The following films were nominated for best picture award:
Nominated for twelve Oscar awards & won four including best picture.
True drama about the Duke of York (King George VI, later on) who seeks a specialist to cure the stammer he suffers from to be able to give his speeches in an adequate manner.
English cinema confirms once agaim its superiority with this film that won four of the most important Oscar awards including best original screenplay by author David Seidler who wrote it more than thirty years ago but had to wait till the death of Queen Mother, the wife of King George VI, to be able to produce it on screen and who suffered himself from the same speech defect.
The film starts with a speech by the Duke of York & ends with one by the same person but after becoming a king, and in between his determination to overcome his speech defect with Hitler as a motivator.
The dialogue is very realistic & exquisite, Colin Firth who won the best actor award is superb assisted greatly by Geoffrey Rush's acting in the role of the specialist.
All elements of the film are distinguished but in a conventional style while the film ensures the importance of unconventional methods in the form of the Australian specialist.
Grade : 8 out of 10
Nominated for eight Oscar awards & won four.
Science fiction about a thief who specializes in stealing the dreams of others, being asked to implant an idea in the dream of a giant corporation's heir.
English author/director Christopher Nolan distinguishes himself once again, as he often does since "Memento" that caught the attention by its original screenplay, and gives us a film that stimulates the mind of the spectator and drives him to assimilate the transcendence of human intellect thru a multi-level dream exposure. Special effects are fantastic and near flawless in addition to a great cinematography. Actors give a decent performance as no room for distinction in such presentation. The story also relates to the world of business and some believes.
As for the finale, it's another level of the usual open ending that lets the audience select the unseen end by allowing several interpretations to the shown end!
Grade : 8.5 out of 10
Nominated for five Oscar awards & won one for best performance by an actress in a leading role.
Psychological drama about a female dancer who gets the principal role in the Swan Lake ballet but because of her shy & innocent personality is pressured by the director to change to be able to perform the role of the desirous black swan in addition to that of the white swan.
This innovating & powerful film reflects the personality of its director Darren Aronofsky ("The Wrestler") who is renowned to put pressure on his actors in search for excellence & consequently Natalie Portman won the award for the role of the ballet dancer.
The film describes in a great manner the discovery of new facts & meanings by the dancer during her personality transformation from one extreme to the other or from white to black, the effects of the persons around her and portrays with just images steps of her maturity process or her personification of the swan.
An audacious & realistic film that reflects the importance of perfection in the american society.
Grade : 8 out of 10
Nominated for six Oscar awards & won none.
Drama based on a true experience by an adventurous young american during a solo trip to a remote mountainous area that lasted 127 hours during which he faced a dangerous situation.
English director Danny Boyle whose previous film "Slumdog Millionaire" won best picture Oscar award, proves to be a distinguished director and presents an exciting film even when limited in most of its duration to a single character performed brilliantly by James Franco.
The film which is artistically creative, includes a scene hard to watch for most of the audience and confirms the survival instinct of the human being.
An innovationist film that carries sublime meanings & messages.
Grade : 7.5 out of 10
Nominated for four Oscar awards & won none.
Drama about a girl looking for her father, out on bail, to convince him to surrender to the authorities in order to keep the family's mortgaged house.
The story that is realistic & touching takes place in the state of Missouri & Debra Granik the film director & co-writer of the adapted screenplay, succeeds in portraying the poor environment & harsh nature in which the girl lives and where one hardly finds a scrap or even a bone as the title indicates.
Excellent performance by the actors specially Jennifer Lawrence & John Hawkes in the roles of the girl & her uncle, both nominated.
The film is classified as being from the independent cinema and proves its role in presenting films of value.
Grade : 7.5 out of 10
Nominated for eight Oscar awards & won three.
Drama about the suing of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, charged by stealing the idea & exploiting it to his advantage.
The film notes the importance of providing an environment that encourages innovations specially in universities and shows the role of the youth in the society.
The fast paced film reflects the rythm of the current era & the involved characters thru an accurate & brilliant editing in the form of short scenes & fast dialogues that are sometimes hard to follow.
The adapted screenplay that won the Oscar reminds us in its construction with the one that won two years ago ("Slumdog Millionaire") and highlights the circumstances that led to the birth of Facebook & its huge success. Mainly intended for a young audience specially users of Facebook & other network apps, but others won't find the same interest in the film.
Grade : 7 out of 10
Nominated for seven Oscar awards & won two.
True drama about Micky Ward, the Irish boxer from New York, on his route to an unexpected championship.
Excellent original screenplay that was nominated, with well drawn characters & the relations between them which led Christian Bale, in the role of the older brother, and Melissa Leo, in the role of the mother, to obtain the acting awards.
The inclusion of TV interview scenes with the older brother served in ensuring the realism of the story.
The fighting scenes weren't well made but the film is more about the human being & his determination to succeed.
Grade : 7 out of 10
Nominated for ten Oscar awards & won none.
A western about a teen age girl who hires a gunman to find her father's killer.
The story is adapted from a novel, by Charles Portis, that was already produced in 1969 in an enjoyable movie with the famous actor John Wayne who won an Oscar for his role in it.
But this time the handling is disappointing from the Coen bros who previously won several Oscar awards for "No Country for Old Men".
They attributed to the story a darkness that wasn't there in the first film, the characters aren't well drawn and the directing is poor. It seems that switching jobs between brothers, as it was declared, had a negative impact.
Definitely the film doesn't belong in the best picture list!
Grade : 6 out of 10
Written by Daniel Tanielian, an Alexandrian with a passion for cinema