With The Academy Awards beginning soon, many people realize that they have not even heard of some of these films that were nominated for Best Picture. In order to put it all into perspective, in case you did not have time to see the nine movies in the running, I compiled the titles here along with a short summary of why or why not said film will win or lose. Probably. After all the only way to find out is to tune in tonight!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lincoln_2012_Teaser_Poster.jpg1. Lincoln– This biopic is a favorite among history buffs and it is a model for great acting. Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the United States’ 16th president is nothing short of standing ovation worthy. Lewis will most likely win Best Actor for this film. Other highlights included Sally Field as the First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. Jones performed as he usually does…his wit and persona as the rowdy representative is what saved the film from being a historical bore. Lincoln appears to be a universal favorite and the costumes and performances alone will most likely win this film Best Picture.

2. Argo– In this CIA tale that was based on a true story, one brave agent named Tony Mendes, Ben Affleck, creates an elaborate fake movie production in order to rescue six Americans hiding out in Iran during the 1970s. A brilliantly done film, Argo manages to keep audiences on the edge of their seats the entire two hours of its duration. The producing and script of the film was amazing and this is number two to Lincoln for Best Picture predictions.

3. Silver Linings Playbook– While you can find a more in depth review of Silver Linings Playbook HERE, the best way to summarize this film would be by explaining the characters. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and even Robert De Niro helped to bump this film up to the top three. Portraying mental illness and disorder is a difficult thing to do and in the film, based on a book of the same title, it is treated with sensitivity and sophistication. The relationship the audience develops with the characters throughout the film made it all the more impactful. Silver Linings Playbook deserves a Best Picture award, unfortunately it will likely win the bronze medal and not get an Oscar for that category.


4. Beasts of the Southern Wild– A fantastical insight to surviving through the eyes of a six- year-old, Beasts’ protagonist goes above and beyond. Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays Hushpuppy in the nominated movie proves that in order to be a great actor or actress, age is not a factor. Living in the swamp-like wonderland that Hushpuppy and her father reside in, she must adapt to the radically changing environment around her. The visual effects and the raw emotion this film had was fascinating, however this film did not rack up the media attention it deserved partially due to the intense themes. For this reason, the film is number 4 on the projected Best Picture list.

5. Amour– A foreign French film about an elderly couple and the trials in their love life. Emmanuelle Riva continues to ripen with age, as she is now in her 80s, and it shines through in this film. She is definitely a top three contender for Best Actress as her performance was riveting, even through the English subtitles. Amour has a decent chance of winning the prize of Best Picture and for this reason it is number 5.

6. Zero Dark Thirty– This compelling film starring Jessica Chastain as the CIA agent who helped find Osama Bin Laden is one of the most interesting films of the year. Even if you did not follow the controversy surrounding the movie, it is easy to tell how much caution the cast and crew took to make this a tastefully done work. The events in the film are all predictable of course, but that does not take away from the intense drama of them. This is an important film for Americans though because pre Zero Dark Thirty, most people only knew that Osama was captured and killed. For those of us who did not read the proper literature, a visual representation of the story was the way we learned how this important American event came to pass. Yes, it was dramatized and yes, it was uniquely patriotic, but aside from the patriotic element and Jessica Chastain’s performance, which was worthy of a Best Actress nomination, Zero Dark Thirty is not likely to win the Best Picture award.

http://www.vertigocomics.com/comics/django-unchained-2012/django-unchained-17. Django Unchained– Quentin Tarantino has a way with movies. He has a certain way of knowing just the right amount of cringe-worthy violence an audience can handle. Tarantino also has a flair for niche audiences. Not everyone would be interested in watching Jamie Foxx, a freed slave named Django, and Christoph Waltz, the bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz who freed him, kill a bunch of people to save a damsel in distress (Kerry Washington as Broomhilda, Django’s wife.) However, that aside, the concept, the soundtrack, the directing and, dare I say, the heart in this movie had the power to earn itself a few nominations. Although Django Unchained is a favorite with some, others complained it was too long and had multiple points where it could have ended. For this reason, Django, while an exciting and fun film for the esoteric lovers of the cult classic Pulp Fiction, will probably not win Best Picture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Life_of_Pi_2012_Poster.jpg8. Life of Pi– Life of Pi, which is based on a novel, could win the award for a two reasons. One, the visual effects were spectacular. The animals looked real and the atmosphere was gorgeous. The second reason would be for the acting. Although many actors portrayed Pi Patel, the film’s main character, Suraj Sharma spent the most time on screen. What is particularly interesting about this film is that the entire time there was no Bengal tiger interacting with him. He simply had to imagine it. I certainly would not have been able to tell.

9. Les Miserables– As the only musical to be nominated for Best Picture this year, Les Miserables had to have been pretty good to be up there with the big boy dramas. Anyone who went to see the movie can attest to its greatness. Anne Hathaway, Russel Crowe and Hugh Jackman are the most notable stars in the show. You can read more about this adaptation of the Broadway musical in THIS review, however for Best Picture’s sake, the only thing that would make this worthy of the best movie in 2012 would be the three aforementioned actors and Anne Hathaway’s 15 minute scene in the beginning of the film. Although a depressing joy, you will not see this one holding the Oscar for Best Picture.