The Really Big Shew

It wasn't so much the Academy Awards as it was "Hurt Locker" Appreciation Night.

Methinks there ain’t much room left in that locker for hurtin’, Mrs. Bigelow, on account of all those shiny, shiny awards.

Fans of the film or no, readers, I believe we all can come to harmonious agreement that that was the unofficial sentiment of last night’s 82nd Academy Awards … and color me elated (which I do so hope is a peppier color than “stucco,” the current palor of M. Carter’s skin given the lack of sleep I got last night). Any movie that could play such strong defense and keep “Avatar” at bay — the film got the awards it deserved, says I — is OK with me, and in this case that movie happened to be Kathryn Bigelow’s flat-out fabulous and gritty “The Hurt Locker.” (That’ll teach me to doubt the Mighty Ebert and his Mighty Oscar Picks.)

The only thing that could have made me happier is if the War Flick That Went Boom didn’t have to trample “Inglourious Basterds” to go to the finish line. I’m not bitter, you understand, because “Hurt Locker” strong-armed its way to no. 2 on my Best 0f 2009 list, knocking “Up in the Air” down a peg. A really stellar film, the kind that sticks with you long after the credits roll.

It just didn’t have a scene with two men smoking really big pipes, or one where Hitler gets shredded like Parmesan by some machine-gun bullets, is all I’m saying. And as far as originality goes, aren’t those the kinds of scenes that deserve Best Original Screenplay, is all I’m asking.

(I’m not bitter, dammit.)

Alas, this isn’t a perfect world and I didn’t get all my hearts desires and Mr. QT didn’t get recognition for crazy-blazin’-mad-freakin’ genius and Ben Stiller came out in “Avatar” garb looking freakier than Chuckie in “Child’s Play” and we were subjected to an unholy union of “We Are the World 1,126″ and “So You Think You Can Dance.” But for me, a few good things did happen, as I’ve highlighted below:

**************
Best Picture: “The Hurt Locker”
*Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” (Girl power)
*Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart” (The Dude abides … and wins)
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
                            (Dear Academy: WTF? Sincerely, M. Carter @ the Movies)
*Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds” (Was there ever any doubt? If so, how can you read this because clearly you’ve spent the last decade living with wolves?)
                             Oh, and that überbingo comment? Just made me fall madly in love with you all over again. Let’s make  babies. Or dinner. I’d settle for dinner.
*Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious” (That speech kicked ass and TOOK NAMES.)
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker”
*Best Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious” (No love for “Up in the Air”? I suppose “Precious” is second most deserving.)
*Best Animated Feature: “Up” (Can you say “only viable choice”?)
Best Foreign Feature: “Secret in Their Eyes”
Best Documentary Feature: “The Cove”
*Best Cinematography: “Avatar” (Of course)
Best Editing: “The Hurt Locker”
*Best Art Direction: “Avatar” (Naturally)
Best Costume Design: “The Young Victoria”
*Best Make-Up: “Star Trek” (And you thought Eric Bana was scary in “Munich”)
Best Original Score: “Up”
*Best Original Song: “The Weary Kind,” “Crazy Heart” (One of the most haunting, achy ballads this Southern country music fan has heard in years — it’s real country y’all)
Best Sound Mixing: “The Hurt Locker”
Best Sound Effects Editing: “The Hurt Locker”
*Best Visual Effects: “Avatar” (Must I keep typing?)
Best Documentary Short: “Music by Prudence”
Best Animated Short: “Logorama”
Best Live Action Short: “The New Tenants”
**************

This year I accomplished a personal goal of having seen all but one Best Picture-nominated film, and you can bet I’m counting the days until “An Education” hits Netflix. This, I figure, will give me fodder for a whole ‘nother mess of rant-like anger. Like about how Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe get passed over for Miss Congeniality.

15 Responses

  1. I am kind of disappointed that Sandra Bullock won Best Actress and the lack of awards for Inglourious Basterds. However besides those two things, I really can’t complain about the other winners.

    • This year the Best Actress category was a little meh for me because I didn’t see “An Education” and didn’t feel strongly about any of the other nominees (though I suppose I’d lean toward Gabourey Sidibe).

  2. Same feeling as you M. Anything but Avatar and I’m glad Avatar did not get anything except in the technical categories (as it should). Too bad Inglourious Basterds did not get any love, that will not prevent me from enjoying it :)

  3. People have told me today that they liked the Oscars because the people they liked won, but that for me is wholly separate from the disaster that was the telecast. I’ve expended too much energy on Twitter and elsewhere last night to write a longer post but it was truly excruciating.

  4. I’m so glad Avatar didn’t take much home. Technical credits it deserved but I think it was a failure everywhere else.

    I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker and probably never will. I hate war films and can probably count on one hand the number I have seen. I’m hoping to be able to find the broadcast on the net somewhere because my kids going to bed made me miss about an hour of the show and I really wanted to see that horror tribute!

    • If it makes any difference, I’m not a big fan of war films either. “The Hurt Locker” is so tense that it’s really more like an action film, though of course it’s a war film too.

      • Whenever it hits The Movie Network up here in the Great White North and I’m sitting around with nothing to do, I may just watch it.

        I’ve never really been into the films that wind up being nominated for Academy Awards but it seems like the last few years the films have been leaning more into territory that I’m used to walking through.

  5. With you on most of that, but I think Miss Bullock has managed the impossible. I’m still not convinced she deserves an award just for hanging around for a few decades, but her Razzie acceptance speech (which was a very curteous and dignified “you can all go jump off a bridge, but we’ll drink some beer later”-style defense) helped me warm more than a little bit to her.

    At least it wasn’t Streep. I don’t mean that badly, she is fantastic, but a nomination for putting on a funny accent? You had a reasonably legitimate opportunity to give her the award last year and you blew it, Oscars.

    • Yep. She deserved it for “Doubt,” no question about it in this mind. The thing is that the Academy is making a very legitimately talented actress into a joke by nominating her for EVERYTHING. This pisses me off, and royally.

      Sandra Bullock’s opening comment — “did I really win or did I just wear you all down?” — killed. Made me like her that much more, to be honest.

  6. Hey Meredith, your boyfriend Christoph is going to be on Leno tonight (3/9), but you probably already know that :) And I just posted news about Joaquin possibly returning to acting? Wouldn’t that be great?

    • Oh no! I missed him! I’ll find it online.

      There’s a nasty rumor going around that Waltz is married. I feel certain that when they break up (amicably, of course), he’ll realize I’m the one he never knew he always wanted and come knocking on my door. Then he’ll whisk me off to Europe where we’ll have cafe in sidewalk Paris bistros, maybe take me to Plaza Mayor in Spain….

      Oops. Did I just say all that out loud?

  7. Ugh, Leno.

  8. Bullocks win incited a lobotomy scheduling on my part (I do have to live up to my word after all), even though her acceptance speech was genuine, and it’s not her fault the Academy was bored and wanted to piss me-ahem-movie fans-ahem-the world at large off.

    I was happy to see Hurt Locker walk away with the majority of awards. It was a brilliant movie, but I’m with you-NOT BITTER AT ALL-about Basterds.

    It’s a load of loads that Tarantino got nada.

    Overall, it was a predictable and boring awards.

    • Excluding the “Precious” upset for Best Adapted Screenplay, you’re right — very been-there, done-that. And who knew Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin co-hosting would be such a disaster? Am I the only one who really, really misses Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart?

      My ultimate desire is to (somehow) get Sacha Baron Cohen to host next year’s ceremony. Whether you love the man or think he’s off his rocker, you can’t say the proceedings wouldn’t be … comically memorable! :)

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