A Real Reel Soapbox: No upsets here.

Part 1 of my Oscar Edition soapbox for the day. It’s time to rant and rave about the biggest misconceptions of Hollywood’s biggest  night.

For the record, I despise talking to people the day after the Oscars because usually it’s someone who has no idea what they are talking about. It’s almost like the person who’s late for the party and then complains about there not being any wings left. (If that makes any sense). Simply put, I don’t just talk movies on Oscar night, I talk movies–as most readers know–all day every day, so chatting with someone who says that “Avatar was robbed of the Best Picture prize”, really grinds my gears. Especially if you’ve never heard of ‘The Hurt Locker’ before Sunday night.

Anyone who follows closely (read: reads this blog) would know that “The Hurt Locker” winning Best Picture was anything but an upset and Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director was anything but a surprise.  And I don’t expect every single person I meet to be film aficionados, but don’t come to me with baseless facts of why ‘Avatar’ should have won Best Picture.  Because if you had been paying the slightest attention (again read: reading this blog) you would know that ‘The Hurt Locker’ has claimed every critical and guild award imaginable.

But I could see why some would believe that “Avatar” was robbed.  It’s easy to think that it was indeed the best film of the year.  I mean it was the highest grossing film of all time, directed by the most grandiloquent director, who even himself, believed the hype. And it just so happened to be awarded both Best Director and Best Motion Picture Drama by those groupies, the Hollywood Foreign Press at the majorly televised Golden Globe Awards.  But after that, it lost its steam and it lost it quick. There is no doubt that “Avatar” changed the film industry forever but as an overall package, it falls short.

No film deserves best picture more than “The Hurt Locker”, save for “Inglourious Basterds” but I’m convinced that Quentin Tarantino is the modern-day Scorsese, always the bridesmaid never the bride.  But I digress, “The Hurt Locker” proved that you don’t need a big budget, special effects and a 3-D screen at the IMAX to make a riveting film. All you need is a great story–which Avatar lacked, hence the zero nominations for writing–and an ambition to get your film seen. I know for a fact that “The Hurt Locker” only opened on 535 screens  and only made a little over $14 million domestically, but it’s timeliness and critical acclaim has made it a film that will be talked about for years to come.

***image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images


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