And this was definitely the year of the con man. 'American Hustle’ and 'Wolf of Wall Street’ brilliantly and humorously showed us just how far people will go to make a buck.
'Nebraska' beautifully demonstrated that you're never too old to dream while 'Gravity' took us into space in such a realistic way that I cancelled my ticket on the space shuttle. Lastly there was 'Her,' which showed 'Miss Siri' that she's not 'all that.'
As for the acting performances: For the women, it doesn't get much better than watching the ridiculously brilliant Miss Cate Blanchett have a nervous breakdown; Judi Dench's pain, as she searches for a child, she was forced to give up as a teenager; Amy Adams use her sexuality to turn men's minds to mush; the always magnificent Meryl Streep giving us a delicious take on motherly love; and Sandra Bullock, who just wants to go home again.
As for the male performances, we have three different kinds of heroes... Matthew McConaughley, a man slowly dying from AIDS, as he fights the unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies, and the FDA, who were slowly killing the 'gay' community with their deadly drugs; Bruce Dern, a person nearing the end of his life, who's not quite ready to pack it all in; Chiwetel Ejofor, who despite the horrors he suffered, never lost his dignity or his hope; Tom Hanks, as Captain Phillips, a man who kept his cool and saved his crew, after they were attacked by Somali pirates.
For the aforementioned 'con men' - Christian Bale demonstrated what we can do with only a few strands of hair, while Leonardo DiCaprio took us back to a time, when no party was complete without a 'Lemon' or two.
It's hard to say, there was a 'best' performance or even a 'best' picture. Personally, I think that title should be replaced with the Academy's 'Favorite.' In any case, it was the audience that was the true winner. We got to experience, great films, great acting, and great times at the movies. Hopefully 2014 will be just as good.
The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 3rd 2014. What are your favorites to win?