Sunday, February 28, 2010
I am feeling a bit ranty.
Today is the day of the big cross-border battle for hockey gold. I don't have TV channels and don't actually care about hockey anyway. (Yes, as I have said before, there are Canadians in this world who don't know anything about icing or offside passing or the differences between major and minor penalties. We live full and productive lives nonetheless.) It is still my patriotic duty to say GO CANADA, KICK SOME AMERICAN BUTT before I go any further.
Since I am not going to be another person going on and on about the Olympics I am going to rant about the Academy Awards instead.
Here is a list of the best picture nominees. The ones with stars next to them are the ones I have actually seen. (This is where I thank our sainted respite worker yet again.) I have linked each title to it's preview on YouTube for your convenience.
*The Blind Side
*The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
*A Serious Man
*Up in the Air
Avatar for best picture? Really? Academy, are you serious? Don't get me wrong. The movie is very pretty. It is really, really pretty. The sad thing is that the story is a very dressed up retread of a story that has been told over and over again. When I think of Best Pictures I think of movies that have substance to go with their style. A story that stays with you and makes you think for days after you watch it. A story that gets people talking about more than special effects. If all you can remember about a movie is how great the special effects were, is it really Best Picture material?
I love a good action movie. I love special effects. I purposely seek out these kinds of movies to give my brain a break. Sometimes you want to go to a movie and relax and not think too hard. That is what Avatar is for. If we are going to choose a cartoon for Best Picture, how about we choose Up. Sure, no one glowed and could attach themselves to stuff with fiber optic cable, but the story was rich and layered and had emotional depth. When I walked out of the theatre after watching that movie I didn't just talk about the stunning visual effects and about what a lovely delicate touch the animators used with the 3D--I also talked about how the story was just as rich and full as the colours.
District 9 was incredible because it is a sci-fi movie that didn't need fancy eye-popping special effects to tell it's story. Up in the Air was enjoyable and also had a story line that was worth talking about, and a Serious Man had me bummed out for days afterward. (if you have seen it, you will know what I mean.) I was surprised I enjoyed The Blind Side as much as I did.
I have no idea who should win Best Picture, and in the long run, it doesn't matter in my life. I just hope that the voters of the Academy are smart enough to see past the flashy visuals of Avatar to choose a different movie. Of course in Hollywood beauty is only skin deep, so maybe it would be fitting if a movie that is really only pretty on the outside wins after all.
EDITED ON MARCH 3: We watched The Hurt Locker a couple of days ago...another interesting and thought-provoking movie much worthier of Best Picture than Avatar!