ByManuel Castellanos, writer at
I love both Marvel and DC equally. Superhero Movie Theorist. Follow me on Twitter @MannyCastell
Manuel Castellanos

The 87th Academy Awards are upon us and one of the biggest news, as usual, is which film is going to win Best Picture. The nominated movies are really good, but I've noticed that A LOT of people have never seen, or even heard of a lot of these nominations so I am going to give a brief review on all 8 movies and at the end tell you my personal favorite and which film I believe is going to win Best Picture. That being said, let's begin.

American Sniper

Throughout cinema Hollywood has given us great war movies and American Sniper is one of them. Based on the life off Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, it shows his story about a man torn between family and duty for his country. A true American Hero, Chris Kyle lives on in our hearts as a humble man.

In an interview with Chris Kyle's brother, former marine, Jeff Kyle speaks that it's more than a film about Chris, but rather a film about the families who go through this. War is hell and families go through tough times when their significant other is away, risking his life everyday. This film captures that and can help inspire hope in families.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I have never seen a film more weird, more confusing, and yet be so beautiful and brilliant. This film is a film I believe students will study in theater. This film is odd, strange, and a movie I can guarantee you, you haven't seen before. To keep it short this is a movie about art. It shows us that art is subjective and anyone can make art, no one is "qualified" to make art, because art is art. You see that in the film as a critic addresses Michael Keaton character in the film saying he doesn't deserve to make art. We all have the potential to make art because it's subjective.

Another great thing about this film are the actors. Wow, was I blown away by the performances. What one of my friends pointed out is that the actors are, in a way, playing themselves. Michael Keaton character is a washed up actor who's main role is for playing a superhero and he's trying to come back from his past to be taken serious. Much like Michael Keaton, who's mainly known for playing Batman and Beetlejuice and he probably feels forgotten because he hasn't starred in a film for years until now.

Another actor is Edward Norton because as we all know, Edward Norton is an actor who likes to add his own input on the film and is not easy to get along with. That's who Edward Norton is playing in this film, himself. And Zach Galifinakis is in the film who's a serious man and what that might mean is that Zach Galifinakis is a funny guy, but outside of his work he's actually a serious guy who has serious talent for acting in serious films.

The cast was large but every single one of them were amazing. You must watch this movie and after you watch it, watch it again because I can guarantee you, you will be confused the first time around


The fact that this film took 12 years to create is an achievement all on its own. To watch a film about growing up and the obstacles that life throws at us is refreshing and beautiful to look at. We see a young boy starting from the age of 6 grow up to the age of 18. Using the exact same actors for all those 12 years we see the story about life and growing up through a boy, but as much as it's about him it's also about his parents who, although separated, have to deal with the hardship that is life. As we see our main character Mason grow, we also see his family grow and each follow a path they set for themselves to grow and become better.

When I ask people if they've seen Boyhood, they usually look at me weird and ask, "What's that?" I am truly shocked as it is by far one of the most beautifully thought-out and written film of 2014.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

A wonderful, fascinating film that only the mind of Wes Anderson can create. He has certainly proven himself to be an outstanding director by directing this film with a beautiful ensemble cast. It's hard to talk about this film without spoiling it but this is a quirky film, filled with witty humor that just makes people smile from beginning to end.

We also have a large cast filled with great actors, even though they may have small roles, we smile seeing them on screen. With great actors like Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and much more.

Another thing that makes this film spectacular is the color and setting, specifically the hotel. The color and the hotel itself feel like it's it very own character as they are so bright and appealing to the eye.

The Imitation Game

The great and tragic story of Alan Turing is told brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch. I, like many others, am a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and seeing this man act is watching art. The man is more than an actor he is an artist and he proves that to us with this role.

The Imitation Game is a gripping story from start to finish, probably one of the best drama's ever told, with the best comedic timing. Every actor in this film is utilized and the film gives justice to a great man who has been shunned away from our history books. To learn about this man and his team is fascinating, but to find out what happened to him is horrendous. This film does more than give justice to a man who helped the Allies win WW2, but gives us knowledge of events in history, we never knew existed.


The civil rights movements is wonderfully expressed by the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr. played by David Oyelowo. Not much can be said about this film other than that it is raw and empowering. A true biography of the great Martin Luther King Jr. A film based on real life events, where one never feels bored as you are entranced by the film from beginning to end. Even if you were to know what happens through the events, Selma certainly delivers suspense and surprises.

What I find so great about this film as well is that we don't see the legend but rather the man. Although Martin Luther King Jr. preaches equality and to stay strong he has fears. He is afraid for his family, friends, and all the people who rally behind him and protest. This is a film that does great service to a great man.

The Theory of Everything

Certainly a wonderful film, although if I am being honest, it is my least favorite film in this category. However, this is still a great film to watch, showing far more emotion than The Fault in Our Stars. This film offers us something that many of the other films don't and that is hope. We see the struggles of Stephen Hawking with his disease, but we see hope in the fact that he never gave up. Even when everything was going to hell in his life, he still showed great perseverance.

To make this quick, it is a beautiful love story and a capturing premise on mankind breaking their limits.


Originally, I wanted to see Whiplash for 2 main reasons: 1. It looked entertaining; 2. I wanted to see Miles Teller performance and judge if he would be good in the Fantastic Four reboot. Never would I have thought that actor Miles Teller, an actor known to be a goof in his previous films, become an Oscar contender (My opinion). Instead of faking it and using effects, it was Miles Teller actually playing for us. There so much emotion, so much heart and soul poured into this character that we want him to succeed. Much like Joaquin Phoenix did when he played Johnny Cash in the film Walk the Line, actually learning how to play the guitar. Whiplash was a film that made us feel like we were part of the music and by the end of the film you are exhausted but leaves you wanting to see more.

My Favorite...


I feel that this film shows us a glimpse of the reality of the arts. Most of the time, Hollywood glamorizes the arts with a young person aspiring to be the best in music and he gets their, miraculously, becoming one of the best artist out their. We don't see that at all in this film. We see the struggle to be called "great" we see the horror of not fulfilling your dreams, we see the rise and fall of person, only to get back up in the end of it and pour his soul into his passion. Like everything else in life, art is all about self motivation and how much work one is willing to put into it. The sad reality is that all that work can amount to nothing at times and we see that in this film. But life is about taking that amount of nothingness and make into something and that is what Whiplash is all about.

And finally the Oscar for Best Picture (in my opinion) goes to...


As previously stated, everything about this film is an achievement. This is a film that hits me on a personal level because I am the same age as the main character Mason and although I don't do drugs like he did, I can certainly relate with him on many things, because he doesn't know what to do in life and that's something a lot of today's youth are asking themselves, because things aren't like they used to, getting a job is harder for young men and women and this film helps explore that aspect on what to do and it tells us that it's okay if you don;t know, you will find out eventually. This is a film that needs no plot because life has no premise. Life is a roller coaster with ups and downs and we see that in this film. The fact that it doesn't have a plot is what makes it even more unique.

That concludes my articles, whether you agree with me or not I would love to know what you guys think, so just comment below. Hope you all tune in for the Oscars today.


Which film do you think is going to win Best Picture?


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