The following is the unedited version of the coverage published in iMAGES of 14 March 2010.
82nd Oscars. Lukewarm and Effective. Like Milk.
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
The Oscars are old news. We know who won (The Hurt Locker devastated everyone). We know Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin had a lukewarm response (they actually did a pretty good job, with precisely timed comedy that relied on chuckles than vigorous guffaws). Sandra Bullock became the first actress to win both an Academy and a Razzie Award (given for Worst films of the year) on the same day. We know that Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win Best Director; and it had nothing to do with International Woman’s Day on March 8th. We also know that even with Avatar’s phenomenal winning streak at the Box-Office, and its open-minded share of nominations – it had 9 nominations – it won only in categories it deserved to win (it’s nice to see that the system still works sometimes). And finally keen eyed enthusiasts also know that last Sunday, we presented our yearly Predictions for 82nd Academy Awards.
The Oscars hit early Monday. So did most of our predictions. Out of our 16 Predictions, we – and most of the industry – were stumped in three categories. Best Cinematography (Miore Fiore for Avatar), Best Foreign Film (The Secret In Their Eyes) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Precious written by Geoffrey Fletcher).
Analyzing the situation, Avatar’s Best Cinematography award was unjust. Now, if Avatar won for Best Technical Achievement I wouldn’t mind. Shot primarily through his emerging Fusion Camera system, the virtual camera system places scenes in an augmented reality. According to James Cameron, "It’s like a big, powerful game engine. If I want to fly through space, or change my perspective, I can. I can turn the whole scene into a living miniature and go through it on a 50 to 1 scale". We predicted the Hurt Locker to win for (according to director Kathryn Bigelow) its “raw, immediate and visceral” cinematography.
The Hurt Locker had a $11 million budget, and real-world location shooting. Avatar had a budget north of $250 million and, reportedly, a thousand people on its payroll.
Having seen only one motion picture in the Best Foreign Film category, our choices – Ajami and The White Ribbon (we watched the latter) – relied on industry predictions. The category was upset by “El secreto de sus ojos” (aka The Secret in their Eyes), a crime-drama from Argentine. As A.O. Scott of the New York Times Twittered between the Oscar-cast, the movie is “not one I (or very many others) predicted”. Like other pundits, we didn’t have a chance.
The Best Adapted Screenplay went to Geoffrey Fletcher for “Precious”, which ported its hit–streak over from the Independent Spirit Awards. Like The Hurt Locker it besieged the awards which are usually given to the Best non-studio films of the year. This is another win I disagree with. To us, “Precious” was no competition for the brilliant “Up in the Air”, written by Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman. For this category, the Oscars and I agreed to disagree.
The 82nd Academy Awards was a little less glitzy than last years, when Hugh Jackman danced Broadway and Slumdog Millionaire made Oscars a big night for Bollywood. The program, now back to its routine, shuffled the categories and kept things going on at a more leisurely pace (the broadcast started at 6 am and ran to 10 am); and because of the “Thank You Cam” broadcast via the internet, the speeches were short and no one went about thanking the Academy or their families extensively – although one or two did squeeze something in (Ryan Bingham, co-winner for his Best Song for Crazy Heart said he loved his wife “more than rainbows”). And finally there was a spellbinding contemporary dance number made over the five best song categories. Overall, the 82nd Academy Awards, executively produced by Adam Shankman, and hosted by first timer Alec Baldwin and three times hosting veteran Steve Martin did a better job than I expected them to. Oh, and Ben Stiller spoke gibberish Na’vi.
And the 82nd Oscars Winners Are:
Motion Picture: "The Hurt Locker."
Actor: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart."
Actress: Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side."
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds."
Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire."
Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker."
Foreign Film: "El Secreto de Sus Ojos," Argentina.
Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire."
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker."
Animated Feature Film: "Up."
Art Direction: "Avatar."
Sound Mixing: "The Hurt Locker."
Sound Editing: "The Hurt Locker."
Original Score: "Up," Michael Giacchino.
Original Song: "The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart," Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett.
Costume: "The Young Victoria."
Documentary Feature: "The Cove."
Documentary (short subject): "Music by Prudence."
Film Editing: "The Hurt Locker."
Makeup: "Star Trek."
Animated Short Film: "Logorama."
Live Action Short Film: "The New Tenants."
Visual Effects: "Avatar."
The published version can be found at: