Oscars 2014: If We Picked The Nominees (Best Picture)

If we were the movie gods, this how the 10 Best Picture nominees would have looked.

Whether you're an Oscar enthusiast or a casual fan who uses the night of the ceremony as an excuse to get drunk, either way, one thing all cinemagoers love to do is critique the Academy's choices. "How did Martin Scorsese not get nominated as Best Director for Taxi Driver?" "DiCaprio wasn't nominated for The Departed but was nominated for Blood Diamond?" "The Reader got nominated for Best Picture but The Dark Knight didn't!?!!?!!!?!!!?" These are typical conversations among cinephiles that started exclusively thanks to the Academy and their megalomaniacal annual awards ceremony, and everyone from your uncle to your niece can tell you how they would have improved the Academy Awards if it was up to them. In fact, the "I would have nominated X, Y, and Z if I were in the Academy" game it is quite irresistible. Each year when the Academy announces its list of their chosen few, it's only human nature to look over the slate of nominees and give your hypothetical stamp of approval or seal of rejection. Undoubtedly, it is this vicarious voting mindset that has led the 86-year-old awards show to become the cultural phenomenon that it is, and with that in mind, indulge us (and play along if you like) as we critique the Academy's lineup in this year's Best Picture race. Now for the last three years, the actual number of nominees competing for Best Picture has technically been a variable ranging from five to ten nominees (although so far it has been nine nominees in the three years since the field became a variable number), but in order to be as generous as possible and spotlight as many films as allowed, we are going to go with the maximum and name the ten films that should have been nominated for Best Picture of 2013. Even giving ourselves this much maneuvering room though, narrowing the field to ten is no simple task (the Academy might not have it so easy after all), as 2013 proved to be a year brimming with good films. It may not have quite been the existence-shattering year in cinema that it is being chalked up as in some corners, as there were only really a handful of truly great films, but without a doubt, there were a plethora of "good" movies this year, more so than perhaps we have seen in some time. The final list then is a good mix of all this year had to offer. Some comedy, some drama, and some in between. Some made the Academy's actual Best Picture lineup, some were likely just on the fringes of the final cut, and some never had a chance in hell at receiving a Best Picture nomination. All the movies though represented some of the best 2013 had to offer in cinema, from the work of the directors, the writers, the actors, and all the below-the-line people that make film the collaborative art that it is. Without further ado, the ten films of 2013 the Academy should have nominated for Best Picture.

A film fanatic at a very young age, starting with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies and gradually moving up to more sophisticated fare, at around the age of ten he became inexplicably obsessed with all things Oscar. With the incredibly trivial power of being able to chronologically name every Best Picture winner from memory, his lifelong goal is to see every Oscar nominated film, in every major category, in the history of the Academy Awards.