It’s good news that the nine movies nominated for Best Picture in the 2013 Academy Awards didn’t include any movies with terrible, gratuitous violence. However, some movies in the other categories were too violent.
It will be interesting to see which movies win. Radio and TV commentators are talking about how the academy is looking recognize movies that are “important.” We’ll see if that happens and what important might mean.
Here are my choices for awards:
Best Picture – “Philomena”
It was a tough choice. I select “Philomena” because it features a story about an older woman. It’s refreshing to see older adults being featured in a Hollywood movie. True also of “Nebraska.”
Two movies had important messages for consumers. However, both, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle,” were greatly “Hollywoodized.” At the beginning of “American Hustle,” a message flashed on the screen “Some of this actually happened.” “The Wolf of Wall Street” also was based on a true story.
The “Dallas Buyers Club” is also stunningly good, raising issues about the early days of AIDS treatment and the oppressive role of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that I wasn’t aware of. “Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “Captain Phillips” also are excellent movies.
I was relieved there weren’t any movies nominated for Best Picture that showed gratuitous violence such as last year’s movie “Django.” It was a horrible movie. The only reason I stayed to the end was to review it for last year’s Academy Awards article.
Best Actor – Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyer’s Club”
Again, a difficult choice. I’m surprised to be selecting McConaughey, but his performance is powerful.
Best Supporting Actor – Bradley Cooper, “Nebraska”
Best Actress – Judy Dench, “Philomena”
Another tough choice. Meryl Streep did a tremendous job in “August: Osage County,” but the movie about a dysfunctional family was so dark, it was hard to come away with any positive feelings. Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” also gives an excellent performance.
Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Nyong’o did an excellent job in this important movie.
Best Cinematography – “Gravity”
Best Costume Design – “The Great Gatsby”
Best Directing – Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Best Film Editing – “Gravity”
Best Animated Feature Film – None
I only saw two movies in this category, “Frozen” and "Dispicable Me 2."
The Disney princess theme really bothers me because it gives girls the wrong idea about becoming grown up women, and, in addition, the movie is too violent for kids. I’ve written many times about the harm that occurs when children are bombarded with so many violent images.
"Dispicible Me 2" is just more violence, although it wasn't as dark as "Frozen."
Best Makeup and Hairstyling – “Dallas Buyer Club”
Best Original Score – “Philomena”
I’m not really a good judge on this because I’m watching for content, not evaluating the music.
Best Original Song – “Ordinary Love,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Best Production Design – “The Great Gatsby”
Best Animated Short Film – “Room on the Broom”
Although it had a dragon, it was much less violent than some of the others. Again, these animated shorts are made for children. Why do moviemakers, TV producers, and others think children need violent images to be entertained?
Best Sound Editing – “Captain Phillips”
Best Sound Mixing – “Captain Phillips”
Best Visual Effects – “Gravity”
“Gravity” offers stunning visual effects.
Best Adapted Screenplay – “12 Years a Slave”
Best Original Screenplay – “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Nebraska”
Having written two screen plays and about a dozen shorts, I appreciate the work and talent that’s needed to be nominated for this award.
In the Too Violent category are “The Grandmaster” and “Prisoner.” I’m glad they weren’t nominated in the major awards categories.
In the Just Plain Dumb category is “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.” It’s ageist, has off-color jokes in the teenage boy category, and is a poor depiction of older adults.
Be sure to keep in mind throughout the 2014 movie season to give your economic dollar vote to movies that are less violent, less ageist, and less sexist.