It's Friday! Come with me on a celluloid journey! Forget about the terrible world and snow piling up and laundry piling up—think about popcorn and glittery dresses and powerful acting and substantially heavy gold statuettes.
In preparation for March 2's Academy Award gala, here is our take on some of the films nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Picture. Note: Apparently some of them were awful.
Click the title for the extended review, or suffice yourself with the choice quotes then go see something. Say you're leaving early because it's winter?
"fails at greatness but lands squarely at good."
"Bale often drags the movie out of whack with his Method bullshit, but Adams really bites into Sydney, subverting her usual honey sweetness with hardscrabble ambition." —Tara Thorne
American Hustle movie times are right here, you sick son-of-a-bitch
"Here, [director Paul Greengrass'] workmanlike ability to craft harrowing realism clots any attempts at sermonizing while escalating the suspense to peerless levels. A bit of a missed opportunity, actually, since only a few crumbs of reasoning go to explain the actions of the impoverished, warlord-controlled pirates (led by skeletal newcomer Barkhad Abdi)." —Jacob Boon
Captain Phillips is playing exactly nowhere in the HRM
Dallas Buyers Club
"Jared Leto, as Woodroof's business partner, will deservedly pick up some award nominations for his gut-wrenching waltz to the grave. As should Jennifer Garner, doing some of her best work in years as a troubled doctor watching her friends die due to indifferent legislators." —Jacob Boon
Dallas Buyers Club times are here, and may leave theatres soon, be warned.
"Clooney's mainly along for his charm, but it's Bullock who will rightfully pick up some awards, acting entirely through her eyes (aside from a couple formidably physical scenes) while stuck in a CGI spacesuit." —Jacob Boon, who's really doling out the awards predictions.
Gravity is playing many, many times today at Bayers Lake.
"Named Samantha, she soon begins to exceed her programming (or does she?) and develops feelings, specifically for Theodore (or does she?). As whenever machines become hyper-intelligent, it does not go well (or does it)?" —Tara Thorne, who was really on her game for this review.
Her is playing a lonely matinee through the weekend at Park Lane
"Shot in black and white, Payne nails the authenticity of small, broken towns, with their framed photos and desolate Main Streets, populated by ex-dreamers and lifelong drunks. Nebraska lacks the sourness that permeates the likes of Sideways and The Descendants, trading it in for straight deadpan, to better and more lasting effect. This is a terrific movie." —Tara Thorne
Nebraska: You blinked and missed it. No showtimes!
"And you'd miss a soft-spoken script (co-written by Coogan) which prattles on about the meddlesome bits of living so much that you don't notice the half-dozen emotional gut punches which sneak up and crumple you to the floor. You should go see Philomena, you should go see Philomena and you should go see Philomena." —Jacob Boon
Well? Listen to the man! Philomena plays at Park Lane a lot.
12 Years a Slave
"Quiet scenes of unparalleled anguish play out over several agonizing minutes, testing characters' and viewers' endurance. Not the Derridean deconstruction of Django Unchained, nor the historical wet fart of Spielberg's Lincoln, 12 Years a Slave is a quiet testament, supremely crafted, with all the weight of the ocean." —Jacob Boon
Even though internet commenter Andy Smith seems to think it's not, 12 Years a Slave is indeed screening in Halifax
The Wolf of Wall Street
"Jordan Belfort is a self-made millionaire New York stock guy—you know, the ones who ruined the world recently. He loves sex workers, illegal drugs, throwing money around and having zero inner life or outside interests. The perfect person to play him is someone who has lived like this, so move outta the way, fatass, cause here comes craggy, spray-tanned manchild Leonardo DiCaprio—who turns 40 this year and starts the movie at 22, lol—to dredge up his ’90s-era Pussy Posse heyday for all to see." —Tara Thorne
The Wolf of Wall Street is playing all over, don't bring your five-year-old.