So, who watched the Oscars last night?

To be honest, I didn’t, but I did follow the live updates at Entertainment Weekly (hey!  I’m a busy girl!).

BEST PICTURE

AvatarSo, the big win, Best Picture,  went to The Hurt Locker instead of Avatar.  I haven’t seen Locker yet, so I can’t say that  it deserved to win, but I do know that Avatar did not deserve the Best Picture award either.  (I’m sorry, can you gasp a little louder?)

As much as I loved Avatar, I don’t think it deserved to win Best Picture or Best Director.  Technically, it was a spot on movie.  You cannot fault the way this movie was made – Richard Taylor and James Cameron are GODS when it comes to pushing technology towards bigger and better things.  Avatar was an immersive experience that was not to be missed.

Take all that away however, take away the effects, take away the 3D, take away all the technology and what do you have left?  You have story, you have character, that’s it.  We’ve seen this story before, pretty much exactly as presented here, numerous times in the past.  We even saw it earlier in the year with District 9, although in that case the assimilation of the Van De Merwe was not by choice and it certainly wasn’t welcome.

As for character, they were retreads of all the old tropes we’ve seen time and time again.  The visionary scientist, the conflicted loner, the blood-thirsty soldier, the greedy corporate shill, the noble savage.  Yada yada yada. It would have been nice if Cameron had played with our expectations when it came to these people, brought us some fresh insight, but he didn’t. It was all very superficial and disappointing

Movie making needs to be about so much more than computer wizardry and big explosions.   Without character or story, a film is simply an experience.  It’s just an empty shell, and while people can and still do enjoy the big bangs – I know I do, there’s nothing wrong with that, at the end of the day, it’s still hollow.

I think any Best Picture winner should successfully marry both technology and narrative  while recognizing that the experience serves the story/character not the other way around.  If we work from that criteria, Avatar just didn’t deserve to win.

So, congratulations James Cameron on the technical awards, they were much deserved.  And for now, I’ll reserve judgement on The Hurt Locker winning Best Picture.

BEST DIRECTOR

The Hurt LockerThere was a lot of talk about Kathryn Bigelow being nominated for Best Director, how her win would be a historic step forward for women directors, blah, blah, blah…

And yes, all this is true, but did anyone notice that her film could best be described as a testosterone fueled joy ride?  In other words, a guy-flick?  Basically she proved that girls can blow things up as good as the big boys.  As I mentioned before, I haven’t seen the film yet, so it might be more character driven than I’m given to believe after seeing the trailers and reading the reviews.  And while I’m happy that Bigelow won, I’ll be happier when a woman director wins the prize for a film that has a decidedly feminine voice.  When women’s stories are seen as being as worthy of praise/awards/money as anything made by a man.  Actually, I’ll be truly happy when gender doesn’t enter into it.  All this brouhaha reminds me of a speech by Joss Whedon where he discusses why he writes strong women characters:  “Because you’re still asking me that question.”

See Joss’ beautiful speech here.

When women directors who win awards are no longer a novelty, then I’ll say that women have arrived in Hollywood.

Okay, on to the really important stuff…..

THE DRESSES

I swear, this is the real reason so many people tune in.

Here are my top three best dresses:

Molly Ringwall - 2010 Oscars Elizabeth Banks - 2010 Oscars Kristen Stewart - 2010 Oscars
This is my favorite dress of the night. The colour, the cut, the draping are all perfect.  And I love how Molly accessorized it.  Simple and elegant. This is how ruffles are meant to be worn. They accentuate the dress and the wearer’s shape instead of looking like they are trying to eat you. Wow!  Does Kristen Stewart ever clean up well.  Too bad no one’s taught her how to smile yet.

And here are my picks for Worst Dressed:

Nicole Richie - 2010 Oscars Sarah Jessica Parker - 2010 Oscars Zoe Saldana - 2010 Oscars
This is a dress a 80 year old matron would wear.  The colours are washed out, and there is simply too much dress for such a petite girl. I didn’t know they were still making yellow Hefty bags!  Truth be told, this dress would probably not be so bad if it was tailored a bit more, and was a
bolder colour.  And could someone please show SJP how to do her makeup?
I really wanted to love this dress.  I love the colours and it’s so sparkly, but I can’t get on board with a dress that looks like someone wrapped a dish towel around the waist and then glued bath poofs on the hem.

But you know what these Oscars are missing? A Bjork or a Tilda Swinton dress. I really look forward to some absolutely horrible outfit that really sets the tongues wagging. It didn’t happen this year and I miss it.

Bjork - 2001 OscarsTilda Swinton - 2008 Oscars

What do you think?

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