A Man and His Movies
By Sean Harris ’11
According to Hollywood, the best film of 2009 was “The Hurt Locker,” a gritty war film about a man who disarms bombs for a living in modern day Iraq.
Going into the Oscars, it looked as if the only other film to beat it would be
“Avatar,” a sci-fi movie about a paraplegic ex-marine who travels to a faraway planet named Pandora in the distant future.
“Avatar” certainly would be the popular choice; at the time of this publication, it has made more than $700 million domestically and is officially the highest grossing film of all time.
However, the reason “Avatar” didn’t win this year is the same reason “The Dark Knight” didn’t win last year; Oscar simply is not ready to accept box office giants. When given the choice, they would rather pick the underdog film every time.
It certainly didn’t help that the story of “Avatar” was set in the future. There are many examples of Oscar ignoring science fiction or other fantastical stories, such as the year “Star Wars” was snubbed.
Exceptions to the dollar sign rule can be made, however rare they are. Just look at the year “The Return of the King” tied with “Titanic” for the record of 11 Oscars for one film.
But there is progress being made. For example, not only was “Avatar” nominated this year, but so was “District 9,” another science fiction film that pleased both audiences and critics.
Just the fact that these films were nominated, while just a formality, shows Hollywood might finally be ready to accept this long forgotten genre.
When talking about the Oscars however, one has to remember that it is the opinion of Hollywood. It does not change or at least should not change the opinion of the viewer.
For example, some of my favorite films of the year (an example would be the underrated “Road”) were not even nominated, and those that were did not win anything.
Does this change my opinion? No. Would it have been nice to see them win? Undoubtedly yes.
Validation is always nice but one has to take a grain of salt with awards like the Oscars and film critique in general. There are so many varied opinions of movies.
One’s own opinion should be the only one that matters; running into someone that does not share such an opinion should open the door for discussion and not confrontation.
Did I like “The Hurt Locker?” Yes, I did.
Was it the film of the year? No, not in my opinion, but I’ll take the Oscars for what I see them as, a celebration of movies.
Try not to take them too seriously.