Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that I won last night’s Oscar Party poll. Because even though I managed to watch “The Hurt Locker” the day before the awards ceremony – and I knew at once that Kathryn Bigelow’s film deserved all the Oscar buzz it was getting – I still couldn’t resist voting for “Avatar” and the amazing world James Cameron created.
As it turned out, Cameron’s $300 million dollar film was amply rewarded for the stunning world it created with Oscars for Visual Effects, Art Direction, and Cinematography. But Bigelow’s much smaller budget war movie about an American bomb disposal unit working the shattered, nervous streets of Baghdad won for Best Picture, and not even James Cameron seemed to mind.
Aside from a couple of unnecessary lines of dialogue in a couple of scenes toward the end of the film, “The Hurt Locker” is a contemporary classic: something that every American should see. And now that it’s picked up a slew of Oscars, millions more will see the film in this country and around the world.
Think about it. What would a Best Picture Oscar have meant to “Avatar”, which has already earned $2.6 billion dollars worldwide? That’s more than 120 times what “The Hurt Locker” has done at the box office so far.
It can’t hurt to have more Americans watch Jeremy Renner and his fellow cast members portray heroic young soldiers risking their lives to protect their fellow soldiers — and an ambivalent, if not openly hostile Iraqi populace — from sudden, ultra-violent death. There’s no glorious war to be seen in this movie. Just serial carnage.
Bravo, Bravo Company!
And everyone in my family knew I’d be pulling for my cinematic sweetheart, Sandra Bullock – in a successful sports movie, no less! (That’s a two-fer!)
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were the kind of hosts for a major TV event we haven’t seen since the golden days when Bing Crosby and Bob Hope casually knocked out vaudeville one-liners with effortless comic precision and old school show biz bonhomie.
And who didn’t love the brilliant, recently-discovered Cristoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds” — playing the most loveably entertaining yet thoroughly evil Nazi we’ve seen since TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes”. This award was never in doubt. They could have handed Waltz his golden statuette right after Quentin Tarantino’s offbeat World War Two revenge fantasy opened last summer.
And did anyone seriously think that any animated feature film other than “Up” was a contender? Personally, I was happy to see “Up” win two major awards, just so they could keep cutting back to Ed Asner – which, I’m sure, gave right-wingers a conniption all evening. (Come to think of it, just about everything on Oscar night gives conservatives a pain.)
But, among the generally satisfying symphony of elegance and good taste on Oscar night, there were, alas, a few discordant notes. If you saw the show – you know what they were. But what was the most sour note of all? You may not have gotten a chance to vote for the Academy Awards, but you are welcome to vote in our poll…