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Oscars or Not: Avatar, Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Up, Precious, and Up in the Air are Great Movies

Oscar or Not Oscar Oscar or Not Oscar

For most of us, 2009 was a year we’re glad to see gone, but moviegoers had something to cheer about and they’re wondering where Avatar, Hurt Locker, Inglorious Bastards, Up, Precious, Up in the Air and other films will be on Oscars night.

The Oscars are Hollywood’s annual celebration of itself.  Officially, it’s the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that selects Oscar candidates and votes to choose who wins, but I suspect there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that sully the vote.

Everybody knows that Avatar has taken in more than a billion dollars worldwide, so it doesn’t need a behind the scenes Oscar nomination or award to boost ticket sales, but that’s exactly what an Oscar nomination does for any film that’s still in theaters- it boosts ticket sales.

So there’s big money rolling around backstage determining which films get nominated and which ones win. Oscar lobbyists make the rounds, offering incentives for Oscar voters to choose the lobbyist’s film.

Some of these incentives include job offers, while others are of a more “creative” type. Let’s just say that some people find their votes can be swayed.

This is the 82nd Oscars show, and it’s hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, who co-starred with Meryl Streep in the middle-age divorce comedy, “It’s Complicated.”

But the real buzz is about whether Avatar will wipe the floor with Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Up, Up in the Air, Precious, Invictus and other excellent films released in 2009.

There’s politics involved in the Avatar debate. Right-wing pundits have denounced Avatar for being “anti-war, anti-corporate and environmentalist.” Others have described it as a “fancy video game with blue aliens.”

But Avatar is almost sure to win big, at the very least for film editing and other technical Oscars.

Avatar isn’t likely to dominate the best actor and actress categories. The smart money is betting on Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) or George Clooney (Up in the Air).

For best actress, we have the surprising situation in which Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) is seriously being considered. It’s not like she’s been known for deep roles in her past movies.

My vote would go to Zoe Saldana, the amazing Avatar actress who played the 9 foot tall Pandora native Neytiri. Some people think all she did was a voiceover for the role. But she actually did live action filming and other work to create the Na’vi warrior role she played so well in Avatar.

The bottom line is that 2009 gave us a lot of amazing films. Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Up, Up in the Air, Capitalism, Hurt Locker, Precious and many more. Oscars night may or may not reward what we think are the best films, but at least we had some good cinematic art to distract us in 2009.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:32

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