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Oscars 2010 Best Picture noms

Who should win Best Picture 2010?

Avatar49%[ 28 ]
The Blind Side7%[ 4 ]
District 911%[ 6 ]
An Education0%[ 0 ]
The Hurt Locker11%[ 6 ]
Inglourious Basterds14%[ 8 ]
Precious0%[ 0 ]
A Serious Man2%[ 1 ]
Up5%[ 3 ]
Up In The Air2%[ 1 ]

Total Votes : 57

Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 2:02pm

Post 1 of 59

Simon K Jones

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This year's Oscar nominations have been announced.

The bad news: Moon has been completely ignored. VFX category for some reason only has 3 nominations, overlooking the great work in lots of movies this year. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs has been completely ignored - not even in the animation category? I mean, STWTFU?

The good news: Up (an animated film) and District 9 (a genre film) are included in the Best Picture category! Will this be the beginning of the end for the insulting 'Best Animated Film' category (in which Up is also featured)?

Full listing: http://oscar.go.com/

Last edited Mon, 8th Mar 2010, 3:40pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 2:18pm

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Fxhome Dude

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I'd seriously love to see Up beat out avatar. Doubt it'll happen but u never know. It is good to see District 9 in the running, but Avatar will get it I'm sure.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 5:12pm

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jawajohnny

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Tarn wrote:

Moon has been completely ignored.
Sony didn't even send out screener copies... said they were worried about piracy. sad

I'm glad a film like District 9 got the nom, but I'd much rather see Star Trek in it's place. Much better movie. And The Blind Side, really?

I've never understood why there are only three vfx nominations each year, but I'd say those are the best three choices.

I'd say for Best Picture and Director it will come down to Avatar and the Hurt Locker. They've both had a strong showing at the awards so far. Avatar obviously has the hype going for it, while hardly anyone has seen The Hurt Locker. Not only did it not play in theaters on Cape Cod, my local Hollywood Video doesn't even have it. Same with Moon. meh.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 5:23pm

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Sollthar

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Saw "A serious man" yesterday and I thought it was flat out hilarious. Allthough "best movie" material? Hm, maybe, considering the rather weak competition last year. There´s nothing on that list really that got me all excited as "best movie" material. Shame.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 5:28pm

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Simon K Jones

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jawajohnny wrote:

Tarn wrote:

Moon has been completely ignored.
Sony didn't even send out screener copies... said they were worried about piracy. sad
Really? Do you have a source for that? As that seems like astonishing idiocy. Do they really think the risk of piracy (which will happen regardless) outweighs the promotional, reputation and sales benefits of potential Oscar nominations/wins (which absolutely won't happen now).

MADNESS!

I'm glad a film like District 9 got the nom, but I'd much rather see Star Trek in it's place. Much better movie.
I love the new Star Trek movie, but it's rather loopy plot and silly coincidences harm it a bit. The script gets the characters, dialogue and tone absolutely perfect, but the plot is pretty poor (other than the timeline divergence idea, which is nifty). It is a phenomenally well made film, though.

Moon I'd say is a 'better' movie than Trek, although not nearly as entertaining or as slick. It's certainly a vastly better science fiction movie.

I've never understood why there are only three vfx nominations each year, but I'd say those are the best three choices.
You're probably right there, although I'd say that Watchmen had some superb, innovative work in there, too. I suppose having a giant blue penis in the showreel might have put some people off and been tricky to include on the night. smile
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 5:36pm

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Sollthar

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Just saw that Christoph Walz is nominated for best supporting actor for his work in Inglorious Basterds. That´s pretty much the only nomination I care about - totally deserved, not only because of that role. But he is (and was in "inglorious Basters") absolutely awesome.

The rest of the nominations kind of go quite past me. sad
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 6:12pm

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jawajohnny

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Tarn wrote:

It is a phenomenally well made film, though.
Yeah, that's what I mean. The whole point of expanding to ten nominations was to include movies like Star Trek... which is why District 9 is there. I just would have preferred Star Trek, simply because it is exceptionally well made, and it has probably the best character development I've seen this year. I'd say the script is better too. Ultimately, no matter how you look at it, Star Trek is simply a better movie than quite a few of the nominations.

