Academy Awards 2010: Reactions

In my attempt to writing on a daily basis, I have avoided writing reactions to topical events for the most part. Mostly because I am lazy, but that’s another issue … However, I thought I’d collate what limited thoughts I had about the 2010 Academy Awards, despite not having watched it or all the films nominated.

Despite the talk of ‘ground-breaking’ and ‘historic’ for these Oscars, it was perhaps the most safely predicted in some time. With the exception of the happy decision to award The Hurt Locker best picture (a lot of people were worried that Avatar would get it), everything went according to plan.

Kathryn Bigelow followed the DGA win with the accepted best director Academy Award – hence the ground-breaking tag. Jeff Bridges got his Oscar for ‘being really good for a long time but not getting it for four other roles, even if this isn’t the best film he’s made’. Sandra Bullock got the Oscar for being really nice, popular and making money; she can be a good actress, but she had never been nominated before and she’s not a usual Oscar nominee, but she was the American who was going to win (remember Helen Hunt winning above Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham Carter and Julie Christie?), and I don’t begrudge her, and her acceptance speech was textbook.

Best supporting Oscars went exactly as planned for Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique; Up won best Pixar film, I mean best animated picture; Avatar got most of the expected technical awards, which I can agree with; The Hurt Locker won best original screenplay; Precious won for best adapted screenplay, which was the only film I hadn’t seen in this category (shame about In The Loop); was this all a shock to people who pay attention to these things?

By all accounts, the ceremony wasn’t the greatest – looks like the double act of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin didn’t provide a consistently entertaining mix, with only the occasional good line. The best presenters seemed to have been Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr for best adapted screenplay, with banter that sounds like it was written by Fey, but sounds like it was a rarity. As usual, the ceremony ran long, so it will be interesting to see if the populist approach increased ratings (I somehow doubt it). They won’t get the balance right – popular films are popular because they are not the artistic cinema that the artistic types of the Academy want to see being awarded honours (in reflection of themselves). Still, at least they seemed to be getting it more right than normal …

1 Comment

  • Keith 9 March 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I usually try to rent a couple of movies after watching each academy award ceremonies. Though I usually agree with the Academy's choice of best actors and supporting actors, I amy frequently very surprised at the choice of best film of the year.
    Last year I rented "Slumdog Milliare" after the awards and was very surprised it won best picture and told several friends how disappointed I was with it. At least it kept my interest and the outcome was obvious. I remember taking my time going to the restroom during the film as I felt I wouldn't miss much.
    But this year's best picture "The Hurt Locker" was even worst. I was dumbfounded that it won. After speaking with several friends about the film, they agreed with me. It seemed like a documentary rather than an entertaining or thought-provoking film. The story line was non-existant. No beginning, middle or end. Also,another ongoing gripe I have with directors is why do they feel that moving the camera around constantly at any angle is a good quality? It does not add dramatic effect. It only adds confusion to our eyes. Certainly the soldiers have to constantly move their eyes but where in the hell do directors think that audiences that want to be entertained want to see hard reality through the eyes of the stressed out soldiers. By doing so, the film fell in the category of a documentary film. I could certainly see why it would be the best documentary, but not the best film of the year. I also believe that the only reason the female director won was because she filmed a "manly" film. I don't think she would have won if she had directed a chick flick.
    I am both a liberal and conservative but I believe that the best film of the year should reflect the public's interest of entertainment and not because the Academy feels that the film breaks new ground in some way so that maybe in twenty years the general public might come to appreciate it. To judge a film with the latter in mind is elitist thinking. If the Academy wants to judge a film in this way I feel they should introduce a new catagory.
    The public gets enough intellectual subjects for thought through television news and public television which I enjoy to ponder. But when I go to a movie I want to be entertained to some degree and come out of the theatre feeling better.
    I just had to gripe.
    Thank you for listening.

    Sincerely, Keith Warren.
    Age: 59


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