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What’s the Point of All These Best Picture Nominees?

The message of each of this year’s Academy Award-nominated films, in 100 words or less

Selma

Real “best pictures,” the ones we film lovers spend years rewatching, rehashing, reconsidering, arguing over—and in our most unguarded moments might even accidentally refer to as “life-changing”—seem to contribute to the human conversation in a singular way. A film can, (though unfortunately it often doesn't), function as an elaborate thought experiment in which the chaos of human life can be dissected, sorted, and presented for in-depth examination in a form free of real-world consequence. But the cruel measuring stick of financial success compels screenwriters and directors to keep their experimental ideas to a minimum, and causes their guinea-pig actors to fear the consequences of response to any edgy stimuli. Despite these stacked odds, most of the Best Picture nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards managed to say something we thought was worth hearing, and to them we say “GOOD Point” (denoted by an asterisk). Below is our attempt to distill the message of each of this year’s Best Picture nominees.

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