I've yet to see Moon (It's going to be hard to find unless I sign up for Netflix), but from what I've heard, it's sci-fi at its best.

Tarn wrote:

Really? Do you have a source for that? As that seems like astonishing idiocy.
I don't understand Sony at all...

http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/01/05/sony-says-moon-oscar-screeners-were-held-back-due-to-piracy-concerns/

Last edited Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 6:32pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 6:20pm

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Pooky

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It's already been on Torrent sites for months, though. That's actually where I saw it, as it wasn't showing on any theatres in my area... hell's wrong with these people?
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 6:21pm

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B3N

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I'm sorry but...where is 'Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel'

smile
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 6:57pm

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jawajohnny

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Yahoo's list of Oscar snubs... I have to say I agree with most of them.

http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/blog/38-surprising-snubs-from-the-oscar-nominations

Anyone agree?
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 7:06pm

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Atom

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What a shitty Oscar year. And with no 500 Days of Summer or Star Trek nod, either. Avatar but no Star Trek? District 9 gets a BP but the Coens aren't nominated for directing?

And the f*cking Blind Side is being called a good movie? What is this world coming to. Pfffff- good year for good blockbusters, but 2009 was a terrible year so all other movies. Especially in comparison to the excellent few years of tough competition before it.

I hope The Hurt Locker sweeps everything and Jeremy Renner wins Best Actor for it; with the exception of Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting.

Not even a Best Original Screenplay for 500 Days? Ridiculous.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 7:16pm

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jawajohnny

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Oh yeah, 500 Days of Summer should be up there too. As far as awards season goes, I think the Producers Guild probably had the best list of ten:

Avatar, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Invictus, Precious, Star Trek, Up, Up in the Air
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 7:20pm

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Atom

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Do people really think Avatar was one of the best films of the year? I mean, honestly?

Look, I loathe Quentin Tarantino but I would without any hesitation tell you that Inglourious Basterds is an excellent film and loads upon loads better than Avatar- as are basically all the other nominees on that list. I understand the leap in technology; but I feel like it's almost a damn joke that it's on that list.

And then for Yahoo to act like it got 'snubbed' in the Best Original Screenplay nom? Hahahahaha- you've gotta be kidding!

I dunno, I guess I'll just never understand. I loathed Avatar's development, but ended up thinking it was a pretty enjoyable (albeit still obviously flawed) movie- but never would I consider it BP material- not even with a weak set of competition like 2009. It was a good, decent movie. But never should it have ever been thrown into the 'best of the year' bin.

And while I'm talking about upsets: Biggest snub for me has to be Michael Giacchino for the Star Trek score. I mean..........just listen to it. Even worse, once again the recycled-Hans-Zimmer-y-tribal-sounds of Avatar get a nom; but not the perfection that is the Star Trek score. It's just........well.........frustrating more than anything.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 7:25pm

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Sollthar

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And then for Yahoo to act like it got 'snubbed' in the Best Original Screenplay nom? Hahahahaha- you've gotta be kidding!
I had to laugh out lout when I read that too. Best original screenplay... Hehe. Yeah right.

But then again, I heard some people would nominate Star Trek as "best picture". So same goes as always... Never argue about taste. smile

It´s a shame I don´t care for the nominated movies. The ones I have seen I wouldn´t consider great films - and the others I just didn´t see.

Then again, personally, I thought this year was an exceptionally weak year. And the list of nominees IMO does that justice.


Oh, and totally agree on Giacchinos Star Trek score. It´s absolutely fantastic. Allthough Avatar is James Horner, not Zimmer. And the Avatar score is basically a "best of James Horner" in which he blatantly re-uses entire themes from earlier films. Bothered me even while watching the film. crazy
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 8:23pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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Honestly, the best movie I saw all year was the recent Sherlock Holmes. Great move! Go see it if you have the chance.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 9:02pm

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DVStudio

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IMO the Best Picture Award consistently overlooks some of the best films of the year. Take the Dark Knight for instance. Enough said.

