Little Golden Men
February 2, 2010 2 Comments
I don’t know why the announcement of the Oscar nominations gets me so excited. I don’t necessarily hold the awards themselves in all that high esteem — too many times it’s been a popularity contest and not really an award for excellence — but every year when nomination time rolls around I get a little pumped up about it. It’s Christmas morning for Hollywood, so it’s hard not to get caught up in it.
This feels like the kind of year where you don’t have a big multi-award winning film. We’re not going to see sweeps, it seems like it’s going to be a share-the-wealth ceremony. I can easily see Avatar taking Best Picture, Kathryn Bigelow getting Best Director, and Quentin Tarantino getting Best Original Screenplay. It won’t make fans of The Hurt Locker or Inglourious Basterds completely happy, but it would cater to what’s looked at the strength of those two films.
Then again, Avatar not getting a screenplay nod may indicate the appeal isn’t as wide as was previously thought. Sure it’s making a ton of money, but so did Star Wars and ET, and both lost out to smaller films for Best Picture. It’s a great achievement, but even those who like the film say it’s more about the experience than the story, and that may hurt it now that people are voting.
And I’m absolutely amazed at how well District 9 fared this morning. Sure the expanded Best Picture field is likely the only reason it got a nomination there, but the Best Adapted Screenplay nomination speaks a lot to how well-regarded this film is. Neil Blomkamp and Peter Jackson have to be ecstatic, especially Jackson, given how badly The Lovely Bones crashed and burned (Stanley Tucci’s nomination notwithstanding).
I’ve only seen four of the Best Picture nominees (although the little red envelope from Netflix with The Hurt Locker in it is sitting not too far away from me), which wouldn’t be bad in the old five-nominee years, but out of ten? That’s kind of bad. I do want to see An Education, Up in the Air and A Serious Man, but The Blind Side doesn’t appeal to me (and it’s nomination seems more tied to its financial success than artistic merit) and I don’t know if I want to see Precious.
Now all that’s left is to decide who’s going to win. And to get my over/under on the length of the show down.