Only a handful of films were nominated for Best Picture this year, while thousands more were produced. Here are four films that were not a hit at the Oscars but still deserve some appreciation.
1.) “Moonrise Kingdom” – Nominated for Best Original Screenplay
Wes Anderson’s runaway love story is a refreshingly cute tale that feels nostalgic in a good way. This film chronicles the events on the fictional island of New Penzance before, during and after a “historic” storm arrives during one 1960s summer. Anderson, who wrote the film with Roman Coppola, unleashes a cast of characters who parody conventions of love and age as the young manic-depressive Suzy (Kara Hayward) and orphaned Boy Scout Sam (Jared Gilman) run away together into the wilderness. “Moonrise Kingdom” is a fantastically humorous display of how a simple plot of two youths can go awry and effectively throw a whole island into frenzy.
2.) “Looper” – No Nominations
This sci-fi noir film has the right mix of elements that cater to action-lovers and artsy intellectuals alike. Not often do we see a time travel film that interestingly spins the genre, but “Looper” does just that. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hired killer whose marks are sent back in time from the future. This effectively rids the future contractors of all evidence. While the concept may seem a bit farfetched, this film contained many twists and turns that make it a standout selection from 2012. If you like sci-fi and action, then you will like this movie. If you like sci-fi and action with meaningful characters, then you will love this movie.
3.) “The Impossible”
– Best Actress Nominee, Naomi Watts
It was no wonder why Naomi Watts received a Best Actress nomination for her work in this film. Adapted from the heart-wrenching story of a family that survived the horrendous 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami is deep in emotional sequences. Watts portrays a mother who is separated from her husband (Ewan McGregor) and two youngest sons after the Tsunami wreaks hell on their trip in Thailand. Watts and her eldest son, Lucas (Tom Holland) venture to find the rest of their family. “The Impossible” was directed and written by the team behind the Spanish-Language horror film “The Orphanage.” While it is not considered a horror film, “The Impossible” is certainty scary and thrilling on an emotional level because of the raw intensity and criticality of the story. Impressive yet was the sound design of the film, especially during the intense sequences of the tsunami and Watts as she screams for her on screen family among chaos.
4.) “Seven Psychopaths” – No Nominations
Hollywood has produced some introspective work in the past 15 years. Films like “Adaptation” and even this year’s Best Picture-winning “Argo” have displayed a satire of their creators. The film industry sometimes steps back and pokes fun at itself. And with the release of “Seven Psychopaths” came that concept to a new extreme. “Psychopaths” brings us Colin Farrell as a struggling screenwriter named Marty whose newest story collects a slew of maniacal characters he called “psychopaths.” Marty’s best friend, Billy Buckle (Sam Rockwell) is an unemployed actor who lives off the reward money for lost dogs that he kidnaps and returns. Everything goes haywire when a violent gangster (Woody Harrelson) searches for his stolen dog and Marty begins to see his psychopathic screenplay characters literally coming to life. Marty becomes entangled in an escalating mess that makes this film an enjoyable black comedy. This was definitely one of the most fun, quirky and original films of 2012.