after deciding to take an alternate route. This is more in the avant-garde category of film and the story-telling could be a little challenging for some, but definitely worth checking out.

1.   Drive Angry in 3D

I know what you’re thinking. What the %#<*?? Well, if you haven’t experienced Drive Angry in 3D in a movie theater with 3 other people including an obviously unhinged fellow wearing his nacho cheese stained Spongebob pajamas in the row in front of you, then you haven’t experienced life OR the Best Picture of 2012!!

Nuff said.


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