I an avid viewer of the Academy Awards. Its an event wherein one gets to see an array of celebrities from the film industry put their best foot forward.
I never miss it since it gives me an opportunity to find out which are the top rated movies of the year + who doesn’t like the air of mystery which hovers around the top awards ?

But the 82nd Academy Awards (held on 7th of March 2010) gave me a big surprise…..’The Hurt Locker’ beat ‘Avatar’ to get the top awards.

Image Orig Src: Link
Image Orig Src: Link

The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is considered the most important of the Academy Awards, as it is the final result of the collective producing, directing, acting, and writing efforts put forth for a film.
After viewing both the movies, I felt that ‘The Hurt Locker’ was an excellent realistic movie but I still rate ‘Avatar’ higher simply cause it was a movie which I would remember many years from now also….others in my list include ‘The Matrix’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Once Upon a time in the West’, ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ & so on.

While people have pointed out that war movies like ‘The Hurt Locker’ have been made before, I still liked the movie….every now & then one has to get a dose of reality …& this movie hit the spot.
Avatar on the other hand was not just a movie…it was an experience….I felt it was a combination of a number of smaller stories which one might have seen in a movie or read in a book….but such a fantastic mixture with some really nice innovations has never been made before. For that I felt it deserved the ‘Best Picture’ award if not the others.

As such, I tried to compare both the movies & try to find out what caused such an eventuality.

The Hurt Locker
Director James Cameron. Kathryn Bigelow.
Budget $237 million. $11 million.
Gross Revenue $2.6 Billion + $21 million +
Story A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.
Convention Goes against convention since it involves motion capture ie photographing of facial features of the actors & reproducing it onscreen. Conventional mode of acting.
Possible Political Statement Anti Millitary (story compared to the Iraq War) Pro US Millitary

Some of the reasons attributed for the Oscar decision :

  • The Academy harbors traditional notions of film making & doesn’t recognize motion capture as acting.
  • The Best Picture prize has never been given to a film noir, science fiction or an animated film; and rarely are horror, fantasy, comedy and westerns recognized.
  • The Academy didnt want to be on the wrong side of the establishment by endorsing an Anti Military movie.
  • Its the 1st time that a woman has won the top honours at the Academy.

Its said that it may take some time before the Academy starts recognizing ‘Avatar’ like movies…..till then lets hope such movies keep knocking on its doors till its forced to change !

ps: James Cameron stated that if Avatar were successful, he hoped to make two sequels to the film…..all the lead actors are contracted to star in the sequels too….so you see :
The Academy has an opportunity to make amends !

Ref :
Reuters Report – Oscar snubs “Avatar’s” motion-capture actors
Gollum: Dissed by the Oscars
MTv.com – ‘Avatar’ At The Oscars: What Went Wrong? Experts Weigh In
Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

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