The Oscars are tonight and my wife and I have been using our leisure time these past few weeks to view nominated films and acting performances. Regular readers may recall that I saw only one of the films nominated for best picture during the 2013 calendar year. Until 2014, I didn't see many of the nominated acting performances either.
In any case, based on my 2014 efforts to see the 2013 contenders, I'm going to rank-order the films and acting performances. Obviously, this is my completely subjective perspective -- and not an ideal way to think about art. Plus, I can only rank the performances I watched. That is a big limit since I failed to see four of the Oscar-nominated Best Picture nominees -- including "Wolf of Wall Street" and "12 Years a Slave."
Note that these are not my predictions about winners in each category. Go to Inkling if you want predictions. Spoiler Alert: "12 Years a Slave" is a fairly strong favorite, though Cate Blanchett is probably the strongest favorite. Louisville's Jennifer Lawrence might win another Academy Award, but she is no longer the favorite.
Note: Most of the Documentaries have been available on Netflix for many weeks.
Update note: Shaded yellow will indicate additions/edits after the Oscars (and the original blog posting).
12 Years a Slave (DVD January 2015)
American Hustle **
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street (DVD June)
Her (DVD July)
Philomena (DVD July)
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena DVD)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Best Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom (Nominees to be determined) (Netflix February 2015)
Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher)
Dirty Wars (Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen)
The Square (Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)
** I saw these films in the theater.