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Could Avatar Flip The ‘Populist Oscar’ Debate?

With the Golden Globe firmly in hand, James Cameron’s double victory at the Golden Globes cemented Avatar as a serious contender for the Best Picture Oscar. Not that there was ever really much doubt about the film receiving a nomination: the Academy loves Cameron. It still just seems a surprise in a race that has generally seen debate over Precious, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker, with a fringe advocating Inglourious Basterds. Still, give the people what they want, right? An Oscar win for Avatar clearly indicates that the Academy is moving back to embrace popular tastes, right? I’m not so convinced.

Yes, that's James Cameron biting his lips to stop himself from reminding you how awesome he is...

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Is an Inglourious Oscar on the Way? Or Just a Basterdly Disappointment?

As anyone who visits the site will know, Inglourious Basterds was my film of last year. I just dug it – the post-modern aspects of it, the juxtaposition of Tarantino’s style with the historic backdrop, the ending. And I’m more than delighted to think that Christophe Waltz will earn an Oscar statuette for his work, making it three years on the trot of amazing Supporting Actor turns. But will the film itself score one of the big nominations? Of that, I’m not quite so sure.

That's one way of convincing Academy members...

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Looking Back at This Year’s Best Picture Race

I’ve finally gotten to see all the five Best Picture nominees for the 81st Academy Awards. I’m honestly disappointed it took me so long, but that’s what happens when a flood of prestige movies hit the cinemas over three weeks in January and the Academy doesn’t even pick the good ones. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the contenders, in retrospect. The previous year’s awards featured a fantastic line-up – Juno, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Blood – that hit just about every demographic and represented the awards at their best. This year, we got a closed shop.

The statuettes are actually quite creepy when you get to looking at them...

The statuettes are actually quite creepy when you get to looking at them...

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