I watch a lot of movies and read a lot about movies–magazines, newspaper, websites, blogs, press kits–so I’m aware of who’s supposedly pulling ahead in the horserace, Oscar 2014. But like with elections, it can be impossible to predict even the seemingly sure things (think Truman/Dewey or the recent attorney general race in Virginia).
I can’t resist getting into the speculation game and so in the format (more or less) that everyone else uses: I think Steve McQueen’s powerful, exquisitely shot, “12 Years a Slave,” with its three masterful performances (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o) should win Best Picture.
But maybe “Gravity,” which feels like future film will take home the Oscar. I too found it amazing to tumble through space–a “thrill ride”–and unlike when I saw “All Is Lost,” I wasn’t anxious (I can imagine myself on a disabled sailboat in deep water but doing repairs in outer space–not happening). But “Gravity” just felt like future film. The CGI/animation is peerless but the story is a variation on countless movie adventures, including “Speed.” Alfonso Cuarón’s wonderful 2001 film “Y Tu Mamá También” had more emotional depth.