The Oscar Quest: Best Picture & Best Director – 2009
Our last one. Our most recent one. Also our most contentious one because it is the most recent one. So, I’m not going to spend too much time on this one. I’m just gonna say my thoughts on each movie as briefly as I can, and elaborate in a few years.
Best Picture – 2009
And the nominees were…
Avatar (20th Century Fox)
The Blind Side (Warner Bros.)
District 9 (TriStar Pictures)
An Education (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment)
Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Company, Universal Studios)
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (Lions Gate Entertainment)
A Serious Man (Focus Features)
Up (Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios)
Up in the Air (Paramount Pictures)
Avatar — I like this movie. I disliked it in the theater when I saw it, but I came around. Mostly I disliked the fact that it was needlessly in 3D and the terrible, terrible writing of it. I admired the technical achievement of the whole thing, but in terms of writing, it sickened me. Pulling every trick (already used) from the book. Right down to having a black Celine Dion sing the song at the end. Once I saw it on the small screen, I began to enjoy it as an entertaining film. Do I think it should have won Best Picture? Probably not. Against The Hurt Locker? Absolutely.
The Blind Side — Don’t get me wrong here. I hate Sandra Bullock’s performance as a Best Actress winner. I do like this movie. I think it’s a fine film and worth watching. There is nothing wrong with this film in and of itself. It’s the fact that she won for it that makes it unforgivable.
District 9 — I liked this movie, but it should not have been here. It’s a good movie, and I found myself enjoying it way more than I thought I would. But there is no way it should have been nominated for Best Picture. Even in a weak year like this.
An Education — I loved this movie. It should never have won Best Picture, but it definitely should have been nominated. Out of ten. Out of five, I’ll get back to you. It’s really good though. Mostly because of Carey Mulligan’s performance. Without her, the movie wouldn’t be as good as it is. Strong 4 star movie though.
The Hurt Locker — Yeah, you know how I feel about this. Maybe in a few years I’ll be objective enough to see this and not dislike the fact that it won.
Inglourious Basterds — Loved this movie. Read the script like a year in advance. Loved it, and thought he did a really great job of adapting it. I mean, it was his own script, so it’s not like he was gonna fuck it up. But, I loved this movie so much. Some people didn’t, but I did. And I’m probably voting for it.
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire — Yeah, I liked it, but, it’s kind of boring and depressing. So, I respect it being here, but, won’t vote for it. I just don’t like it enough to vote for it. See it though. The performances are amazing.
A Serious Man — Not their best movie, but still really funny. I’m surprised it got here. Not complaining, but surprised. Really funny, though.
Up — It’s Pixar. It’s gonna rank really high, you know it’s amazing (perhaps the most effective first ten minutes in the history of cinema), and ultimately I won’t vote for it. I know, it sucks, but as long as there’s Best Animated Feature I won’t feel a sense of urgency to vote Pixar for Best Picture.
Up in the Air — Loved this movie. Easily my second favorite. I can watch this all the time. (At least, fairly often.) It’s great. Clooney’s great, and this would have won Best Picture back in October. Seemed to lose steam come Oscar Night. Hmm…reminds me of another film that probably should have won…
My Thoughts: It’s between Inglourious and Up in the Air for my vote. I say Inglourious. Both great though. Between the Avatar and Hurt Locker battle, I take Avatar. I vote neither though on a personal ballot.
10. The Blind Side
9. Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
8. District 9
7. A Serious Man
6. An Education
5. The Hurt Locker
2. Up in the Air
1. Inglourious Basterds
Best Director – 2009
And the nominees were…
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Bigelow — Yeah, she’s here. Is there really anything to say?
Cameron — Probably should have won based on what he accomplished. Won’t vote for him because he has one and Quentin doesn’t.
Daniels — Did a great job, should be here, never gonna get a vote though.
Reitman — Did a great job, but not flashy enough to win. He probably will one day, though, if he keeps this up.
Tarantino — Always my vote. This man is one of the best directors working today. Cameron has one, so, tie goes to Quentin.
My Thoughts: I vote Quentin. Cameron has one. Between Cameron and Bigelow, I take Cameron. I really don’t think she, herself, was hugely deserving. I think a woman is deserving, but I don’t think this job was deserving. But what are you gonna do?