Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Top 15 Films Not Nominated for Best Picture

Hello, Bloggers! Today, as a part of my Oscar coverage, I will work on a list of the Top 15 films not nominated for Best Picture. I couldn't do a top ten list because there were plenty of great films I wanted to include and didn't want to leave out. *Note: This list isn't meant to paint a negative portrait of the Academy. This list is just for entertainment purposes. Here we go:

15. Being John Malkovich: Kicking off the list is the offbeat science fiction dark comedy that paints a portrait of how one person can literally become someone else and showcases many people's desires about wanting to become someone else. It's very original, well-acted, and even diabolically funny. One of writer Charlie Kaufman's best.

14. Memento: While I just discussed the film that put Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze on the map, next is the film that put director Christopher Nolan. That film is the noir thriller known as Memento. This came way before the days of Nolan's Batman films and Inception, and it showcases Nolan's impressive range as a director. *Note: If you ever watch this movie, you HAVE to pay attention. If you have to go to the bathroom or whatever, pause it then come right back because you will more than likely get confused if you miss anything.

13. The Dark Knight: Next is yet another Christopher Nolan film. Now, I have a feeling some will complain that it's not ranked any higher, but it's my list, and I at least put it on here. I heard there was a bit of an outcry that this wasn't nominated for Best Picture and I can see why because Nolan manages to take a comic book movie and make it with artistic merit. Plus, it features one of the greatest performances ever captured on screen. *Hint: Heath Ledger as the Joker

12. City of God: The first foreign movie on this list, City of God, also known in Portuguese as Cidade de Deus, is a very grim portrait of the malicious outskirts of Rio De Janeiro. That section is the slum known as the City of God. The film is captured through the eyes of an aspiring photographer looking to get out of the city. While you watch the film, you definitely feel for him and hope he does get out and show his story to the world.

11. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: The next foreign film on this list, Diving Bell and the Butterfly is based on a true story about a man who suffered from locked-in syndrome, where his body was paralyzed and he could only communicate by blinking his left eye. It is masterfully directed and tells the story through the eyes of the main character. In fact, in about the first 40 minutes, it is literally shown through the left eye of the main character. Truly a phenomenal work of art.

10. Gods and Monsters: A very unique film that uses the story of Frankenstein's monster and his creator as a parable to the film's story, which deals with a gardener forming a bond with the late homosexual director James Whale. I feel that a film like this could easily encourage acceptance of people that aren't heterosexual and it does it in a less patronizing way.

9. Requiem For A Dream: One of the few films that made me cry when it was over, this harrowing look at drug addiction is definitely something they should consider as a substitute for the DARE program or health class. Rather than just telling and not showing, I feel they should just show kids this movie. When they are in high school of course because it is very disturbing. An important film but very hard to watch.

8. Mulholland Dr.: Next up is the film by auteur David Lynch that gives up a very dreamlike glimpse into the harsh realities of Hollywood: Mulholland Dr. Now, this film may require a second or third viewing because it is one of those films that makes you think. For some people, films like this give them headaches but for others, it makes watching the film more interesting. Plus, like The Dark Knight, this film features one of the greatest performances ever captured on film given by Ms. Naomi Watts, who gives perhaps the greatest dual performance I've seen.

7. Rosemary's Baby: A horror film that I usually watch on Halloween, Rosemary's Baby is a timeless classic that in my opinion, not just deals with themes of the occult, but themes involving betrayal, trust, and even isolation, as our main heroine is surrounded by all these people that could cause her to break down. It's frightening in a very haunting and subtle way, and proves that you don't need blood and guts for shock value.

6. Breaking the Waves: A film that I had just seen, Breaking the Waves is an outstanding film that shows just what people will do for love and for God. The film is very subjective and after it was over, I could not stop thinking about how amazing it was. The direction, the music, the colors, and the lead performance from Emily Watson, are all excellent.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Another film that may require a second or third viewing, Eternal Sunshine might be one of the greatest love stories I've seen. I like how it doesn't follow any rom com or love story formulas and tells the story through its unique visuals and performances from the cast, especially an unrecognizable Jim Carrey and the fantastic Kate Winslet.

4. Boogie Nights: The film that put one of our greatest modern directors, Mr. Paul Thomas Anderson, on the map, Boogie Nights is a slightly harrowing look at the porn industry that I could still watch whenever it is on TV. The direction by PTA is absolutely marvelous and I liked how the film has a serious tone yet also has a pretty dark sense of humor.

3. Catch Me If You Can: One of Steven Spielberg's absolute best that I've seen, Catch Me If You Can is a masterful crime film that offers a mix of witty humor, suspense, and even touching drama involving the theme of father-son relationships. This is a film that I would even watch around Christmastime because there are scenes that take place on Christmas.

2. Pan's Labyrinth: The last foreign movie on this list, Pan's Labyrinth is probably the best foreign film I've seen. While I watched the film, I remember being absolutely hypnotized by it. I thought the visuals, the cinematography, and even the creatures were all done amazingly and done by the creative genius of Guillermo Del Toro. The film is imaginative, yet very humanistic at the same time as it touches on themes dealing with childhood and warfare. One of the greatest I've ever seen.

And the number 1 film to not get nominated for Best Picture is......

1. Almost Famous: Now, this might be a somewhat biased choice because this is my favorite movie, but I still say this is the best film to not get nominated for the grand coveted Oscar prize. I loved absolutely everything about it, from the music to the character development to the story. This movie is like a love letter to my favorite era of rock music, the 70's. I can't say enough good things about it, other than to go see it for yourself.

Now, onto a few honorable mentions that I felt bad about leaving out: The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012), The Master (2012), American History X (1998), Carrie (1976), Election (1999), Blue Velvet (1986), Edward Scissorhands (1990)

So, those are my picks for the top 15 films to not get nominated for Best Picture. Please feel free to comment on whether you agree or disagree with my choices and to add your own honorable mentions as well. Thanks for reading!