The Oscars

Full list of nominees here. Will Hurt Locker’s  Kathryn Bigelow be the first woman to win best director? Will the quirky, crafty and conflicted protagonist of Coraline usher in a wave of anti-princess children’s animation? And will the Academy show its contempt for artistry and the intelligence of the moviegoing public and honor Avatar with best picture? Really? Of all the hundreds of movies made this year, Dances with Smurfs is in the top ten? Fuck that noise. It doesn’t even deserve to win for visual effects. I thought Peter Jackson’s King Kong created a more engrossing and surprising fantastical jungle. Pandora only occasionally wowed me, besides the initial wow at the realization that a movie with a strident deep-ecological message contains not one shot of real, living greenery. In fact, Cameron has made a point of boasting at this fact, talking about how every leaf and blade of grass is CGI. Jimmy-boy, your message and your medium are not matching. (Then of course, there’s the racism, or at least naïve racial assumptions and condescension, recently given exposition by Empowerment’s own Desiree Valentine.)

It won’t win, but The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus deserves the effects award for the endless invention of Gilliam’s brand of surrealism–alternatively idyll and infernal, milky and gritty, sublime and unnerving. Nothing put on the screen in years surprised me so often and consistently than that film, even discounting some obnoxious characters and the actors’ tendency to mutter their dialogue.

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