Post-Oscar Thoughts

I’ll make this brief, and entirely stream-of-consciousness. I watched the Oscars last night as I do every year, and in general I was pleased with how they turned out. Here are some random thoughts, a day after the official end to the movie awards season:

  • Glad Avatar was vanquished by The Hurt Locker. The biggest money-maker of all time beaten by the smallest box office earner to ever get best picture. Loved the David-Goliath element, and loved James Cameron getting beat by his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. I was hoping Bigelow would shout “I’m the queen of the world!” during her acceptance speech, just to rub it in.
  • Sandra Bullock winning was great. And her acceptance speech was one of the best I can remember. Funny, sincere, humble. Say what you will about her, but she was wonderful in The Blind Side and single-handedly made that movie the hit that it was. And props to her for showing up to claim her Razzie the night before.
  • No one ever deserved “best supporting actor” more than Christoph Waltz. Too bad Inglourious Basterds didn’t win anything else though. It was the best of the the 10 nominated best pictures. A Serious Man is a close second.
  • Jeff Bridges won. No big surprise. But I wish it had gone to Morgan Freeman.
  • The expanded field of 10 best picture nominees was a shrewd marketing move. More audience buy in for their favorite movies of the year. Result? Ratings up 14% for the ABC telecast.
  • Biggest snub? The White Ribbon not winning best foreign film and losing to AVATAR (really??) for best cinematography. People, you NEED to see The White Ribbon. As soon as possible.
  • General thoughts about the Oscars’ relevancy: They barely scratch the surface of the best films of any year. IMHO, these ten films should have been nominated for best picture (I have 3 in common with the Academy’s nominees). In fact, I would have done all of the nominations a lot differently.
  • For an overall better, more life-enriching celebration of cinema, I suggest you check out the 2010 Arts & Faith Top 100 list. Now that is a group of films deserving of accolades.

5 responses to “Post-Oscar Thoughts

  1. Gotta say, Brett – I pretty much jive with you on every point except… A Serious Man as # 2? Really? Could not disagree more. I thought A Serious Man should not have been nominated for best picture. It epitomizes the kind of aimless post-modern pointlessness that is so very bad for art. I loved No Country for Old Men, but for me A Serious Man was different in that it didn’t seem to wrestle with any of the questions it posed, but rather just wallowed in them and kind of got high instead. My pick for best picture was a toss up between Up in the Air and Inglorious Basterds.

    • I definitely wouldn’t call A Serious Man “postmodern pointlessness” … I think it’s a film with LOTS to say… about the nature of man in relation to God, judgment, sin, virtue, justice, injustice, and the list goes. I think it wrestles with these questions more than any film I’ve ever seen, and if it leaves you without answers it’s only because that is how it has to be. People haven’t been able to come up with answers to some of these questions (why does bad stuff happen to good people?) for the entire history of man. I think the Arts and Faith folks got it right when they placed “A Serious Man” as number 22 on their top 100 list of all time… the highest ranking English language film (I think). It’s a significant film, for people of faith especially.

      • 100% agreement. A Serious Man is not only a spectacular piece of filmmaking, it’s a deeply thoughtful musing on Jewishness, virtue, teleology and epistemology, in both form and content.

        Up in the Air, on the other hand, seemed, to me, to surrender its chance to seriously explore the choices its characters made in favor of cheap sentimentality and heavy-handed didactics– and I thought the screenplay was far too pat & screenwriting 101-ish.

  2. Cool blog man, any fellow user of the Cutline theme is a friend of mine. Look forward to your book in August.

  3. A long time coming… Kathryn Bigelow deserves to win. I’m excited to see this historic Oscar moment. I’m sure The Hurt Locker is a difficult film to shoot, for any director, male or female. Further, I respect her for not even mentioning the significance of her win for women, for she is first and foremost, a director and a filmmaker, period.

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