Your love for Benedict Cumberbatch, appreciation for Bruce Dern, and more

By EW Staff
Updated February 14, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

Best of the ‘Batch
I thought I knew everything there was to know about Benedict Cumberbatch. But none of my investigating ever led to some of the gems in your article about his detective alter ego, Sherlock Holmes (#1295). I applaud you for always bringing new insights to the masses — we’re going to need them during the endless wait for the next season of Sherlock!
Katherine Harris
Kingsport, Tenn.

Big Voice, Little Drama
While I appreciated the Sara Bareilles article, her success is only surprising if you haven’t been paying attention. She has more talent in her little finger than most of today’s pop stars have in their entire bodies. I’m grateful EW acknowledged her existence without her having to wear a cupcake bra or twerk.
Julie Ehlers

Dern Notice
Your article on Bruce Dern was, like his Oscar nod, long overdue. But it left out a Dern essential: He was electrifying as the terrorist plotting to bomb the Super Bowl in John Frankenheimer’s Black Sunday. A nail-biter for the ages, with “Dernsies” galore.
Jeff Hoyak
Pequannock, N.J.

Golden Nuggets
This is my 10th year as a subscriber, and my first issue was the Oscar preview. (Sean Penn vs. Bill Murray! Charlize Theron vs. Diane Keaton!) This issue (#1296/97) has become my favorite one of the year. Thanks for being my exclusive stop for Oscar news for the past decade.
April Clark
Oklahoma City

Welcome Matt
Several years ago, after watching Matthew McConaughey in a seemingly endless string of romantic comedies, I told my wife I wished he’d return to films such as A Time to Kill and Amistad. Now, after seeing his Oscar-nominated work in Dallas Buyers Club, I was glad to learn he finally took my advice.
David Szymanski
Sterling Heights, Mich.

The editors respond… For more on the McConaissance, turn to Karen Valby’s column ”What If McConaughey Were a McWoman?”.

Hollywood, Can You Hear Her?
I have to point out an obvious omission in “Behind Every Great Film: Not Enough Women” (Movies): Barbra Streisand. After a 14-year endeavor to bring Yentl to the screen, she queried, “Why is it men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only permitted to be obsessed about men?” As EW indicates, in Hollywood her question is still one to be pondered.
Warren W. Spencer
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Corrections: We misspelled Rob Sharenow’s name. He’s the executive vice president and general manager of Lifetime (TV, #1295). In the review of Labor Day, we incorrectly attributed a quote from Sweet Smell of Success to Billy Wilder (Movies, #1296/97).

Nominated for Nothing
For every Oscar glutton like Gravity or 12 Years a Slave, there’s a prestige pic that comes away empty-handed. Piggybacking off our series on non-nominees, readers salute — or re-snub — those coulda-been contenders.

I was expecting Blackfish to be one-sided. But it told the facts and asked viewers to decide, making it one of the most truthful documentaries I’ve seen. —Charlii

Although I liked the emotional message, I do not think it was well made. It came across as more of an activist complaint. —fluff

Lee Daniels’ The Butler
This movie was so melodramatic it was the very definition of Oscar bait. I will say David Oyelowo gave a captivating performance. If the film had had a tighter focus on his relationship with Cecil instead of relying on cheap emotional gimmicks, it could have been very good. —Matt

While the film was expertly made, the writing doesn’t dig deep. You really get nothing more than the idea that these guys could not be more different and boy, are they competitive! —Dex

I can’t stand Formula One and I loved Rush — surely some achievement in itself. —Ashley Beeching

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I thought it would at least get one technical award, or original song. Even the costumes were overlooked: What about Effie’s butterfly dress or Katniss’ wedding dress? And I was more impressed with Jennifer Lawrence here than in American Hustle. —Kate