The Academy Award announcements this week were no surprise, but in a year of very few extraordinary films, why did the Academy decide to extend the best film category to 10? I have not see all the films yet but I am chipping away at the list. When I think of Best Picture films, I think the film must be the best example of American film making in any given year. It has to have the best story, the best acting, the best cinematography, the best editing, just the best in every category, not just the best hyped film. I do have my current favorites An Education, Inglourious Basterds and Up in the Air. Of these three, my vote goes to Inglourious Basterds. I liked the other two very much, but Inglourious Basterds is by far the most compelling. Tarantino is not my favorite director but this film was right on...compelling characters, compelling story, and compelling actors all lending their incredible talents to create an incredible story infused with palpable fear and riveting images. Christopher Waltz certainly deserves the accolades. It is a film that will stay with you for days. Don't miss it. It is really a big screen picture but a DVD will do the trick too.
I'm waiting to see The Hurt Locker on DVD. I missed it in the theaters. Films dealing with the current conflict in Iraq are not my favorite, so I let it slip by. The buzz has been incredible but Avatar seems to be stealing its thunder now. Of these two, my vote goes to The Hurt Locker, after all, if it gets the Best Picture award, it will be the first film directed by a woman to win. Kathryn Bigelow, once married to James Cameron from 1989 to 1991, has paid her dues with films like: Mission Zero, K-19: the Widowmaker, The Weight of Water. Her first full-length film was in 1982 and her films are all know for their kinetic action and technical dazzle. Get on the reserve list if you have seen it yet.