Avatar potentially being beaten by Up??!? God, wtf?
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 9:03pm

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Limey

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No Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs? That was way more visually appealing imo compared to the others in the animation category.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 9:21pm

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Pooky

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Storm Grenade wrote:

Honestly, the best movie I saw all year was the recent Sherlock Holmes. Great move! Go see it if you have the chance.
I take it you only saw five movies this year, then? smile

I think Best Picture nominations should have been:

Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Moon
District 9
Up
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
Precious
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 9:36pm

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ben3308

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I agree 100% with Pooky, and we almost never agree on movies! biggrin


Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Moon
District 9
Up
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
Precious

.....is what it should've been. Things like Avatar and Up In The Air are obligatory for these kinds of nominations, but they're too samey for me - Up In The Air reading more like a contrived, achey-heart "Thank You For Smoking" and Avatar reading as great fantasy and whimsy and escape, but not a Best Picture.

To me, I would love to see Inglourious Basterds win just because I feel it's the film that Tarantino spent all his career looking to make - something perfectly checked and balanced in terms of emotion, style and entertainment. A Serious Man is also one I would like to see win, because I really, thoroughly enjoyed it and because it's expertly shot, acted, and scripted. It takes a deep prior knowledge of the Bible (particularly the Book of Job) and without this, the movie won't make much sense to a general audience. Which is unfortunate, but I really like that the Coen Brothers make the movies they want, then worry about whether or not it makes sense later. That's really who I aspire to be. That, and A Serious Man was just a great film.

Also, obviously, I think (500) Days of Summer should win Best Picture, let alone be nominated. It transcended the conventions of the 'hipster' film (like Juno which won a f*cking Oscar) and 'romance' film and instead came into its own as a stylish piece on love, fate and the human condition.

Man, (500) being snubbed has really rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like in 20 years we'll look back at Avatar and feel like it's a great, game-changing blockbuster, but that other movies were more deserving of nominations and awards.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 9:50pm

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Sollthar

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I feel like in 20 years we'll look back at Avatar and feel like it's a great, game-changing blockbuster, but that other movies were more deserving of nominations and awards.
Somehow I suspect in 20 years, out of every single movie in that list, avatar will be the only one people remember and maybe even talk about.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 10:00pm

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Pooky

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Yeah, I definitely think Inglourious Basterds should win among the actual nominations. To me, it's the only film in there that feels like a perfectly calculated labour of love, with impeccable writing, masterful tension, artful cinematography and of course brilliant acting. As for the other ones...

Avatar is one of my favourite movies of all time in terms of experience and feel, rather than the actual artistic value in the story and writing... which means it's more of a subjective and personal liking rather than a proper Academy Award one.

Up In The Air was quite fun, but overall not that special and easily forgotten.

Up is brilliant, but not best picture material like Wall-E was.

District 9 has a great first half but degrades into an above-average action flick in the second half.

An Education has some wonderful acting and is generally quite interesting, but can't decide on what its message is and ends up feeling a bit confused.

The Hurt Locker also had great acting, writing, cinematography and so on, and would likely be my second choice, but in the end it feels a bit less intentional to me than it did with IB.

A Serious Man is hilarious, but is more of a niche film than a proper best picture of the year winner.

Precious... well I've yet to see this one, actually, but I've heard some good things about it.

The Blind Side. God, I don't even want to talk about this one.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 10:41pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

I feel like in 20 years we'll look back at Avatar and feel like it's a great, game-changing blockbuster, but that other movies were more deserving of nominations and awards.
Somehow I suspect in 20 years, out of every single movie in that list, avatar will be the only one people remember and maybe even talk about.
Just because we remember movies and talk about them doesn't mean they're more deserving. More people, notably, talk about and have seen Forrest Gump than The Shawshank Redemption - at least here in the US - but I think many would consider the latter more deserving of acclaim.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 10:53pm

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AwesomeFist

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To be honest i never got to see any of these films so im not gonna give a guess vote. So i don't know crap happens unsure
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 11:39pm

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Thrawn

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WTF?! What happened to 500 Days of Summer? Or Star Trek? Or Robert Downey Jr.'s performance in Sherlock Holmes? Or Jude Law's performance, for that matter. This is almost as bad as the Grammy's..

