Catching Up With the Oscars


We don’t care about the Oscars, right? After all, why would anyone pay any attention at all to what the people with the worst taste in the world think are the best films of the year? And yet… we do care, or at least take an interest, don’t we? Maybe we like the spectacle, the fashion, the glitz, or just the odd sense of smug frustration we get from knowing the big awards have not gone to the most deserving candidates. Either way, anybody who’s even vaguely interested in contemporary cinema surely cannot totally ignore the competitors, or the results announced during that interminable, overblown ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

At worst, the list of nominees for Best Picture (as in moving picture, right?) assembled every year by AMPAS (that ‘S’ is for ‘Science’, remember?), can at least serve as a reminder of some of the ‘big films’ – and if the ‘Academy’ loves anything, then its a big, *big* film – we may have missed during the year. So cynicism aside, we might use the time between the announcement of the nominations, and the portentously slow-mo opening of those little golden envelopes with the winners’ names on them, to catch up with the films that are, for better or worse, on the hopefuls list.

So, between now and March 2nd, Oomska will be running through the Best Picture nominees, writing capsule reviews, tracking the odds, and offering our own opinions on how worthy each film might be of such an award, if we cared about such things. So watch this page for news, betting updates, trailers, clips, and links to Oomska’s individual film reviews and feature articles. Feel free to get in touch with your own offerings and opinions…….

The Wolf of Wall Street

Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 50/1 33/1 66/1


Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Great. Modern classic. Best Scorsese since ‘Casino’, possibly best since ‘GoodFellas’.

American Hustle

Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 10/1 20/1


Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Very Good. Maybe no more than the sum of its parts. But what parts!


Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 100/1 150/1

Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Good. Begins slowly and builds. Tender, poignant, funny.

Dallas Buyers Club

Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 100/1 33/1 40/1


Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Good. Matthew McConaughey actually can act, and could take the Oscar for this.

Captain Phillips

Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 150/1

Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Good. Excellent action movie, occasionally transcending its genre. Silliness and longueurs towards the end don’t spoil the overall experience.


Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 11/4 7/2

Oomska’s Review of ‘Gravity’

Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Poor. Well-excuted special effects let down by dire script.


Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 150/1

Oomska’s Review of ‘Her’

Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Poor. Silly, too long, too in love with itself. Chocolate box imagery meets cracker barrel philosophy.

12 Years a Slave

Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 4/11 1/3 1/4


Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Very Good. Avoids pitfalls of self-solemnity. Great visuals, well-paced storytelling, fine acting.


Current Odds (Ladbrokes): 150/1 50/1


Oomska’s super-reductive summary: Ok. Surprisingly dull in parts. Coogan and Dench not firing on all cylinders. 

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