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)
- 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 Side – Bullock 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 Locker – Very 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 Basterds – Tarantino doing what he does best. Great look at World War II with amazing characters and a complicated yet interesting concocted story.
- 2. – Up – Amazing 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. – Avatar – James Cameron shows once again how great a film maker he is both of a technical and emotional level. The 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!