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What the Academy thought of Avatar…


Basically, it looks like they pretty much thought "Avatar" was a gimmick. The best-performing gimmick of all time but not a "real film." Whether that judgment will stand the test of time or we'll be looking back on these Oscars years from now wondering what was up with "The Hurt Locker," who knows?

Plus, in the Hollywood-as-High School metaphor, James Cameron is not one of the popular kids. He's never gonna get Homecoming King…

About Bryce Zabel 196 Articles
Drawing inspiration from career experiences as a CNN correspondent, TV Academy chairman, creator of five produced primetime network TV series, and fast-food frycook, Bryce is the Editor-in-Chief of "Movie Smackdown." While he freely admits to having written the screenplay for the reviewer-savaged "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," he hopes the fact that he also won the Writers Guild award a couple of years ago will cause you to cut him some slack. That, plus the fact that he has a new StudioCanal produced feature film, “The Last Battle,” shooting this summer in Europe about the end of World War II. He's also a member of the Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and a past enthusiast of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. His new what-if book series, “Breakpoint,” just won the prestigious Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and has so far tackled JFK not being assassinated and The Beatles staying together.
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2 Comments on What the Academy thought of Avatar…

  1. Hear hear. The organisers even sat Cameron right behind Bigelow at the ceremony, as if they were waiting for the fireworks to start!
    I am so glad Avatar didn’t win, because there were other films in the Ten Best that were better. Haven’t seen Hurt locker yet, but I will soon!

  2. Though Hollywood might resemble high school, I can’t shed any tears for James Cameron. His last film “Titanic” won both Best Director and Best Picture as well and became the highest grossing film in history (that is until his next film came around.) So while I’m not it’s biggest fan, I don’t really think last night’s oscars saw Avatar as a gimmick. It won 3 awards and was nominated for something like 5 more, including best picture, best director and best editing. Cameron also got his fair share of having his “genius” lauded, so his ego should be just fine.
    I remember reading twitter last night after Kathryn Bigelow won for Best Direction and the person noted “Great speech from Bigelow. And not even a mention of her ex-husband.” And as I sat there, I thought to myself, why is that significant? Why would anyone expect her to mention Cameron? There were three other directors nominated for that award and none of them had anything to do with The Hurt Locker. To me, a lot of the night seemed touted as “James Cameron’s Oscars” and everything hinged on whether his film would dominate or the “underdogs” would surprise everyone and win. Even the overly-hyped best picture category with its 10 films fell victim to this. I guess it was nice to see all these other films get some attention, but it was never any real serious attention. It was all about the ex-lovers dueling it out, while everyone else stood around and watched.
    And what’s sad about that is that “The Hurt Locker”‘s win should be of no surprise. It won the DGA awards. Out of all the best picture nominees, it was the second highest rated on rotten tomatoes, falling only behind “Up.” “Avatar” was 2nd from the bottom. Only “The Blind Side” ranked below it. “District 9” was actually the more critically-acclaimed sci-fi in that category and it received nothing. So in the end, I think “Avatar” was definitely seen as a “real film.” It was nominated for Best Picture. It just was by no means the best of the bunch. Not by a long shot.

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