This year the Oscars was always billed as the epic clash between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. In a way this was the wrong year for the Academy to decide to increase the number of Best Picture nominees to 10. If the goal of this initiative was to widen the scope and give other films a chance at glory it failed because the reality was that Bigelow and Cameron's films were all people talked about.
Personally I was delighted with The Hurt Locker winning the little gold guy. In IMAX 3D, Avatar was an amazing experience, one that left me bewildered and stunned. After watching it I spent days pleading with people to see it as soon as possible. I convinced my colleagues and even my father to go experience it. Whereas on my 40" tv screen at home, and with no surround sound system, The Hurt Locker proved a different visual experience but ultimately a more rewarding one. The dread established in the opening scene stayed with me throughout and when the credits rolled at the end I found myself to be wholly satisfied.
And perhaps that is why The Hurt Locker deserved the glory, because it managed to be just as engrossing a film without relying on CGI, IMAX cameras, or the use of 3D! While Avatar was complete fantasy Hurt Locker was reality and when the dust settles I feel that last night both films got what they deserved. In celebration for the beautiful world that Avatar created it won Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects. In celebration for the beautiful characters and story that Hurt Locker created it won the crown.
Asides from the center stage fight I thought the categories were very predictable this year. Waltz and Mo'Nique were absolute shoe ins for their supporting roles. In the weeks leading up to the Oscars all I kept hearing was Bridges in Crazy Heart for Best Leading Actor. All three of these examples simply overshadowed their competitors and made for easy guesses.
And while I was left confused at Bullock getting the award for Best Actress (to be honest I was left confused by The Blind Side featuring in the awards period) I can see that she was the popular choice.
Add to these some other obvious picks like the aforementioned artistic awards going to Avatar, Up for Best Animated Feature, and Precious for Best Adapted Screenplay, and you have a gamblers dream! Although I enjoyed this years show to no end I would like to see a closer race in 2011.
I have no idea what the story behind this "Kanye" moment was but while a pleasant speaking chap accepted the award for Best Documentary Short a rather obnoxious lady bulldozed her way onto the stage! The link below has details of the childish squabble..
I thought it was a nice moment when Jim Cameron immediately stood and clapped after his ex-wife's film won Best Picture. All is fair in love and war.
Ben Stiller as a N'avi! The comedy moment of the night came not from Martin or Baldwin but from Ben Stiller and a fishing rod!
Best Picture -- The Hurt Locker
Actor in a Leading Role -- Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Actor in a Supporting Role -- Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)
Actress in a Leading Role -- Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Actress in a Supporting Role -- Mo'Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire)
Animated Feature Film -- Up
Art Direction -- Avatar
Cinematography -- Avatar
Costume Design -- The Young Victoria
Directing -- Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Documentary Feature -- The Cove
Documentary Short -- Music by Prudence
Film Editing -- The Hurt Locker
Foreign Language Film -- The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)(Argentina)
Makeup -- Star Trek
Music (Original Score) -- Up
Music (Original Song) -- "The Weary Kind" (Crazy Heart)
Short Film (Animated) -- Logorama
Short Film (Live Action) -- The New Tenants
Sound Editing -- The Hurt Locker
Sound Mixing -- The Hurt Locker
Visual Effects -- Avatar
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) -- Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Writing (Original Screenplay) -- The Hurt Locker