I do think that Inglorious Basterds deserves the best picture nomination, but most of the others are pretty out of place.. Avatar was good, but not quite "Best Picture" material. And as much as I enjoyed "The Blind Side", I'm also not too sure it's quite the masterpiece that the nomination implies. And, as I mentioned earlier, they left out a few films.

But hey, it could have been worse.
Posted: Tue, 2nd Feb 2010, 11:50pm

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ben3308

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Something else I just noticed - 500 Days of Summer isn't up for any Oscars, yet it was nominated for TONS of Golden Globes (acting, screenplay, best picture) - strange that the Oscars seem like they're trying to re-position themselves as the 'hip' awards by including Avatar, Up, and company in all the major awards.... neutral

Funny, no Downey, Jr. for actor at all? He won the Golden Globe! Or Matt Damon, maybe, for his inexplicably tragic/hilarious role in The Informant!, which I loved. Hell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt for 500 Days? No.

Man, Best and Best Supporting Actor are the real nomination crimes here, if you ask me. No chance that the likes of Sherlock Holmes or The Informant! need to be Best Picture pieces, but they definitely had some of the most adept acting of the season in them.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 12:47am

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DVStudio

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Inglourious Basterds gets my vote. Without a doubt. Best overall story and the actors were brilliant. Liked that one by far the most out of the other nominees.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 3:52am

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Evman

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Avatar will win because Hollywood wants to legitimize its multibillion dollar baby and encourage more of like it to be made, and audiences to continue seeing them. Thus paying their bills.

It's not a matter of artistic merit. It's a matter of Hollywood politics. That's why it'll win. This isn't rocket science folks.

This is not to say that I don't believe it should win (although District 9, UP, and Inglourious Basterds ARE tempting entries on the list), just that the reason why it will win will not be because the Academy in any way considers it a good movie. Other than it'll make them money. Can anyone say... Titanic?

If that makes anyone feel better, then god help you. smile
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 9:38am

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Aculag

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Evman wrote:

It's not a matter of artistic merit. It's a matter of Hollywood politics. That's why it'll win. This isn't rocket science folks.
This is also why having ten nominees is completely pointless. Of those ten, I guarantee that the Academy is only considering two or three of them seriously.

My guess is that the real nominees list is as follows:

Avatar (Because of Jim Cameron/Hype)
The Hurt Locker (Because of timeliness/Emotional Impact)
A Serious Man (Because of No Country)
The Blind Side (Because there's always one...)
Precious (Because it's the Indie Darling)

The rest are just there to appease the people who want to see genre pictures, animation, and Quentin Tarantino represented in the category, and to make it seem that they don't already have their minds made up before the nominees are announced.

My favorites on the list are Inglorious Basterds and the first 15 minutes of Up (which is really why it's been nominated. That sequence alone is better than the entire Dreamworks animation catalog combined.)
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 10:00am

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Atom

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I think people are vastly underlooking An Education, which even by just a quick trailer-viewing looks rather excellent and borders that period-piece-charisma/indie darling/Oscar-style-drama feel.

And Peter Saarsgard with Alfred Molina almost always equals awesome. But even aside from that- timeliness or not: The Hurt Locker was the second-best movie of the year, and the obvious first among all those nominees.

Say whatever you want in conjecture, I have little to no doubt that The Hurt Locker will win. It's just too good of a movie that luckily hasn't gone underrated and therefore has to be seen as the best. I call it the 'No Country For Old Men'-effect.

Last edited Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 10:05am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 10:04am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I've been saying for weeks now that Avatar is going to win every Hollywood-based award going. They've pinned all their hopes on Avatar - it is the Hollywood Saviour, brought down from Mount Cameron by the King of the World to deliver unto them copious profits, gimmicks and inflated ticket prices. It offers some protection from piracy and blocks out the horror of television: it is a purely cinematic experience.

