A little delayed I know but this week has been quite hectic for me as I’ve been contending with my pre-exams. But anyway here is my take on the Oscars one week on.

The merit of these awards ceremonies is always subject of debate among both experts and fans. While I myself find that labeling any film as “The Best” is a silly and often impossible venture I fully agree that people who have invested hard work and time should be recognised for their talents. What bothers me sometimes that the Academy members don’t necessarily choose winners by actual merit but their decisions are motivated by politics (both industry and actual). And in a way that’s exactly what happened in the Kodak Theatre last Sunday night.

Let me begin with what I thought were the disappointments of the night, namely the categories of original and adapted screenplay. “Up in the Air” has been winning other awards in this category and having seen the film I can only compliment Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner on their efforts. The film is both funny and very relevant even though it wasn’t originally thought of as a recession movie (The screenplay was originally penned six years before the crisis showed its ugly face). “Precious” was of course always an excellent contender and the fact that it won hasn’t offended me nearly as much as the fact that Quentin Tarantino lost out on the original screenplay award. Perhaps the Academy members were embarrassed by the subject matter of “Inglorious Basterds” or considered it too politically dangerous as a winner. Instead they chose another extremely relevant film “The Hurt Locker” in the category. Nothing against the Iraq war movie but in my opinion nobody can quite match Tarantino for his exposition and dialogue.

Much to nobody’s surprise the acting honours went to Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Christoph Waltz, and Mo’Nique. While I have yet to see “Crazy Heart” all the reviews tell me Bridges really deserved this one. As Empire put it – Jeff. Bridges. Is. An. Acting. God. George Clooney will feel unlucky after this though as Ryan Bingham in “Up in the Air” was his best role to date. As for Waltz, well, it’s interesting that the Academy has chosen antagonists for two successive years in the category (Heath Ledger won last year although that had as much to do with his death as his performance), but I am absolutely delighted for the Austrian. “That’s a Bingo!” And Sandra Bullock may just have broken some record by winning both an Oscar and a Razzie within 24 hours!

Next I must congratulate Michael Giacchino on his win for original score for “Up” which was by anyone’s standards an excellent effort. An there was some stiff competition in that category too: I loved James Horner’s “Avatar” and “Sherlock Holmes” by Hans Zimmer. However the presence of Marco Beltrami’s score for “The Hurt Locker” was I believe politically motivated.

And now the one we’ve all been waiting for: Best Picture. This category has of course now been expanded to include ten nominations over the previous five. Whether or not that has actually made a difference in the winner is debatable but it’s nice to see films like “District 9” and “Up” to get a nomination. The big battle was always going to be between “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” however, a battle that was made all the more interesting by the Best Director nominations and winner! The Academy having recognised a female talent for the first time in its 82 year history, who would reign supreme – “Dances With Wolves” with blue people or a story about bomb disposal in post-invasion Iraq? The answer of course is that “The Hurt Locker” snuffed “Avatar” winning six awards to “Avatar’s” three. However after Cameron’s exploits last time around when he announced “I’m the king of the world!” it was unlikely that another shower of Oscars would be imminent despite the film’s game-changing technology. “The Hurt Locker” is a very worthy winner and hopefully this will open the industry up to more challenging pictures about recent American military history. Like after the Vietnam War it took some time before films about the subject were made but when they were, it was masterpieces galore: “The Deer Hunter”, “Platoon”, “Full Metal Jacket”, “Apocalypse Now”. Here’s to hope!

Do you agree with the winners? Please leave some comments or feedback.

That’s it for another week. Thanks for reading and until next time!

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