Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.            

The 2014 Oscar Movie Picks List

The controversial film The Interview hasn’t shown in Hawaii theaters. I’m not surprised. Read The New York Times any Sunday for all the movies we’ll never see here in Backwoods USA.

I could have seen The Interview at the cineplex in Greenville, Ala., population 8,135, or the Bonner Mall Cinemas 6 in Ponderay, Idaho, population 1,137. Not here.


Image 1 of 2

Tilda Swinton in ‘Snowpiercer' TWC-RADIUS PICTURES

We get The Fault In Our Stars, The Skeleton Twins, This Is Where I Leave You, Men, Woman And Children, If I Stay.

There was a local run of religious efforts — Noah and God’s Not Dead— but both fell flat with reviewers and audiences.

Why a dog like Captain Americarose to No. 1 sure puzzles me. Snowpiercer by Korean actor-director Bong Joon-ho was good, but the model-train set was clumsy, and that ending — what, you eat the polar bear or the polar bear eats you?

I’m never surprised or disappointed when my picks for the Oscars go nowhere. Why wasn’t Beasts of the Southern Wild a unanimous winner in 2012?

Also, I refuse to do “best” by gender or main-versus-supporting roles. Just plain best.

My picks for last year: Best Movie: Grand Budapest Hotel. Nothing else came close. Miami Herald called it “a flume ride through the imagination of one of the most creative minds making movies today, and the pleasure curls your toes.”

Best Actors: Michael Keaton in Birdman; Tilda Swinton, totally off-type in Snowpiercer; Ralph Fiennes, totally off-type in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Reese Witherspoon for Wild.

Worst Acting Move: Denzel Washington as an action figure in The Equalizer.

Best Foreign Film: Metro Manila. Story, script, direction and cinematography all by the UK’s Sean Ellis.

Best Cinematography: Matt Flannery for The Raid 2.

Best Director: Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Animation: Boxtrolls. Great stuff!

Best Special Effects: The 2014 X-Men movie. But why is it “Men” when three of the mutant stars are women?

Best Documentary: The Hornet’s Nest. The only major critic who didn’t like it was Bill Goodykoontz (yes, real name) of Arizona Republic.

Most People Shot Dead in One Movie: November Man.

Waste-of-Afternoon Movies: Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy. Hobbit was an excuse to use leftover special effects shots from the other Hobbits.

Best Ensemble Cast: Birdman.

Are you, like me, realizing that it’s a waste of your movie-going money to pay more to see something in 3-D? A few things tossed your way. A little extra depth of field. But the glasses are often foggy and don’t fit well with your regular glasses.

I’ve given it up.

And for those of you who ask: “What do you look for in a movie?”

1) I want to be shown something or some idea I’ve not seen or considered before, like that 2009 Korean film Mother.

2) Unparalleled entertainment. That would be O Brother, Where Art Thou in 2000.