Best of luck to all of this year's Best Picture nominees as we approach the Oscar telecast this Sunday. I already wrote a little about The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Boyhood in earlier posts, so here are some quick observations about the remaining Best Picture nominees:
Birdman is an intense but often fun look at the backstage madness that is undoubtedly part of every Broadway production. It gets a little ambiguously arty at the end, but that's okay. Great acting and bravura production values make this a must-view for movie fans.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a quirky, fun, fable-like tale, full of whimsical characters and situations-- in other words, it's typical Wes Anderson. If you've liked past efforts by this director, you'll enjoy this one just fine. Like Boyhood, this one is already showing on most cable systems.
Selma tells the gripping story of the famous civil rights march engineered by Dr. Martin Luthor King. Dr. King is portrayed here as a dedicated but flawed person- an actual imperfect human being- which actually makes him more admirable, in light of what he accomplished.
American Sniper is (here I go using those two words again) gripping and intense, and you'll be pulled into it no matter your views on Iraq or Afghanistan. This movie is about the guys on the ground, and yes, a particular sniper in his aerie, and you'll care about all their fates.
Whiplash is a cool-ass movie about the world of music students and the importance of rising to the top. You'll probably appreciate drumming as you never did before after seeing this terrific drama about an unforgiving teacher and the star pupil who can never satisfy him.
Myself, I don't have a particular dog in the hunt this year, and will just enjoy seeing who wins. All of this year's Best Picture nominees are worthy films. Enjoy the Oscars!