ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Okay, the time is drawing near, for the annual ritual in which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors it's (supposed) best.

Of course, this happens every year, and every year there is industry politics involved. This has led to some almost embarrassing choices...Has ANYONE seen "Ordinary People", the film that beat out "Raging Bull" back in 1980?

But for the most part, the winner for Best Picture is usually clear-cut. Upsets happen - think "Shakespeare In Love" over "Saving Private Ryan" and "Crash" over "Brokeback Mountain" - but no matter who wins Best Picture, Hollywood usually just shrugs it's shoulders and goes on about it's business.

But this year is very different. This year, in a year of exceptional contenders, everyone agrees Best Picture will come down to "12 Years A Slave" and "Gravity".

For the future of Hollywood and moviegoers everywhere, I think it is important that "Gravity" wins.

To be candid, I have not yet seen "12 Years A Slave" and I have seen "Gravity". By all accounts, "12 Years A Slave" would be a worthy recipient of a Best Picture Oscar.

But to me, going with "12 Years A Slave" means Hollywood will once again be patting itself on the back for awarding a Very Important Movie.

But they can do that - and probably will - by giving awards in the acting categories to "Dallas Buyers Club".

"12 Years A Slave", as well made as it is, is a "message movie" that deals with our past. We have seen similar movies before and will again. Heck, we could get a flood of them, ranging from more movies about the sins of our past and likely get more anti-war movies based on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the process - no matter how much anti-war films have failed at the box-office recently.

"Gravity", on the other hand, is the kind of film Hollywood should be encouraging. An ambitious film that depends on acting skills and technical detail to carry it. A film that, in a world where people can watch movies on the small screen on their phone, everyone said had to be seen IN THE THEATER, preferably in IMAX and 3-D in order to get the full experience.

In order to feel like you were there.

Eschewing the quick-cuts that define our ADD generation, "Gravity" breaks the rules, tells a story, fills us with terror, wonder and awe at the same time.

In short, bot literally and figuratively, "12 Years A Slave" takes us to where we've been.

"Gravity" takes us to exciting new places and dares us to dream.

That should be rewarded tonight

American Hustle

Captain Phillips Dallas Buyers Club Gravity Her Nebraska Philomena 12 Years a Slave The Wolf of Wall Street


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