As Evman says, this year more than any other year, it's all about politics.

sollthar wrote:

Somehow I suspect in 20 years, out of every single movie in that list, avatar will be the only one people remember and maybe even talk about.
Maybe in Mundane circles, but in genre circles both District 9 and Moon will be remembered strongly and with a lot more respect than Avatar.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 2:51pm

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Rockfilmers

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Maybe in Mundane circles, but in genre circles both District 9 and Moon will be remembered strongly and with a lot more respect than Avatar.
I'm with you. I think they will all develop cult classic status if anything. Moon was one of the best films I saw all year, to bad it's excluded from the list. I will jump off a bridge if Avatar wins though. I Liked the film, I have been waiting for it for almost two years, The visual effects where awesome, but it was NOT the best film. Avatar had some of those corny moments such as Jake acting like he had been into the Na'avi and talking about the humans at the end as "Aliens". That was almost embarrassing.

District 9 was a great film too, but I don't think it deserves the oscar either. I haven't seen most of the movies on the list though, so I don't know why I am even judging. lol
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 3:03pm

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Simon K Jones

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The odd thing about Avatar is that most fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genres and major movie fans don't seem to think it deserves Best Picture. A lot of us really like the film, but we're also fairly clear about its flaws.

Bizarrely, it's the usually conservative industry (ie, Academy members etc) that are lapping it up and giving it awards all over the damn place: an industry that normally snorts and laughs at anything in the sci-fi or fantasy genres. And they seem to be happy to overlook its flaws, flaws which doom a lot of other genre work to being ignored.

Odd.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Feb 2010, 4:29pm

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Toruk Macto

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Hurt Locker deserves to win it BIG TIME!!! And KB deserves it for Best Director too!!! If you have'nt seen the movie buy/rent it now now. I agree with Tarn, Cloudy Wv A Chance Of Meatballs should have been in the Best Animation. WHat are they thinking!!!!
Posted: Sun, 7th Feb 2010, 7:38am

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Sollthar

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Maybe in Mundane circles, but in genre circles both District 9 and Moon will be remembered strongly and with a lot more respect than Avatar.
I'm talking sheer numbers. In the german speaking countires, Avatar is hyped up as "the best film ever" by countless "normal" people and sci-fi fans alike. The doubters are a very small percentage, it's crazy. Lots of people loved district 9, but the reactions are in no way comparable.

Even if a selected little "not mundande" circle remembers moon and district 9 as better (there's always those, aren't they) I'd be willing the bet they will be in a vast, vast minority.
And minorities never count, despite their effort to make the majority look dumb and mundane by disagreeing. smile

But we'll see what happens.
Posted: Wed, 10th Feb 2010, 3:14am

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ComplexityDataProductions

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I can't believe 2012 didn't make it onto the best vfx list. I found the effects amazing.
Posted: Fri, 19th Feb 2010, 9:44am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

And minorities never count, despite their effort to make the majority look dumb and mundane by disagreeing. smile

But we'll see what happens.
It depends who ends up writing the history books/classic film book guides/film magazines/etc.

Generally speaking, it's the fans that end up doing that, which is what often leads to genre stuff being re-evaluated many, many years later.

Blade Runner is a good example. Generally very well regarded now, but that's not because of the mainstream opinion - it's because the tiny minority of people that liked it back in the 80s eventually came to positions of power/influence, and told everyone else that it was a good film. smile
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 1:09am

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GBPpro

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Hmmmm.... It is interesting seeing the polls from the POV of a site primarily concerned with visual effects. Avatar was technically very impressive, but Riteman's work on Up in the Air deserves the best picture award.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 1:15am

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Pooky

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GBPpro wrote:

Hmmmm.... It is interesting seeing the polls from the POV of a site primarily concerned with visual effects. Avatar was technically very impressive, but Riteman's work on Up in the Air deserves the best picture award.
Yes, it's been proven.

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Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 2:43am

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Serpent

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I'd be willing to put money on The Hurtlocker. I'll quote this post after the Oscars, I'm callin' it.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 4:03am

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Pooky

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I'd put money on Avatar for best picture and Bigelow for director... politically and economically it'd be the best move for them.

I agree that without politics Hurt Locker would be picked, though.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 6:00am

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Atom

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It's not about the best move, it's about the best movie. And, at least out of the list, Avatar ain't it.

