Best picture round 1: 'Avatar' and 'Up'

Friday, February 19, 2010

After only one week of my Oscar quest, I've already fallen behind. I took friends with me to see "Avatar" and then watched "Up" on my own.

Then I forgot my mission for a day. Couldn't borrow one movie (stupid Blu-ray) and had to pack for vacation. But I'll be back to it soon, I promise (she wrote with trepidation and uncertainty).

But on to the movies.

How is it that I make it through several deaths and an all-out battle in "Avatar" without a flinch, but a lump planted itself in my throat about three times during "Up"?

Some people may argue that "Up" should be relegated to the animated feature film category. It is indeed nominated there as well. In the days of five best picture nominees, I would agree animated films should stay in their own category. However, with 10 slots for best picture, there's room for a heart-warming story about love, loss and adventure, even if it is animated.

Furthermore, it could be argued "Avatar" is half animation and half live action, thus disqualifying it for either category. The judges have spoken, and I've already watched them, so let's move on.

People bemoan that "Avatar" loses credibility because no actors were nominated for awards. Well, kids, half the movie and most of the action is computer-generated. Cartoon characters don't get acting nominations, and Neytiri, Tsu'tey and the blue Jake Sully are no more than fancy cartoon characters.

Most of the "Avatar" actors weren't nominated in acting categories because they didn't act for half the movie and they didn't act brilliantly in the other half.

The beauty of "Avatar" is Pandora. It's the imagination used to create a world. Having said that, I thought the movie was a more detailed, better animated, grown up version of the 1992 film "FernGully: The Last Rainforest."

I liked it. I don't think it should win.

My vote on "Up" is still, well, up in the air.

Two down. Eight to go.

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