Saturday, January 16, 2010
Making Oscar History?
After last nights Broadcast Film Critic's Choice Awards (which the show as a whole felt a touch lifeless to me, as if everyone just saw this as a speed bump to the more exciting award's shows, but getting back on track), is it possible for this years Academy Awards to make some Oscar history?
Last night, the usual worthless awards were handed out first. Avatar brought home Best Action Movie and The Hangover Best Comedy Movie. As a matter of fact, Avatar cleaned up in the Critic's Choice Awards first ever Tech Categories, winning pretty much everything save for Costume Design, Original Score (which rightfully went to Michael Giacchino), and Original Song. I just wondered, why Avatar won Best Cinematography? 90% of the cinematography was animated, not real, so how can it win, or for that matter, even be nominated for an award such as this? But then again, there is some skepticism, even amongst critics themselves as to how much critics know about the technical aspects of filmmaking and how they can rightfully decide such a list.
Rounding out the night, the three-horse race between Up in the Air, Avatar, and The Hurt Locker got a lot more interesting. Up in the Air only managed to bring home one award for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Inglorious Bas***ds brought home three trophies for Best Ensemble, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor; could it be more of a threat in the Best Picture Oscar race than Jason Reitman's film? Though I wasn't surprised when The Hurt Locker managed to win Best Picture last night, purely because so many critics have placed it at the top of their Best Films of '09 list, not to mention it's won the most Critic's Awards this award's season of any other movie; then again, the critics don't always line up with the Oscars, so I think we'll have to wait and see how the Golden Globes pan out before a real justification on The Hurt Locker's chances at the Best Picture Oscar can be made. Though, the real surprise came in The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow's win for Best Director. This is where things get interesting in terms of Oscar.
In the 82 year history of the Academy Awards, never has a woman ever brought home the statue for Best Director. Over the years, some have been nominated, but still a woman has never won. Kathryn Bigelow has presented an extremely strong case here as to why she deserves the Oscar, not to mention, after last night she is the frontrunner in this category for the Oscars. Seeing as how a woman has never won the Critic's Choice Award for Directing either, it is entirely possible also for the Academy to get political, much how they did for Dustin Lance Black last year and Milk, and finally give it to a woman. I think what might benefit Bigelow in terms of the Academy is that she has already received so many accolades for her film that it is almost impossible at this moment in time not seeing her making Oscar history come time for March, but I still wouldn't say it's a lock till the Golden Globes and Director's Guild Awards weigh in, but if they go with Bigelow, I think it's safe to say that this year's Oscarcast is one not to miss.
The rest of last night was pretty dull, going as anticipated. Mo'Nique brought home Best Supporting Actress for Precious, and Jeff Bridges deservedly won for Best Actor, but the critics need to break their love affair with Meryl Streep, because that makes two years in a row that she has split the vote for Best Actress and the award resulted in a tie between her and Sandra Bullock. Seriously, while I haven't seen Julie & Julia, the only reason Streep continues to win these awards is because the critics are on autopilot and don't want to have to step out of their comfort zone to award the actress truly deserving of this award (cough!--Carey Mulligan--cough!). As for Bullock, it's similar to when John Wayne won the Oscar for True Grit, they were awarding him for all the performances that he'd never won for or been nominated for and not the performance that he actually won it for, which is the case with Bullock here. As Perry White says, "Pulitzers are like Academy Awards. No one remembers what you won it for, just that you got one."
I will say, I am now really pumped for the Golden Globes which air tomorrow night on NBC with host Ricky Gervais!