Culture House Daily

Who will win best film at the Oscars? Here are the runners and riders.

2 March 2014

The Oscars dispenses its wisdom tonight. By tradition the award for the past year’s best film won’t go to the past year’s best film. This means 12 Years a Slave will probably win. Here’s a quick recap of the movies in contention and what our film critic Deborah Ross thought of them.


Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

‘It’s … three hours of the same events, over and over. Make a ton of money, get totally whacked on drugs, have sex with hookers. Make a ton of money, get totally whacked on drugs, have sex with hookers. And sometimes, for variety: make a ton of money, get totally whacked on drugs, buy a yacht, buy a helicopter, have the hooker stand a candle in your bum…’

Read the rest of Deborah Ross’s Spectator review here.


12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

Slavery was really really really really really really really bad. Thanks for clearing that up, Steve. Had no idea. I’ll unchain my maid now.

Read Deborah Ross’s Spectator review here.


Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

Just because a film is slow, boring and black and white, doesn’t make it good. Don’t let the film buffs tell you otherwise.

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Philomena (Stephen Frears)

‘Philomena is based on the true story of an Irish woman searching for the son stolen from her by the Catholic Church 50 years earlier, and although, as a cinematic experience, it could so easily have felt as if you were being repeatedly slapped round the head by a copy of Woman’s Own, it is, thankfully, quite a few notches up from that…’

Read the rest of Deborah Ross’s Spectator review.


Her (Spike Jonze)

The one Emily Maitlis really didn’t like.


American Hustle (David O. Russell)

The 70s one. With the hair.


Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée)

‘Although you’ll have heard that Dallas Buyers Club is fantastic and Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career, I know you won’t believe it unless you hear it directly from me so here you are: it is fantastic and Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career. In fact, it may be the best performance of anyone’s career. It’ll blow your tiny minds. It blew my tiny mind. ‘That blew my tiny mind,’ I even said afterwards, so it has to be true…’

Read the rest of Deborah Ross’s Spectator review here.


Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)

‘It’s based on the true 2009 story of the hijacking of a US container ship by Somali pirates, and the Navy Seal rescue mission that ensued — pirates, a word of advice: if you are going to kidnap Tom Hanks, America is simply not going to let you get away with it — and my heart was in my mouth throughout…’

Read the rest of Deborah Ross’s Spectator review here.


Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

Now don’t be snobbish. 3D doesn’t mean third-rate. Gravity’s a film that succeeds in extracting excitement from one of the most familiar givens in our universe. And as we all know, to make the commonplace strange is what the greatest art is about. Which is why Gravity probably won’t win.

Read what Joan Collins thought about Gravity in The Spectator.

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Show comments
  • David Prentice

    “It’s not just for gays anymorrrrrre” trilled Neil Patrick Harris about the Oscars recently.

    He was wrong.

  • CortUK

    12 Years A Slave? Sorry, but I refuse to watch any work by a man who wants me to believe Bobby Sands was a brave victim of oppression, a hero, an innocent man locked up by a fascist government because he dared to be a Catholic blah blah blah.

    The snobs who deride Gravity as a worthy winner are no less backward than the people who said talking the “movies” could never be as worthy or as good as the theatre. It gets my vote. At least it would if I was a member and had a vote. Which I’m not. And don’t. So I don’t know why I said that.

    Gravity is awesome in the real sense of the word. I don’t need to have watched it to say that I think 12 Years will win it. It probably doesn’t even need to be a good film….

  • fabulous intentions

    based on political correctness, which IMO is the only legitimate criteria, then 12 years a slave must win best film & all other categories, including best documentary , best short film, best foreign film , best cartoon & best catering awards and if it doesn’t then you are all racists !

    • James Strong

      Joyful celebrations are in order.
      The Academy has paraded with banners reading ‘Hey! Look at us, we aren’t racists!’

  • James Strong

    ’12 Years A Slave’ will win because of Academy luvvies wanting to show solidarity with the idea of anti-slavery.
    Outside the world of luvviedom few people feel the need to make this kind of statement because it is so obvious.
    ‘Captain Phillips’ is OK, but without Tom Hanks it would only be a TV movie.
    ‘American Hustle’ is terrific, and Christian Bale as a fat, balding but still charismatic criminal was terrific.
    The Best Picture, the most exciting, the most enthralling, the most captivating, was ‘Gravity’ but because it’s only a story and doesn’t address ‘the human condition’ with suitable luvvie guilt and angst it won’t win.

    • CortUK


      But I think Gravity does address ‘the human condition’. It asks a simple question: why, when everything appears lost and there is nothing left to live for, do we still fight to live? Our protaganist fights to live, and is reborn. It is beautiful in a way.

      Plus Bullock looks absolutely fantastic in her pants.


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