Sunday, March 6, 2011

If I Were An Academy Voter - 2009 Part I

Best Picture
1. Avatar
2. Up in the Air
3. Up
4. Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire
5. Inglourious Basterds
6. An Education
7. The Hurt Locker
8. District 9
9. The Blind Side
10. A Serious Man
Academy Winner - The Hurt Locker
Commentary - I liked The Hurt Locker, as a directorial feat, but overall, I had to go with Avatar. I know there are a lot of haters out there about this movie, but like it or not, it got rave reviews, lots of nominations, made tons of money, and completely revolutionized the art of filmmaking. Let's face it, five years from now, no one is going to remember The Hurt Locker. It will be referred to as: "What's that movie that beat Avatar?" Next in line was the excellent Up in the Air, which was robbed and completely snubbed with no wins. This year, I was happy with ten nods, because there were so many great films, but in 2009, there weren't really enough to fill the slots, as less than stellar films like A Serious Man and The Blind Side managed to get nods, so once you get past number 6, I didn't really care how they were ordered.

Best Director
Academy Winner/My Pick - Kathryn Bigelow "The Hurt Locker"
Commentary - I appreciated Bigelow's work in The Hurt Locker, considering its budget. It was a well put together film, and Cameron has already won, so I would have voted for Bigelow. My next pick would have been Tarantino, as he is one of the greatest working directors out there.

Best Actor
Academy Winner/My Pick - Jeff Bridges "Crazy Heart"
Commentary - Maybe it is because I know in hindsight that Colin Firth was going to win this year, but I think either way, I would have gone with Bridges. Not only was he overdue, but he was absolutely fantastic in Crazy Heart, which I think should have gotten one of those ten spots for Best Picture.

Best Actress
Academy Winner - Sandra Bullock "The Blind Side"
My Pick - Gabourey Sidibe "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire"
Commentary - I love Sandra Bullock, and was genuinely happy that she finally got some recognition. That being said, I was completely stunned by Gabby Sidibe's performance in Precious. To see her in an interview, being vibrant and vivacious, to then seeing her heart-breaking, jaw-dropping work, that was gritty, honest, and emotional shows me that she is a talent we should be watching in the next couple of years. She would have gotten my vote.

Best Supporting Actor
Academy Winner - Christoph Waltz "Inglourious Basterds"
My Pick - Christopher Plummer "The Last Station"
Commentary - Christoph Waltz definitely deserved this Oscar. But I consider Christopher Plummer to be one of the greatest actors in the English language, and the fact that this is his first Oscar nomination is an absolute travesty, and a black mark on the Academy's record. So my vote would have gone to Plummer, out of pure recognition for one of the best.

Best Supporting Actress
Academy Winner/My Pick - Mo'Nique "Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire"
Commentary - Up until the last scene, I thought Mo'Nique was great, but wasn't sure why she was so far ahead in this race. Then I saw here break down, and I realized just how talented Mo'Nique really is, and just how powerful this performance was. Plus I admire her snubbing of too much campaigning and relying in the performance itself. By God, it worked.

Best Original Screenplay
Academy Winner - Mark Boal "The Hurt Locker"
My Pick - Quentin Tarantino "Inglourious Basterds"
Commentary - Bigelow deserved to win, but Boal did not. Tarantino's script was miles above Boals, as Inglourious Basterds was it's script. I've decided that everytime Tarantino got nominated for Screenplay, I would have voted for him.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Winner - Geoffrey Fletcher "Precious"
My Pick - Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner "Up in the Air"
Commentary - I was happy that a long-overdue barrier was broken with Fletcher's win. But the best script of the bunch was Up in the Air, and it was my number 2 movie of the year, so it would have gotten my vote.

Best Animated Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - Up
Commentary - In a jam-packed year for Animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox, Princess and the Frog, and Coraline, Pixar once again proved to be ahead of the pack, and Up was definitely one of their best.

Best Documentary Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - The Cove
Commentary - No doubt the best of the bunch, plain and simple.

Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Winner - El Secreto De Sus Ojos
My Pick - Un Prophete
Commentary - No offense to El Secreto De Sus Ojos which was a nice film from Argentina, but there was no better film in any language that Un Prophete, and it was robbed of a well-deserved Oscar.

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