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Heloise Predicts an Avatar Sweep

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Friday night, two days before the Academy Awards, was also Avatar night for me. I must be the last online blogger/film critic in America who has not seen this film. I am embarrassed. It begs the question: what were you thinking? The truth is that about the time this film was released I was in therapy for a severe case of acrophobia. Combine that with Meniere's disease (dizzy spells) and I needed to do a lot of thinking before I went to see the movie. But I have a great therapist and he told me that one day I would need to test the work we had done to see if indeed I was cured of acrophobia. Avatar put my therapy to the test.

Mind you, I only knew that Avatar was available in 3-D and a regular 2-D version, and I had read a lot of film reviews and comments. But my intuition told me that heights were involved, and lots of high-speed chases. And I think I can say this without revealing too much about the movie — I was so right. Height is a huge factor in Avatar. Cameron has created something called “hanging mountains” and you have to see them to believe them. It was all about height and that would have paralyzed me with fear in the past. The ticket seller even told me I could get a refund if I couldn’t handle the action. Well, I must have a great therapist because I was able to sit through the entire 162 minutes without incident.

This science fiction sensation is decidedly anti-imperialism yet strangely pro-American despite the final battle. Yes, its storyline is on the weak side, and reminiscent of Dances with Wolves, although I found it more Mission to Mars meets Dances with Wolves! But my truest impression was this: Dances with Dinosaurs. Who knew? I don’t recall a review that mentioned the beasts of Avatar. However, based on the latest research on dinosaurs they were extremely colorful (extant version). Cameron had two dinosaur versions—one terrestrial and one avian. The avian beasts were the most colorful. But the terrestrial species were modeled after dinosaur finds around the world.

With some trepidation I was seated. The trailers were ablaze with 3-D super action flicks coming down the pike. Avatar begins… oh boy, never had this impression at a first scene. “Damn, this film is going to win best picture!” But that was my first impression and now I have to say that Avatar, aka “Dances with Dinosaurs,” will probably sweep the Oscars and win Best Picture. This is not what I thought two months ago, two weeks ago, or even two days ago. But as I write this I am pretty convinced that Cameron gave the viewer his money’s worth and more. While I’ve noticed that some winners have rarely thanked the reviewers for their win, this year one or two of them probably did owe their chance to carry home a statue to bloggers. Just sayin’…

When it was announced that 10 films would comprise the Best Picture list I thought it would be difficult to predict this year’s winners. Again, that was before I saw Avatar. Last year I published my picks only at my Web site and I had a great time touting them because I was batting 100% for the first 11 categories or so. That was 2009. This is 2010 and here are the rest of my picks for Sunday night. But first the list of the best picture nominees I’ve seen: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Precious—based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air. I saw nine out of ten this year. As for Inglourious Basterds — I did not want to see this film.

  • LEADING ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
  • LEADING ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock  The Blind Side
  • SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique for Precious—Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire 
  • DIRECTING: James Cameron, Avatar
  • DOCUMENTARY SHORT: The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant
  • FILM EDITING: Avatar
  • MAKEUP: The Young Victoria
  • ORIGINAL SONG: The Weary Kind, from Crazy Heart
  • SHORT FILM ANIMATED: French Roast 
  • SOUND MIXING: Avatar
  • BEST PICTURE: Avatar

So for this reviewer—it is all hail, kowtow and kudos to James Cameron. Because by my count, nine wins would be an Avatar sweep — if it wins every category that it is nominated for. If I had not seen Avatar my picks would have been slightly different, giving The Hurt Locker a couple of wins. But no, this is an Avatar night at the Academy Awards. I hope no one gets hurt.

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About Heloise

  • Heloise used WTF once.

    I guess she was impressed by her own comment.

  • I just went to your site and saw no comments, so where were people using WTF?

    It’s awfully convenient not to be interested in the category you picked wrong, and before you pat yourself on the back too hard, it was no great feat picking the three favorites in the other categories.

    “The Oscars were rigged even they admitted it.”

    Link, please.

    “Did you see that there was no mention of ‘This is It?'”

    So what? Did you see there was no mention of “A Town Called Panic”?

  • At least you’re being honest. A rant is better than a whimper.

    Enjoy the traffic.

  • I got a lot of hits on my rant. People were using WTF in combo with The Hurt Locker winning best pic.