I hope the Oscars see that. I have strength and faith in them usually, I'm not a naysayer of the ceremony, so I'm interested to see what happens.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 6:21am

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Aculag

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I watched A Serious Man the other night and thought it was ingenious. Easily just as good, if not better than No Country For Old Men, but I doubt it'll win anything.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 6:32am

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Atom

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Yeah, I agree. Not that it was better than No Country overall (it wasn't) but it was close and succeeded greater in a few certain aspects. Really great; definitely one of their best films.

Kind of a shame, too. This was a lackluster year for movies with a few glimmering good ones- and the nominees this year show that, which always to me makes the winner look less.......I dunno......legitimate than a 'hard year'- but it's going to suck even more when Avatar wins, because it'll be a win in an easy year that still managed to have two great movies (A Serious Man and The Hurt Locker)- not just 'great' for the 'easy year' but great in a general filmmaking sense- lose to something, well, decent at best. To watch them lose, it'll be tough.

Even tougher for their creators. Although, in all fairness, I think the writer of 500 Days of Summer should rightfully be the most upset right now. Not only was it not nominated for writing (or even Best Picture, while we're at it)- it wasn't even as if the film was some obscure indie no one had ever seen; it's been getting accolades of recognition and praise for months- which I'm sure just kills it's creators.

But, more to the point, yes. A Serious Man was ingenious. A terrible shame most people won't even notice it- even after the critical success of No Country and public/commercial success of Burn After Reading.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 8:26am

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Sollthar

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Having seen A Serious Man a couple of weeks ago I'd definately vote for that one on the list. It was downright hilarious and expertly made in pretty much every way.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 6:46pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Aculag wrote:

I watched A Serious Man the other night and thought it was ingenious. Easily just as good, if not better than No Country For Old Men, but I doubt it'll win anything.
And just like that Aculag has 7000 posts.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Feb 2010, 7:18pm

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Thrawn

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I'd say that the Hurt Locker is gonna be the choice, though I'd also say that it isn't the most deserving. I'm still kind of pissed at the Oscars, so I haven't given much thought to who will win what. Everyone keep in mind that Up very well may have a chance at grabbing the best picture award, despite the lack of nominations for animated features.

But hey, I thought 500 Days of Summer should have gotten the nomination, so I can't even begin to predict what the Oscars are going to do.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Feb 2010, 9:04am

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Simon K Jones

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Well, Hurt Locker cleaned up at the BAFTAs. That could well be an effort by BAFTA to separate itself from the almost inevitable Avatar lovefest that's going to happen at the Oscars.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Feb 2010, 9:12am

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Aculag

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Actually, I'm starting to think I'll be surprised if Avatar sweeps the Oscars this year. It should obviously win for the technicals, but it's definitely not the best movie of the year. I had more of an emotional response watching Up, for instance (But out of the ones I've seen, A Serious Man is the best.)

I just still think the academy looks down on genre pictures. Avatar is a huge phenomenon, and has given a new face to the 3D tech, and is a great sci-fi blockbuster, but Star Wars was nominated for best picture too. If it wins, then I guess I don't understand the purpose of the academy anymore.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Feb 2010, 5:36pm

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ben3308

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Of course the Academy looks down on genre pictures. By nature they're niche and esoteric, and therein can't/won't be seen, let alone understood by the general public.

As it were, then, if a general public can't relate to genre films, at all - or if an audience is largely segmented by the fact that it's a genre film - then you've got a fundamental problem in communication and it's more difficult to enjoy the film, let alone see it as valuable. Most often, genre films appeal to general audiences through mere entertainment (Cloverfield, for example), and that's fine, but an Academy film has to transcend that. It has to hit the surface of human emotion to where, to some extent, we can tell that the filmmaker is trying to get close to some sort of personal truth.

In my opinion, it is because the majority doesn't as deeply respect genre films that they can't be truly 'great'. Some may claim public opinion doesn't matter, but there's something to be said for so soberly and precisely crafting a film that it remains in genre AND can reach a general audience; and everyone hence follows its themes.

