Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OSCAR WATCH: Avatar



Well, James Cameron waited 10 years to develop the technology required of this film, and it was well worth the wait. This film is a visual masterpiece. Throughout the entire film, I was just in awe (imagine if I had seen it in 3D!). The depth and scope of the fictional world of Pandora is breathtaking. It is so intricate and rich, that you would think they were filming a real place, rather than computer-generated images. Speaking of CGI, the motion-capture technology used to create the Na’vi completely blew my mind. Now I really understand when they say certain movies are “ahead of its time” because the film was out-of-this-world. Zoe Saldana is getting some late Oscar buzz and I can definitely see why. She did a great job creating this Na’vi persona, beautifully blending human-like English speech and emotions with alien nuances. While she’s just a possibility in the acting categories, Avatar will be a heavyweight contender in the other main categories. I have now seen all of the “big five” (Avatar, Up in the Air, Precious, The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds) and I think this will be narrowed down to Avatar, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker when awards season really heats up with the Golden Globes next week. The Best Picture winner will depend on the mood of the voters as the 3 main contenders each bring something unique to the table.

Now let’s talk about the main man behind all this – James Cameron. They need to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award right now. He now has the 2 highest grossing films worldwide of all time. Avatar currently sits at #2 with close to $1.2 billion with Titanic still ruling the roost with just over $1.8 billion. Add those two together and you get A LOT of money (in addition to his other popular films such as “Aliens” and “Terminator”). The Best Director race is quite interesting this year as the front-runner is none other than his own ex-wife (Kathryn Bigelow for her work in “The Hurt Locker”). The over main contenders are Eastwood, Daniels, Reitman and Tarantino. As I said, this film is a visual masterpiece (and sounds good too), so it also provides a strong case for Best Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Score, Visual Effects, Makeup and finally, we will likely be treated to a Leona Lewis performance of “I See You” come Oscar night (Best Original Song). I predict Avatar will get no less than 5 wins at the Academy Awards.

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