Aaaaaaand, I’m back…
So yeah, the Oscars. An interesting set of nominations, and an even more interesting set of frontrunners. It looks like The Hurt Locker could well win more than just a cursory nod for being a good movie while a series of empty but worthy feel-good movies sweep the boards, which is thrilling. Though my favourite direction of the year was Tarantino’s masterly handling of Inglourious Basterds, I’m 100% rooting for Bigelow, as much as for a career of challenging, distinctive, and superbly well-made movies as for her work on The Hurt Locker. There’s a very good chance she will win. There will be much rejoicing Chez SoC if she gets it.
Even more amazing were the nominations for District 9 (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture: the latter something I would never have predicted in a million years) and In The Loop. That nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay is the most surprising one of all: who would think something as profane, complex and challenging would get noticed by the Academy? It’s so exciting that I temporarily didn’t care about all of the awful writing nominations, by which I mean all of the clangingly obvious writing on Precious, An Education, and Up In The Air (to a lesser extent).
I’m really quite serious when I say that this year’s most universally loathed screenplay (James Cameron’s Avatar) struck me as less clunky than Precious and An Education, but because those movies are TERRIBLY SERIOUS they get a free pass whereas hating on Avatar for not being more sophisticated is the go-to criticism cynics trot out when trying to explain why they were immune to its appeal. I’m certainly not saying Cameron’s writing has some hidden nuance: it’s an efficient engine with almost no nuance or poetry. Nevertheless, it has enough energy to distinguish it from any number of dreary plotting-by-numbers efforts in respectable movies, where characters regularly give little speeches to tell the audience what they are thinking.
Anyway, that’s what my brane says. It also says that odd perfect nomination doesn’t really make up for some of the most egregious snubs, of which there were many. Last year I did this same poll, with the result that SoC readers voted overwhelmingly for Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Best Actor snub, though hey, at least he got a Supporting Actor nomination, and a Best Actor Golden Globe for his outrageously entertaining take on Sherlock Holmes. And so, in 2010, I return to this poll format and ask you, dear reader, to take your pick of what I consider to be the most egregious snubs this year.
- Best Picture: In The Loop
- Best Director: Jacques Audiard – A Prophet
- Best Actor: Hott Sam Rockwell – Moon
- Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender – Inglourious Basterds
- Best Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg – Antichrist
- Best Supporting Actress: Melanie Laurent – Inglourious Basterds
- Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle – Antichrist
- Best Costume Design: Jim Henson’s Creature Shop – Where The Wild Things Are
- Best Original Score: Elliot Goldenthal – Public Enemies
- Best Visual Effects: 2012
- Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: Scott Z. Burns – The Informant!
- Best Writing – Original Screenplay: Greg Mottola – Adventureland
- Best Animated Feature: Ponyo on a Cliff By The Sea
Once I stop faffing around with PollDaddy’s coding, the poll should settle down, and I invite you to choose which one you agree with most.