Who Deserves To Win Best Picture?

6 Mar

While I was watching Avatar for the first time today, I was conflicted.  As I sat in theater, taking in all the magic that James Cameron created, I couldn’t help but compare the movie to another vying for an Oscar on Sunday: The Hurt Locker.

Here is where I’m torn – I loved Hurt Locker.  I thought it was brave and real and strong.  Avatar was beautiful in a visual aspect, but does making almost two billion dollars equal excellence in filmmaking?

I think Cameron should win every technological award out there for his effects and invention of “performance capture technology.”  Given that, I can’t say that his story equals the emotional hold I felt towards ‘Locker.’  This is a time when I’m glad I’m not an Academy voter.  These are two completely different types of films.

Kathryn Bigelow‘s film allowed every emotion to be felt, while making a war movie not feel like a war movie.  It was about the characters and the words they spoke.  Cameron’s film is less about story and more about special effects.  If you take away the effects, what would Avatar be?  Even an Oscar winner like Lord of the Rings had a fleshed out story to back up the effects.

I don’t know that there is a right or wrong answer here.  I just don’t know how to differentiate between the two incredible films.

What do you think??


8 Responses to “Who Deserves To Win Best Picture?”

  1. Carrie March 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Thanks for the information!

  2. writerdood March 10, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    There were quite a few movies I’ve seen this year, Hurt Locker and Avatar among them, as well as Inglourious Basterds, and out of all the movies I’ve seen this year, Avatar was by far the best one for me. Not that the other two weren’t good, mind you. I enjoyed them both, and many others, but in terms of sheer entertainment, Avatar held my breath and kept me in my seat even though my bladder was full. Hurt Locker just made me think of Top Gun for EOD. And, while Top Gun was a good movie, it did not beat Lord of the Rings. That’s how this felt to me.

    • Carrie March 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

      I appreciate your comments, I expect people to feel differently than I do. I just felt Avatar was a technological gold mine, but I can’t bring myself to think of it other than that. Comparing Hurt Locker to Top Gun is interesting…not sure I agree, but interesting.

      • writerdood March 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

        Top Gun kind of became a metaphor for a while. You could use it to compare a movie and a profession. Mostly with Tom Cruise in them, but “Days of Thunder” was Top Gun for race car drivers. “The Firm” was Top Gun for lawyers. Etc… This was a relatively common culture saying for a while. (Or, at least, I encountered it quite often amongst people talking about movies).

      • Carrie March 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

        Ok, yah I get that. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the inauthenticity of the movie…granted I’ve never been in the military, but I found it pretty realistic.

      • writerdood March 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

        It wasn’t entirely unrealistic. I’m former Marine (0311) – infantry, which doesn’t necessarily qualify me to speak on behalf of EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) but I do know how the USMC operates, and the wild seat of your pants unregulated stuff going on in Hurt Locker was not something that would be tolerated by command. He would have been brought up on charges.

        One of the most irritating parts of that movie was the lack of a command structure. I had no idea who this guy or his team reported to. In that regard, it was unrealistic. And in regards to letting this guy make command decisions about disarming ordinance is also unrealistic. He would not be allowed to risk his life this way, there would be a superior officer giving him permission as to whether or not he would be allowed to disarm a bomb.

        But this is typical of a war movie. It isn’t intended to be completely realistic. It has to be action oriented with a hero. The best part of Hurt Locker was the end, where he would rather return to risking his life than staying at home. That’s the character piece in all of it. That’s what makes it interesting.

        But it still doesn’t beat the character play in Avatar where you’ve got a guy who basically has to betray his commanders and his people in order to stop them from doing what is wrong.

        Both are unrealistic, yes. After all, they’re movies. But which was the better movie – that should be the question for the academy. Not who made the movie, but which was the most entertaining.

        Read this piece if you haven’t. It helped me understand a bit about the Academy. Although I still don’t understand them.


  3. Castor March 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Neither 🙂 Avatar has absolutely no reason to even be in the discussion while The Hurt Locker is so unrealistic that it doesn’t deserve the win. I would go with Inglourious Basterds but it’s a dark horse.

    • Carrie March 7, 2010 at 9:20 am #

      I agree to an extent. I actually thought The Hurt Locker was pretty realistic…for a movie anyways. I think Basterds would be a great Best Pic winner too.

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