I am happily surprised to say that The Hurt Locker just won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It’s chief rival, Avatar, won several effects awards (appropriately) but fell short of the top awards like Director and Best Picture (also appropriately).
Two big moments were Kathryn Bigelow’s victory – she is the first female director to win an Oscar – and the surprising Best Actress award for Sandra Bullock. Bullock’s The Blind Side is a movie that I have not yet seen, so I cannot comment on it. However, there is something satisfying about seeing an actress who has been so likable for so long finally win. Meryl Streep, surely, will be back again next year.
I was a little disappointed to see Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds recognized only for the magnificent performance of Christoph Waltz. Nonetheless, the numerous nominations for such a violent, controversial movie is still impressive.
A few smaller observations: Jeff Bridges is one of the coolest guys you’ll ever see, and interpretive dance numbers are still painful and unwelcome, no matter how skilled the dancers. The raving speeches of high praise for each individual nominee for the top acting awards is a little much. Everyone, apparently, is surprisingly “kind”. Steve Martin is a great host, and Sean Penn is as glum as he’s ever been. I hope that Ben Stiller’s next bizarrely-costumed nomination delivery is just as weird but much shorter, and it was very strange not to see Jack Nicholson’s face in the front rows.
BEST PICTURE: The Hurt Locker
BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
BEST ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
BEST ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
BEST CINEMATOGRPHY: Mauro Fiore, Avatar
BEST EDITING: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, The Hurt Locker
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Michael Giacchino, Up