March 2, 2011

Sci-fi and Fantasy at the Oscars [breaking news musing]

I'd like to take a minute to talk about the success of Sci-fi and Fantasy at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. It wasn't a bad year for speculative fiction. Could have been better, but then, it is the Oscars. Best picture is going to go to a realist drama, so let's just tally up our wins and appreciate the recognition.

I was rooting for Black Swan for many awards, as it was my favourite film of the year, though I admit it may not have been the "best" (and to be honest, I still haven't gotten around to seeing King's Speech). It was incredible to see Black Swan nominated for Best Picture, even if it didn't have a real shot. I would have liked it if Best Director had been given to something other than King's Speech, but I guess it's not fair to exclude the winner of Best Picture from the running. Still, Aronofsky would have been a worthy winner.

I don't feel that Black Swan really deserved Best Achievement in Cinematography, so best that it went to Inception. Although I felt the camera preying on Natalie's back as she walked was a haunting contribution to the film, apparently it was a rehash of the technique used in Aronofsky's The Wrestler. Should have saved your big guns, my friend. Black Swan was also up for Best Achievement in Editing. Very nice!

Natalie Portman winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role was the moment of the night, for me, since it was the only award I really had my fingers crossed for and really felt had a chance of going through! Congrats, beautiful!

It was very exciting to see Inception up there, nominated for Best Picture, which it never would have won, and Best Achievement in Art Direction, which it should have won. It did take home the awards for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. Yep, can't argue with those back to back sound awards. The sound was hard hitting and perfect. And the visuals. Why else did we go to see that movie? Inception did a great job nabbing the awards it was most deserving of, and hopefully we can all admit that it didn't deserve Best Picture or Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It wasn't the best film of the year, despite it's taking us for an incredible ride of the psyche, and being possibly the most exciting film for years to come. And the writing wasn't award-worthy. Let's just face it. Inception was an imaginative spectacle of the eyes and ears, but in essence, it was a heist movie with typical dialogue to boot.

Harry Potter was recognized with a nomination for Best Art Direction, and Best Achievement in Visual Effects, which is nice, but it was hardly a real candidate for the prize. I was disturbed to see Iron Man 2 nominated for anything at all, but then, I didn't see that piece of crap, so I can't be judgemental. Or maybe I can. I haven't seen Alice in Wonderland yet, but I can agree with it's winning Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. I mean, come on.

Shout out to Trent Rezner for Best Achievement in Music Written for a Motion Picture! Should have gone to Hans Zimmer for Inception, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Trent. That'll look nice on his mantle. Next to the skulls.

The Lost Thing, winner of Best Short Film, Animated, looks incredible, and I need to remember to watch and review it soon.


  1. I haven't really seen all of these movies, but one movie that turned out to be a box office flop that I thought was pretty good from a spec. fic standpoint was Never Let Me Go. I saw Inception, which was a nice big movie, but I enjoyed that movie much better.

  2. I watched the trailer for Never Let Me Go - it looks really good, but doesn't surprise me that it wasn't a box office hit (despite it starring Keira Knightly), or that it wasn't recognized by the Oscars. There are always many great films, speculative and otherwise, that are ignored by the Academy, and it is a shame, but I like to stay positive. Some nice awards were given to strange and thoughtful movies! Yay!