Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why no "Best Picture" Win for Avatar?

Here comes the post-Oscar analyst.  People are probably going to wonder why Avatar did not with the 2010 Oscar for "Best Picture," and The Hurt Locker did for years.  This article from Yahoo talks about that and offers speculation.  Here is a quote from the article:

Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein sums up this sentiment by writing, "My suspicion is that academy members still find it difficult to believe that films largely created and sculpted in the computer--whether it's "Avatar" or the long string of brilliant Pixar films -- can be just as worthy and artistic as the old-fashioned live-action ones."

I think there are many reasons why Avatar didn't win.  I think some Oscar voters chose The Hurt Locker or some other film over Avatar because James Cameron already has 3 Academy Awards, from 1998 when the Academy lavished his 1997 worldwide smash hit, Titanic, with 11 Oscars out of 14 nominations.  Some Academy members may not have liked how Cameron acted during the 98 awards ceremony.  Remember Cameron declaring, "I'm king of the world?"  It was a quote from Titanic, so I wasn't bothered by Cameron's declaration, but some apparently were and still are.

Anything that involves voting involves politics, and awards, like politics, are often popularity contests.  Maybe some voters were a little envious at Avatar's monstrous success - 2.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office and growing.  Pretty much everyone knew Avatar would be a hit, but how many thought it would be this big?  Do some Academy members have the perception that Cameron already has everything, so why give him more?  Why not honor The Hurt Locker, this little film that could and the "Best Picture" winner with the lowest box office take - about $12 million - in the modern era.

Or maybe Oscar voters are put off with these made-inside-a-computer movies.  I think that is why Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City, and 300 did not even receive Oscar nominations for "visual effects," when they seemed like obvious choices.

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