Every year I make it my business not to comment about the Oscars, for the most part (partially because I might get ranty and I do still vaguely hold the hope of someday being nominated…yes, laugh it up as a pipe dream). If you want to read some good commentary and predictions quite similar to my ideals, go check out my friend Anita’s thoughts.
But this year I will say a few brief things, because I feel the need to clarify a few positions and unpopular opinions:
– I thought the acting performances in Precious were fantastic. It’s not a Best Picture film, but the acting was phenomenal. I didn’t find it unbelievable…probably because I read the book nearly a decade ago.
– Michael Giacchino deserves an Oscar for Up, but in my mind he’d get it as well for Star Trek, which was utterly amazing in its fit to the film and its play off the original Trek themes and film sound. You get big and you risk going John Williams/Jerry Goldsmith, which is fine but not astounding. Giacchino managed to take a cliche and turn it into something that still inspired wonder and emotion. Between that and Up, he’s the one to watch. Someone give this man more work.
– Team Bigelow. Not just because Hurt Locker is by all accounts lovely and my distaste for Avatar (on about ten different levels) is well-documented, not just because it is high friggin time a woman had a chance and pwned, but because I’ve been a Kathryn Bigelow fan since I watched Near Dark on VHS in 2002. Even when her films aren’t great (…K-19), they are always well-constructed and gorgeous.
– Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hate James Cameron’s work as a whole. Terminator 2 is one of my top 20, I liked Aliens and I enjoy True Lies. I just firmly believe something snapped in the man’s head when Titanic worked for him; I have a big problem with the auteur theory of cinema, I don’t believe it has a place in the current film industry. Avatar is classically, ridiculously OTT auteurism, and the fact that it cost more than a small nation’s yearly GDP to make is seriously worrisome for its implications about future Hollywood product. Of course, part of my distaste for Cameron could come from the fact that I was first taught film studies by the foremost academic critic of his work…
To sum up: I’d rather not have my heart ripped out. Best Picture is more than OOH THE PRETTY, it does have to have content. Kathryn Bigelow deserves all the acclaim she’s been getting and more. I’m going to go listen to the End Credits from Star Trek about five more times in a row. Good night.
(By the way, I did manage to get a haircut. It took one day notice. I am Paige’s melodramatic firstworldproblem sigh.)