Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2009


dtgirbp-2009Here are the nine nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up

Biggest Snub:

 Crazy Heart

My Overall Thoughts:

This was the first year where the Academy moved away from the idea of only 5 nominees (a mistake IMHO) in order to embrace a wider variety of films and genre’s in this category.

Remarkably, 8 of the 9 films deserve to be on the list and even 5 of them are powerful enough to have won, but of the top five IMHO, only the eventual winner was the “safe” choice because all of the others winning the award would have made an amazing impact on the award show because their themes and genre’s just aren’t the kind that have ever won beforehand and the Academy has shied away from those genre’s up until today (2016)

My Rankings:

Movies

  • 9. – A Serious Man – A Coen film that is pretty good (and different, like all of their films) but not really a film that should have made this list.
  • 8. – The Blind SideBullock is great here and the story mixes sports while giving over an important message, so it is heartwarming to watch, but still not a powerhouse film.
  • 7. – An Education – Great subtle performances by both leads help make this a great character study.  The story itself is relatively simplistic on the outside, yet it is quite layered when you look more closely. Love the way that the title has numerous meanings with regard to what happens in the film.  Not sure that this film was deserving of a Best Picture nomination despite the fact that it is done quite well.
  • 6. – District 9 – Nice sci-fi film that deals with social issues and racism besides having a very interesting story.  The question remains tho as to whether the film was really deserving of being counted among the very best?
  • 5. – Precious – Extremely powerful film that makes you want to never watch it again because of how dark and poignant the story is.  Amazing performances all around.  Too dark for the Academy to have given the award to tho.
  • 4. – The Hurt LockerVery timely film that was the safe choice for the voters this year because of the dissatisfaction with the climate of war.  It also gave them an opportunity to award a female director.
  • 3. – Inglorious BasterdsTarantino doing what he does best.  Great look at World War II with amazing characters and a complicated yet interesting concocted story.
  • 2. – UpAmazing PIXAR film that truly deserves to be only the second animated film nominated for BP ever.  It’s too bad that the Academy still isn’t willing to embrace animation as a BP Winner!
  • 1. – AvatarJames Cameron shows once again how great a film maker he is both of a technical and emotional levelThe story has similarities to other films with similar themes, but still manages to thrill.  Really should have won the award because it is such a powerful film.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not really. Avatar really was the best film of the year of the list because it was spectacular on a technical level and had a really moving story (depsite being similar to other movies with the same theme), but alas, the Academy still weren’t willing to accept a sci-fi film for BP.  Up has the disadvantage of it being animated (again, the academy also hasn’t yet embraced that genre also).  QT just delivers too much in all his films and the Academy also isn’t willing to give him the top award, so The Hurt Locker was the safe choice because of the current climate based on the war overseas.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

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7 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2009

  1. I would disagree with you on Avatar, the story is very average and the money spent on the film that is so average is insulting to the rest of the list, i would go with Inglorious which i will still say is Tarantino’s best film.

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  2. Haven’t seen most of these, but my favorites are The Blind Side and Up, and as much as I would have liked either to win, you’re right that they’re unlikely BP material. I’m with Darren on Avatar; it’s exceptional on a technical level but the story just isn’t original enough.

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  3. I’m loving these ranking articles, Rob. Really interesting stuff! This year had a lot of popcorn flicks in the mix. Usually, best picture noms don’t rank highly in the top box office.

    I gotta add my ranking in reply to yours. I still haven’t seen Blind Side or An Education. I’m more curious for the latter, while I dismissed the former as cheesy melodrama.

    Here’s my top 7…

    7. Serious Man – I usually really enjoy every 2nd Coen Bros movie. I don’t know if they take turns directing or what. This one had some good acting, but the story and humour didn’t work for me. It was disappointing.

    6. Up – I loved the opening sequence. Amazing! But the rest of the film was rather paint by numbers with a couple of laughs.

    5. Hurt Locker – I really enjoyed this blend of action, thrills, and drama. Renner was a standout surprise. Intense sequences were pulse-pounding. One of the year’s best, but slightly overrated.

    4. Precious – Amazing character study. Dark and depressing, but ultimately worth watching. A couple of incredible performances. I never thought I’d relate to a young girl like this, but the story grabbed a hold of me. Truly impressive.

    3. District 9 – Incredible action movie where I actually cared about the characters. Some dark humour fits well with the satire and social commentary. While actually being about something, the movie never forgot to satisfy the genre audience – with gadgets, weapons, aliens, and action.

    2. Avatar – Another version of the hero story. Familiar but executed perfectly. Totally breathtaking visuals. The atmosphere enveloped the audience. It was a game-changer. At the time, it was mind-blowing. Like many popular films, when it gets big enough it’s cool to hate on it. Most stories can be traced to other influences… like Tarantino (who homages dialogue, story, character, music, scenes, etc).

    1. Inglourious Basterds – One of Tarantino’s best. Totally phenomenal opening. Incredible progression of one amazing scene after the other. The best film of the year by leaps and bounds for me. I really enjoyed every aspect of this film – mostly on a technical / cinematic level – but it also satisfies on a visceral level. Vengeance has never been so glorious. 😉

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