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Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscars 2010

It's a well-known fact that the Academy Awards have now lost their former glory. The creation and continuous advertising of semi-independent films with strong cast which usually deal with "important" issues led to a huge stream of so called Oscar-bait movies in the past decade. The front-runner company was of course Miramax, which was recently led to bankruptcy, paving the way for the closure of the artistic sections of other large distributors (Paramount Vantage, Warner International Pictures). Finally, after some dubious choices (does anybody think that Crash was the best motion picture of 2005?), the Oscars have settled down to being an entertaining awards ceremony - like a prestigious SNL show, but with more celebrities.

Which brings us to Oscars 2010.

Technical awards: Avatar and the Hurt Locker shared the loot, with Avatar gaining awards for Visual Effects, Art Direction, and Cinematography, while Hurt Locker received (deservedly in my opinion) the two sound awards and the Editing Oscar. Star Trek received a make-up award (why?) and The Young Victoria got a costume award.

Music: Michael Giacchino's score for Up received the award (one of the most memorable recent themes in film), while T-Bone Burnett finally took a long-deserving award (after so many great Coen movies) for a song in Crazy Heart.

Writing: In the original material category, the Hurt Locker received the award, which comes a bit strange when considering the competition being A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds. Oh well... In the adapted section, Precious got the Oscar, without facing any serious competition.

Acting: Christoph Waltz's win was the most predictable of all awards; his performance by far outmatches everyone else's in the Supporting Actor category. Mo'Nique received the Supporting Actress award for Precious, facing no opposition, since there were split votes for Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air. Jeff Bridges finally got the Oscar after 40 years of acting his socks off, again without any serious contestants. Finally, Sandra Bullock's win was the surprise of the night, especially after having received a Razzie for All About Steve the previous night (personal opinion: Meryl Streep was robbed)!

Directing: Kathryn Bigelow finally moved on to the A-list after having proven repeatedly she's one of the best action directors of all time. Although the Hurt Locker wasn't a great movie, it was expertly directed. But I really wish she'd gotten the award for Near Dark (if you haven't seen this movie, do it now!).

Best Foreign Film: The Argentinian movie A Secret in Their Eyes received the award, winning over The White Ribbon and A Prophet. Once again, the academy proves the golden rule that the best movies are deprived of an Oscar (as well as the best directors, a.k.a. Kubrick, Hitchcock, Welles...).

Best Film: Again, the Hurt Locker received the award, with the Academy completely snubbing Avatar. Personally, none of these movies deserved a Best Picture award, but I had a perverse pleasure watching a little movie directed by Cameron's ex receiving the award over the overwhelming-but-a-bit-silly Avatar...

Overall: Although the snubbing of Avatar (in the prestigious awards) was refreshing, the Hurt Locker is a film that will probably be forgotten in the near future.


Hotshuk said...

"personal opinion: Meryl Streep was robbed" - My thoughts exactly! Her performance in Julie and Julia was utterly convincing and you just completely forgot that it was Meryl Streep playing the character. I haven't seen the Sandra Bullock movie, but I can't recall a single film she has been in that has required her to 'act'.

ebenet said...

I has the answer: Demolition Man.

Eraserheadx said...

After 5 days of media blockage I just finished watching the awards.

ebenet pretty much covered everything I wanted to say. I enjoyed watching Kathryn Bigelow get the best director award although I do think that The Hurt Locker was a bit overrated and didn't deserve all of the Oscars it won. Oh well, it wouldn't be the Oscars if there were no injustices.

Quite a boring show too, this year, although there were many cool geeky moments (clip from Evil Dead 2 anyone?).

mastorak said...

I saw "Hurt Locker" last night. It was a strong movie experience that kept me to the edge of my seat through out. However, I don't think it was Oscar-worthy. It was somewhat incoherent with no story/character development. This fact though, due to the nature of the movie, did not bother me this much. I just saw it as a string of glimpses into a squad's life in Baghdad