After the jump, my own pick for "Best Picture".
Here, in order, is my ranking of the nominees for best picture of 2013. My ranking is based on the grades I gave the movies immediately after viewing them. In case of ties, I ordered them by my considered judgment today.
The envelope please. And the winner of the Wheel Award for Excellence in Motion Pictures goes to...
- American Hustle: The big con. Plot twists. Unforgettable characters. 1970s clothes and music. Pushes without going over the top. A+
Congratulations to the runners-up.
- Gravity: Stunning 3D images. Nonstop tension. Sandra Bullock is up to it. Forgivable liberties with science. "A hell of a ride." A-
- Nebraska: Aging, confused father travels with hapless son to Nebraska to claim $1 million prize. Poignant. Small town black humor. A-
- 12 Years a Slave: Important history. Soul-deadening drama. Nothing redeeming about slavery, America's original sin, still with us. B+
- Captain Phillips: Suspense relentlessly builds towards climax. Liberties? So what? Tom Hanks deserves Oscar nom with Barkhad Abdi. B+
- Dallas Buyers Club: Cad turned hero in struggle against 1980s AIDS epidemic. One-sided movie. Dubious history. Powerful acting. B-
- August: Osage County: Dysfunctional family is an understatement. Like a Godzilla movie, but a family gets shattered, not a city. B-
- The Wolf of Wall Street: Over the top depiction of excess. Too campy to be serious. Not campy enough to be funny. Bad Scorsese. D+
- Her: Divorced loser dates his computer OS. Sad...and not in a good way. The gimmick is only thing going here. Disappointed. D+