We finally watched DALLAS BUYERS CLUB on Amazon streaming. It is indeed one of the best films of the year, with fantastic performances all around. Yesterday Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Spirit Awards for their performances in this film, both richly deserved. It is a very well made film (brilliantly edited). Jennifer Garner is also very good in a smaller role. There are some rough edges in the production design (anachronisms) that were probably due to the very low budget of the film, but otherwise this is a worthy contender for best picture.
I have seen all of the other films nominated except WOLF OF WALL STREET. They did not send screeners to the sound guilds. I had hoped to catch a screening while I was in LA, but at three hours in length, I just could not fit it into any of my trips.
Click for my reviews of GRAVITY and PHILOMENA here, HER here, NEBRASKA here, and AMERICAN HUSTLE and 12 YEARS A SLAVE here.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, due mostly to the documentary-style direction of Paul Greengrass. It also had outstanding editing and sound work, as well as excellent performances by many first-time film actors. However I do not believe it is in serious contention.
At this point it seems like a two-horse race between GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. I think GRAVITY is likely to get director for Alfonso Cuarón, as the film pushes limits in a way no other film ever has (including its use of Dolby Atmos for the sound mix). I suspect that means a lot of voters choose 12 YEARS as best picture. It's hard to argue with that choice. It is definitely one of the, if not the, best film of the year.