What can be said for Bigelow is that she crafted an atmospheric and convincing film in "The Hurt Locker" and that she did so on a budget of around $11 million which is, in Hollywood terms, a very small amount of money. However, when I first saw "The Hurt Locker" at last years Edinburgh International Film Festival I had this to say. I think I stand by most of that, especially the bit about it appearing to be more "...Point Break 2: Surfing the Dunes".
I would have awarded the best director statue to Quentin Tarintino as he was responsible for delivering a film that contained two of the best scenes to hit the multiplexes last year (the arrival of the Jew Hunter and the tavern scene) and introduced the world to the joys of this years Best Supporting Actor, Christoph Waltz. While "Basterds" was far from being a perfect film it was, at least, original and entertaining.
The best film of the year, to these eyes, didn't even win the award in the only category it was nominated in...I speak, of course, of "Un Prophete" which was, quite simply, head and shoulders above almost everything else. The fact that it didn't even win the best foreign language award (it went to an Argentinian film that I am refusing to mention as a means of protest) says much about the Academy and about awards in general. In an ideal world "Un Prophete" would have been nominated for best film and not stuck in the ghetto of "foreign language" cinema. The idea that "Avatar" could be viewed as being a better anything than something as beautiful and glorious as "Un Prophete" makes my head hurt.
Best actor went to Jeff Bridges for his role as Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart" which wasn't a great film but it did contain a great performance and I'm delighted that Bridges has been rewarded after so many wonderful films. The actress award was given to Sandra Bullock (who also won the Razzie for worst actress in the same week and turned up to accept it) and, as you all know, even though I haven't seen "The Blind Side" I love Sandra and I am over the moon that she has won an Oscar.
More good news arrived in the shape of Mo'Nique who received the award for best supporting actress and thus ensured that simpering public school girl, and Kiera Knightly wannabe, Carey Mulligan went home empty handed. Mo'Nique was the deserved winner here but there is always the chance that the Academy will be won over by a posh girl in a pretty frock...thankfully Mulligan was wearing a really awful frock. Bitchy? Me? I think not.
The other big winners of the evening were...us, dear readers. "Avatar" did not triumph and in the shape of "The Hurt Locker" (despite my reservations) a film made by a director who understands the importance of script and performance over computer wizardry won out. We should be thankful. The thought of enduring another nauseating James Cameron victory speech would have been worse than a bout of the norovirus.
Until next year.