Friday, March 5, 2010

Opining Oscar

Amazing that a medium so diverse and subjective could garner such coveted attention as a little, golden statuette.

I know and appreciate that movie-making as an art form has do’s and don’t’s, industry standards determining that which is good or bad, well-done and poorly-produced. But when it comes to Best Picture, it all comes down to opinion, doesn’t it?

Maybe that’s why The Academy expanded that category this year to include ten films instead of five.

For years, I’ve watched the Oscars with baited breath, hoping for or against films being rewarded publicly. Some may wonder what the big deal is, but the movie industry is so huge, and their influence is unfortunately culture-forming. I know ultimately it doesn’t matter, but I’m at least interested to see who gets rewarded for doing what.

Anyway, the validity of the Oscars isn’t my point here. I LOVE movies, and I love to discuss with other movie-lovers their views, likes, opinions on the best of the year. So, I offer my take…

Best Picture Noms: Avatar, Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds (yes, that’s spelled correctly), Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air

While all buzz supports an Avatar win, which I could accept for its technological advancements in film-making and the beautiful images it produced, my vote is for The Hurt Locker, despite the debate cropping up around it. Sure, I love Blind Side and Up (which should win best animation), and I appreciate Up in the Air. But, keeping in mind I haven’t seen all the nominations, The Hurt Locker is my pick because it kept me on the edge of my seat while Jeremy Renner diffused bombs as a soldier on a tour of duty in Iraq. It could have been slow, it could have relied on typical, war-setting vulgarity, it could have been anti-military. Granted, it’s still a war-setting picture, which basically means the language and violence portrayed aren’t for everyone. But I liked it because it drew me into the main character’s psyche, and the main character captured my heart, my last nerve, my respect.

Best Actor Noms: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker

Although Jeff Bridges will probably win, since he received the Golden Globe earlier for this role, my vote is for (big surprise) Jeremy Renner for the reasons I mentioned above. George was okay, but I don’t know about Oscar-worthy. And Morgan Freeman, God love him, just couldn’t revive a comatose Invictus. Colin Firth is a good action, but I didn’t see his movie. Jeremy, being a new-comer (relatively), deserves this recognition as his performance indeed made an impact.

Best Actress Noms: Sandra Bullock for Blind Side, Helen Mirren for The Last Station, Carey Mulligan for An Education, Gabourey Sidibe for Precious, Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia

I think the Academy will award Gabourey for her heartbreaking (I hear) performance as Precious in the film with the same title. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Sandra Bullock take home Oscar. No offence to worthy veterans Helen and Meryl, or anyone else, but Sandra played a real person with such conviction and heart, touching a grass-roots audience and garnering a huge box office response. Believable and inspirational.

Best Supporting Actor Noms: Matt Damon for Invictus, Woody Harrelson for The Messenger, Christopher Plummer for The Last Station, Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones, and Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds

Although Christoph Waltz received the Golden Globe, I just have to pull for Christopher Plummer on this one. I’m shocked to discover that this 80-year-old, well- known and lauded actor has never before been nominated! Crazy, I tell you. Without having seen The Last Station, his performance as Leo Tolstoy I’m sure is worthy of this award. Go ahead and give it to him, please. Honestly.

Best Supporting Actress Noms: Penelope Cruz for Nine, Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air, Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart, Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air, and Mo’Nique for Precious

Okay, I saw Up in the Air. I don’t see the merit for either nomination, even though I think Anna is great. I didn’t see the others, but I’m pretty sure Mo’Nique will get the Oscar. She got the Golden Globe. But beside that, I heard her performance is incredible.

Best Director Noms: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds

Again, James Cameron will probably pull a Titanic and get this win too. However, I’d LOVE for Kathryn Bigelow to win, not only because I like The Hurt Locker so much and I think she deserves it, but also because she would be the first woman director to win this honor. She’s only the fourth woman ever to be nominated. Of course, a Lee Daniels win would mark the first African American ever to win. But since I didn’t see Precious, I’ll keep my vote for Kathryn.

So there you go. Who do you deem worthy of the shiny golden man on a pedestal? We’ll see what happens this Sunday, March 7th, when the envelopes are opened and the winners are announced. My DVR is already set… because of course I’m going to church first. J

Have a great weekend, Dry Ground fans! I appreciate you!

(photos by


Anonymous said...

It's so funny cuz when these nods come out, I have never seen over half the movies.


I did see Avatar, though. And yep, I want that to CLEAN HOUSE because it was soooooo good. :-)

But, like I said, I haven't watched the others, so I should probably keep my mouth shut, huh? LOL.

Love these kinds of posts when you share your views on movies. You have such fun insight to things.

Have a great day.

KM Wilsher said...

I'm with Lynn. Love these posts where we get to hear your brilliant insight.

I am so glad you posted this, now I don't have to watch the oscars LOL. No, I just don't have any passion for the films this year. I did like UP, which is a great surprise to me.

I haven't seen, but want to see Invictus and Blind Side.

You know my feelings on District. Can't believe its even mentioned.

Avatar. Okay. I liked it, but is it really all that? Maybe when held up against this list.

I want to see the Hurt Locker now!

Wish I was in Texas. We could have an Oscar party.

Used to know a girl who threw one every year. Formal dresses, a red carpet up the walk, I heard it was great. I think it was a great idea.

Are you gonna do a winners post? I sure hope so!!!!