In many respects, Avatar and District 9 do this. I think, though, that the former is too broad in theme and the latter too shifty (can't make up its thematic mind). There are directors out there who take genres and bring them, deftly, to mass appeal without souring the message or craftsmanship of the piece. The Coen Bros. did this with their take on a 'Western' (No Country for Old Men) or the Book of Job (A Serious Man) or The Odyssey (O Brother Where Art Thou?). Some would claim that these aren't genre films - they're not scifi, but they definitely fit a niche genre that has otherwise been adapted, and I think that hidden value is a testament to the expertise of the brothers.

I think A Serious Man should win Best Picture, by virtue of how enjoyable it was, but also what it touched on - cynicism in conventional religion, doubting faith and spirituality, finding meaning in life that is otherwise plagued with problems, and more. The movie, as a whole, can be seen, understood and enjoyed by the general public (most likely); but also holds meaning for those familiar with The Book of Job, giving the movie (and the opening 4:3 scene) a deeper cultivation of meaning and purpose.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Feb 2010, 11:13pm

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Evman

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Return of the King.
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 2:26am

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Terminal Velocity

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I've already seen some of the sizzling animosity toward The Blind Side in this thread, but I don't understand it. Personally, I loved the movie. I don't see a point in going into why I liked it, since nobody's going to agree, but I liked it better than Up or Avatar. I chose these as examples because Up was a movie I really enjoyed and thought was really good. I chose Avatar because of obvious reasons, but mainly because Avatar left me cold. It's entirely possible I loved this film because I have an affinity for football movies. But whatever it is, I think it was really good, surpassing Avatar by a massive margin, and Up as well by a much smaller amount.
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 8:11am

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Atom

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If anything, Remember The Titans should have been nominated. But no, not The Blind Side. A lifetime movie of an intriguing story at best.
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:11am

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

Of course the Academy looks down on genre pictures. By nature they're niche and esoteric, and therein can't/won't be seen, let alone understood by the general public.
A quick glance at the box office receipts indicates that genre films do pretty well with the mainstream audiences. I think the problem is less with the mainstream audiences and more with the stuffy, traditionalist voters of the Academy who don't really understand genre pics.
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:18am

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Atom

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People seem to think 'the Academy' is this small elitist group of 60-year-old film purists. It isn't. It's a handful of people who are considered some of the 'best in their profession' that are picked to review the others in the best of their profession.

Michael Bay, for instance, is part of the academy. He votes on some technical awards, if I'm not mistaken, which is completely fitting. Brad Bird, the writer-director of The Incredibles and Ratatouille, votes on Original Screenplay. And so on...

It's not a matter of a pretentious palette- it's a discerning chord between the arguable 'best' and the most successful/appealing. I think that's how its done and how it should be. The Oscars aren't people's choice awards, and they aren't regarded as cheaply as people's choice awards because of this. They're based on a well-respected organization's thoughts.

Damn the academy for their taste, but not for their decisions. They are, after all, giving Academy Awards- not 'This Movie is the Best Ever And This Award Qualifies That' awards. If I gave 'Atom Awards' for what I thought the best movies were, it wouldn't matter. Because it's my awards for what I think is the best. The academy is no different.

Just because the two have become synonymous with eachother doesn't mean that either need to be argued about. Either you think the Academy Awards means something or it doesn't. The moment they drastically change their decisions to appease the public (moving towards it with these 10 nominees) is the moment they lose their purpose and prestige for me.

They're famous and important for who they pick and why they pick them. If any other awards did better or had better reasons, than they'd be the ones with societal importance. But no, for now it's the Oscars.

'People who don't understand genre pics'? Getting a little pretentious around the edges, aren't we Tarn? smile
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:31am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

'People who don't understand genre pics'? Getting a little pretentious around the edges, aren't we Tarn? smile
Not really. There was a lot of talk even on FXhome.com prior to Avatar came out about how 'weird' it was and how people couldn't get into it because it was so wacky, when in reality it's a pretty standard picture with some pretty art design. Makes me wonder how some people would react if they were faced with some more original sci-fi!

