Monday, January 18, 2010

Whoa, whoa, whoa, back it up, beep, beep, beep!

"...beep, beep, beep? What are you doing"

We gotta re-think this Oscar thing, don't we? Did you watch the Globes last night? Or, at least, did you see what it was like when Avatar won for Best Dramatic Picture? Did you get the eerie feeling in your stomach when James Cameron beat out Kathryn Bigelow for best director? Kathryn Bigelow's direction of The Hurt Locker was brilliant, but James Cameron may have changed the way films are made in the future. How can we ignore that? How can we ignore $505,067,000, domestically, in just a month? $1.6 Billion worldwide? By the beginning of March, Avatar could have blew past Titanic for highest grossing movie of all-time. It could break $2 billion worldwide. Will Avatar prove to be the film that the Academy simply cannot avoid giving best picture to? Forget the cliched story elements. So the Academy is going to ignore this beast because the story feels a little familiar? Ok, a LOT familiar? So what if Up in the Air, The Hurt Locker, and Inglourious Basterds are more intelligent, thought-provoking films? Avatar's message is universal, easy to understand, and most importantly, easy to swallow. The fact that the film takes a "bold" stance against aggressive militarization might help the movie instead of hurting it.

I know I might come off as cynical, and I'm sorry for that. I just think for those of us who might value other films this year... we might have to buck it up and realize that Avatar simply is good enough to win it all. It's a good movie with groundbreaking visual effects. And that's all it needs to be... especially since it's going to beat Titanic in the box office.

Doesn't it seem a bit unfair? How does this guy do this? He already did it once. Now he's going to do it again?! James Cameron is a genius, I cannot stress that enough. I mean, the fact that he's able to make his own story, his own world and turn it into a multi-billion dollar grossing film... his second multi-billion dollar grossing film... is just amazing. Maybe that does deserve awards in itself. Is it not fair that Cameron simply knows how strike a chord with audiences all over the world?

Nevertheless, I don't see how this can be a movie that just wins four or five Oscars if it wins Best Picture. Either the Academy jumps aboard on planet Pandora, or they leave it behind. Avatar makes a really convincing case for itself, but personally I just don't think Avatar is that great. It's way too simplistic to be considered a great movie, at least for me. A good movie with great visual effects... I can sleep soundly after making that statement.

With all this being said, I admit I didn't think Golden Globes for best picture AND director would go to Avatar. But when it did, I wouldn't say it changed my mind about Bigelow winning best director, but Avatar may be the definitive frontrunner for best picture. As long as Cameron doesn't speak in Na'Vi when he gets on stage, accepting the Best Picture award, then it won't be too bad.

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