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All 10 2024 Best Picture Nominees, Ranked

Here we go!

The Oscars are tomorrow! I have to be honest: I was not a huge fan of this year's nominees. This is the first time that I've watched all of the Best Picture nominees, and I really was mixed on a lot of them. There were definitely some interesting films here, and it was a cool experiment to get out of my comfort zone with some of these movies. That said, here is my ranking of all ten 2024 Best Picture nominees.

10. Poor Things

This movie is just not my thing. I thought Emma Stone was fantastic and I think she should win Best Actress, but beyond her performance and her character, this movie was just not for me. I was incredibly uncomfortable throughout with the amount of graphic sex scenes and just weird scenery. I can understand how some people would love this, but I am not a fan of artsy movies, so Poor Things did not work for me at all.

9. Past Lives

I would say there's a pretty big jump in quality from Poor Things to Past Lives. I think I like Past Lives the more I think about it, but I'm still not a huge fan of it. This film has power in subtlety, but it also feels like it tries to be so subtle that it depresses a lot of the story and characters. There is barely any dialogue. The characters' emotions are shown through tiny mannerisms and facial expressions. All of that is cool, but I thought that the movie was just boring. I was not engaged in the story, which was disappointing, because the emotional punch at the end did not hit as hard as it should've. I appreciate Past Lives, but I cannot say that I like it.

8. Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon would be much higher if it was an hour shorter. I have always believed that no movie earns a three-hour runtime, and this film is three and a half hours long. It is a devastating true story told in a very slow, dark fashion, so it just makes for an unpleasant watch. I also really dislike that it shows the story from the perspective of the villains. The book is told from Mollie's perspective, which, to me, is significantly more interesting and powerful. I think you feel the injustice when you get the first-hand account of the Osage, and by showing it from Ernest's perspective, you just feel nasty.

7. The Zone of Interest

This movie was really, really interesting. Did I enjoy it? No, but that's not the point. This is a visceral, unflinching look at the Holocaust, but not in the way that you'd expect. Visually, there's nothing going on, but the sounds and the implied violence are what makes this film truly difficult to watch. I really appreciated this movie, because it is such a unique portrayal of the worst evil in human history. I think it would've worked better as a short film, because it is a brutal watch and does not need to be this long, but this was a super interesting film.

6. The Holdovers

The Holdovers was a good movie, but, like many of these Best Picture nominees, it was just too slow for my taste. I absolutely love the 70s aesthetic and I think the performances are great, but I just don't like the characters that much and I was bored throughout a good portion of the film. The story is heart-warming and I did start to like the characters near the end, so I do like the film, but I don't think it's great.

5. Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall seems like the likeliest film to upset Oppenheimer for Best Picture. I don't think it'll happen, because, as much as I like Anatomy of a Fall, it is not Oppenheimer. This film is a different type of court drama. It feels more personal and more realistic. I really dug the way that this movie took the time to develop it's characters and it's conflict. I thought the ending was really good. The thing that holds this back is the first half, which was excruciatingly slow (again, there's a theme here). The second half makes up for it, but I can't put it higher because I just did not enjoy the first half of htis film.

4. Maestro

I went in expecting to hate Maestro. And then I really, really liked it. I don't think the story or characters are incredibly strong, but on a technical level, this movie is a masterpiece. Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan give fantastic performances. The cinematography is gorgeous (and it wasn't nominated) and the direction is incredible (also not nominated). For those reasons alone, this movie was worth watching. Normally, I prefer story and characters to the technical side of filmmaking, but here, the technical side was so good that it made me forget the relatively standard story. So, yeah, Maestro definitely, definitely surprised me.

3. Barbie

I have complicated feelings on Barbie. On the one hand, I think that this is the most creative Best Picture nominee. I think using the Barbie product as a way to convey a message is genius. I just really don't like America Ferrera's monologue at the end of the film. I think it eliminates all subtlety and makes the film feel preachy. The story is also a bit of a mess: Will Ferrell's character serves no purpose and, as great of a musical number as it is, having I'm Just Ken randomly in the middle of the third act is just weird. I really like this movie. But I do not think it's great.

2. American Fiction

American Fiction is so close to greatness that it almost makes me mad. I think that the satire here is incredible. It's funny and thought-provoking, which so few films are able to be. The performances are great. The family drama is very well done. But the movie just doesn't stick the landing. It doesn't wrap up any of its plot lines, which I just found to be very disappointing. It left me with a bit of a sour taste. I really, really liked this movie, but I just wish it would've had a good ending, because then I would've loved it.

1. Oppenheimer

I don't think any of the Best Picture movies this year blew me away. I do think Oppenheimer is the only film that I think is great. This movie is epic in runtime, theme, story, and achievement. This is filmmaking at its peak. Christopher Nolan crafts a tense, scary story about the development of the atomic bomb that just shows off what you can do with a camera and some actors. On a technical level, this film is flawless. The production, performances, cinematography...all of it is just incredible. Do I think it's Nolan's best film? Not at all. Do I think it's the first one that will bring him a statue? Yes. Absolutely. And I think Oppenheimer deserves it.


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