    Overall the actors that I campainged and blogged for won. I knew that Walz was a favored going in, but chose not to pick him. I also did not follow what I said initially about this that Hurt Locker would win more after seeing it but NOT seeing Avatar until Friday.

    I campaign for actors instead of politicisns. It’s more fun and besides the actors I touted all won. I did not tout Walz and did not care if he won or not. I really was not interested in male supporting role.

    The Oscars were rigged even they admitted it. Slumdog won last year and who gives a flip about it now?

    Did you see that there was no mention of “This is It?”

  • Well, that may be a good advise for a sage, LB, but I don’t have such aspirations.

    I just call it how I see it, and I don’t care about “being right.”

  • I have been paying attention to movies and the Oscars for years in both an amateur and professional capacity. Plus, I read a lot about it from a number of sources to stay informed.

    “Grabbing a theory out of air is better than having none whatever.”

    No it isn’t. Better to have people think you don’t know what you are talking about than speak up and prove them right.

  • What does it matter as long as you like it.

  • I am a bit sad that Avatar has not won the Oscor in any category. Some movies got up to 5 ones so it is not understandable for me.

  • is better than . . .

  • And since when are you so knowledgeable about what’s in the mind of the voters.
    Grabbing a theory out of air than having none whatever.
    Yes, entertainment industry has always been recession proof – so say something I don’t know LB. And I don’t need to check the papers to know that.

  • Plenty of people saw it including the most important group: Academy voters. It’s not their fault you were prisoner of the moment Friday night and apparently did little research before making your picks. Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor?! Waltz won every award possible to this point, so he was a guaranteed lock. And how exactly is Avatar Pro-American?

    “How’s that for a put down?”

    Considering all the awards they won, can’t imagine they care what Drudge thinks. Hell, I didn’t win an award and I don’t care what Drudge thinks.

    “perhaps the Academy wanted to redeem itself in the eyes of the American public for its liberal outlook on life.”

    Are you just grabbing theories out of the air? The film has no political bent and the Academy cares little about the public other than getting them to tune in. Sean Penn’s win for “Milk” was proof of that last year.

    “It’s good business, especially in hard economic times.”

    Check the papers. The movie industry is not affected by these economic times. Box office was up for 2009.

  • Well, good nite, folks.

  • Well, perhaps the Academy wanted to redeem itself in the eyes of the American public for its liberal outlook on life.

    It’s good business, especially in hard economic times.

    Avatar will still draw what it will, and their face is saved.

  • zingzing

    heh. in the loop is the anti-war movie (and about the same damn war). it was up for best screenplay, but i bet it didn’t win.

  • Drudge Report is saying “A movie nobody saw won” or something like that. How’s that for a put down?

  • Exactly, in the loop but not the damn loop. That shit swept the Oscars. I can’t believe it.

  • That’s not the point that war happens. It did NOT HAVE to happen. We were lied into the Iraq war and everybody knows it including Karl “The Devil” Rove!

    I hated Viet Nam and you think I want to be reminded of that crap with a movie like Hurt Locker?

    I think that Avatar was robbed, bottom line. My question who is going to see a movie no one saw in the first place? Tell me that.

  • zingzing

    it should have been “in the loop,” but whatever not even nominated stupid academy awards junco nazis.

  • “I hate to see a movie about bombs and war win so many awards.”

    I know exactly what you mean. It’s hard on one’s conscience.

    It’s so much easier not to think about it.

  • WTF? The Hurt Locker no way is best picture. If that was the case then it should have been Precious. I hate fucking war movies.

  • I think I jinxed Avatar. There goes the sweeps. I hate to see a movie about bombs and war win so many awards. It means more crap like this. Yes, she’s a good director but the material sucks really.

    I think they might be tied for awards at this point.

  • Now I see the confusion. I marked my paper ballot Avatar but typed Nine for art direction. So, the nine wins would be if Avatar won everything as I meant to indicate but I put down 8. Did the same thing last year. My average was better last year too.

    Glad I was wrong about the adapted screenplay and a brother won it. Black folks did not want to see this win, but I did.

  • Thanks Lisa for the great edit. But I thought I counted and said “eight” wins for Avatar? You have it as 9. I know there is a technical category that goes on behind stage. Can you check this out?