Everyone has genre prejudice (I tend to assume I won't like romcoms, for example), but sci-fi and fantasy get it particularly badly. A lot of people will deliberately avoid the genres and assume that any film in those genres will be terrible, without actually watching it or giving it a chance. It's those people I was referring to - the people whose imaginations are so constrained that they can't deal with the fantastical.
Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:42am

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Atom

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You see, though, Avatar was pretty terrible on the 'genre' front- and it was a weird movie. Uncomfortable (not in a good or challenging-thematically way) at times. So.... And even then, that's the weirdness that's detracting- which is also what I didn't like about District 9; the 'grotesque' aspect of it.

But, had it been more on the thematic approach the way some other 'deep' scifi like, say, Moon was- I think I would've liked it more and I think the public would've as well; simply because it trascends 'genre film' or 'scifi film' to just become a drama that happens to be set on the moon. (Not to say that District 9 didn't have some of this allure and success itself- it did.)

But either way, that's why I disagree. Because any fantastic genre film really isn't a genre film. It's just a fatastic film.

I see what you mean, I just think it's a gross assumption. And, well, a fairly high-and-mighty one. Genre films get their just desserts just like every other kind of movie, even if its from their built-in niche market. Always. Sci-Fis lead the blockbuster market, rom-coms the female homefront, etc.

Genre films are all films, in a sense. And all other films to those films are in some way biased towards an audience, and that audience likewise to them. That's just how it is. No need to attack the intelligence or comprehension of those people on that. My mom may never see Avatar- but she wouldn't like it anyway, and I know this from seeing it and knowing her. It doesn't make it a movie she doesn't have the ability to understand, it just means its not for her.

And probably the movie Valentines Day isn't for you. Is it, now? Although, I've seen both VDay and Avatar and liked both about the same. Perhaps biased on that front, though, as I'm lucky enough to be a guy who just loves movies. I've seen Edge of Darkness twice, a special-showing rough cut of Hot Tub Time Machine, The Wolfman, Book of Eli, Valentines Day, The Hurt Locker, and Shutter Island all in the past 3-4 weeks. And that's not including DVDs or rentals or HBO. So......yeah. I watch (and generally like) everything. smile

For me the whole idea of a 'genre' film is silly. If it's a good movie it's a good movie. Yes, some implore facets that pander to a genre (Shutter Island being the best example)- but ultimately a movie is what it is- the experience and feeling you get in and after viewing it. The film being a scifi or a fantasy doesn't really alter that. This is the reason Return of The King (a movie I myself absolutely didn't like) won so many Oscars and why Avatar shouldn't.

At it's core ROTK was more than a fantasy film. It was a masterful technical acheivement, an epic filmmaking undertaking, and a gripping and emotionally-resonant thematic bit of film. Having Hobbits in it doesn't change that.

Last edited Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:58am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 9:56am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

Yeah, true. I guess it comes down to me always forcing myself to see past genres. I'll happily watch a romcom if it's meant to be a good film, and have seen several really good ones because of that.

When people deliberately don't watch an entire genre because they think they don't like it, that's what bothers me.

It's like people that say "oh, I don't eat fish". There's such a wide variety of fish, that to write it off entirely in one move is just silly. smile

Last edited Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 10:12am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 24th Feb 2010, 10:00am

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Atom

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Hot damn. +1 for that, you sold me on the fish analogy. So disgustingly, frustratingly true and obtuse. My tongue is nearly severed in half from how much I have to bite it when hot girls tell me that at restaurants.

And yes, don't knock what you're doing yourself. Aculag, for instance, gave Ben and me all kinds of shitty insults and mocking and disdain for liking and talking about the teen romcom 17 Again and its lead actor Zac Efron- but when he actually finally saw it he had to reverse his words; because above the genre its a surprisingly good, entertaining film.
Posted: Mon, 8th Mar 2010, 3:41pm

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Simon K Jones

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Looks like we were pretty wrong in the poll here.

I wonder whether so many people voted for Avatar because they wanted it to win, or because they simply thought it would win due to Hollywood politics?

If the latter, it kinda indicates something of a dissatisfaction with the Oscars in general. It certainly isn't an event I get excited about anymore, which is a shame - although maybe that's just because I've recognised that I'm never going to be in the running myself, unlike my wild dreams when I was a student. smile