the rundown: oscar’s best picture nominees, ranked.

Now that I’ve seen all nine Best Picture nominees just in the nick of time for tonight’s Oscars, here’s how I slotted them (from least favorite to favorite). Your mileage may vary. If you disagree, let me know.

9. La La Land
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That’s right, Hollyweird! The movie you’re going to choose as Best Picture shouldn’t have even been nominated. Look, it was a decent movie. The second half was better than the first. But this entire thing feels like a cheap gimmick. You know how I know how? Nobody’s talking about any of the songs in the film. You can’t boast a great musical without a great song! Still, Emma Stone should call me, though.

8. Hell or High Water
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I love Jeff Bridges and I enjoyed how this film was shot and acted. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was good for me. Not sure if it’s truly Best Picture material or not, but so what? Enjoy the movie!

7. Fences
Pictured: Denzel Washington (Troy Maxson) & Viola Davis (Rose)
Strong acting throughout the film. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are outstanding together. And, seriously, I hated Denzel by the end! Hated!

6. Hidden Figures
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Great storytelling about an important footnote in 20th century history. Sure, the movie’s a bit of Oscar-bait, but it’s well executed on every level. Perhaps a bit too polished at times but still an entertaining, positive film to watch.

5. Manchester by the Sea
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Kinda dark, kinda gray, kinda sad. Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges were great, but maddening at times. The creepiest character in the entire movie was played by none other than Matthew Broderick.

4. Arrival
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Like I said yesterday, this is how alien movies should be made. It was a plausible view on how the world might react and interact with aliens, should they ever stop by for a visit. Underneath it all, a rather deep thought about the passage of time.

3. Hacksaw Ridge
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I’m mostly glad to see Mel Gibson out of the doghouse and directing quality films again. And, to be fair, Hacksaw Ridge is a great film. Great storytelling and one of the best battle sequences I’ve seen since Saving Private Ryan.

2. Moonlight
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Possibly the most daring of all the Best Picture nominees and easily one of my favorites. Director Barry Jenkins took chances in composing Moonlight that I loved. It’s poetic, it’s fluid and it’s emotional. Truly a great film.

1. Lion
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My absolute favorite of all nine films I watched. Dev Patel was great, but the entirety of this film—the pacing, the dialogue, the acting, the cinematography…everything!—drew me in from the very start and kept me waiting for more. No other film evoked the same feelings for me as Lion.

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Filed under analysis, movies, opinion, pop culture, review

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