Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Oscars: The Hurt Locker eclipsed Avatar

The Oscar night belonged to Director Kathryn Bigelow and her Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker winning six of the nine categories the film was nominated for, beating James Cameron’s Avatar that won only three awards out of the nine nominations, when the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were being announced on March 7, 2010 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosted the show.

Also on the Oscar night of 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, and she is the second American woman to be nominated for the Best Director award, the other being Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003). The Hurt Locker won in all major categories like Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

The Hurt Locker won the Best Picture Oscar award beating nine other films such as Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air.

The Best Director award was won by Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, defeating James Cameron (Avatar), Lee Daniels (Precious), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), and Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds).

Mark Boal won Best Original Screenplay Award for The Hurt Locker. The film also won awards for Best Sound Editing (Paul N.J. Ottosson), Best Sound Mixing (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett) and Best Film Editing (Chris Innis and Bob Murawski).

James Cameron’s mega block buster sci-fi juggernaut Avatar, which is his first feature film since Titanic (1997) that won a record-tying 11 Oscars, though nominated for nine Oscars could win only three awards, that too in technical categories. The film was considered one of the top-most contenders with the highest ever box office revenue of over US$2.5 billion, and considered one of the most popular films in recent times.

For Avatar, Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg won the Best Art Direction award, Mauro Fiore won the Best Cinematography Award, and the Best Visual Effects trophy was won by Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones.

Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress for The Blind Side, facing competition from Helen Mirren (as Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (as Jenny Miller in An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (as Claireece ‘Precious’ Jones in Precious) and Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia -- Streep is a two-times Oscar-winner who won the Academy Award nomination for a record 16th time. In The Blind Side Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a suburban mom, who takes in a homeless African-American teenager and nurtures his talents as a football player.

Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor award for Crazy Heart, overcoming competition from George Clooney (as Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air), Colin Firth (as George Falconer in A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (as Nelson Mandela in Invictus) and Jeremy Renner (as Sgt. William James in The Hurt Locker). In the movie Bridges portrays Otis ‘Bad’ Blake a washed-up country music singer whose meeting with a young journalist might help him to turn his life around.

Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett won the award for Best Original Song for ‘The Weary Kind’, theme from Crazy Heart, competing against ‘Almost There’ and ‘Down in New Orleans’ both songs from The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman), ‘Loin de Paname’ from Paris 36 (Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas) and ‘Take it All’ from Nine (Maury Yeston).

African-American actress Mo'Nique, who was widely considered as the front-runner for the award, won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her harrowing role as the abusive mother Mary Lee Johnston in ‘Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire’, claiming her first ever Academy Award. Mo'Nique beat Penélope Cruz (as Carla Albanese in Nine), Vera Farmiga (as Alex Goran in Up in the Air), Maggie Gyllenhaal (as Jean Craddock in Crazy Heart) and Anna Kendrick (as Natalie Keener in Up in the Air) to win the trophy. She was previously known mostly for her stand-up comedy and her performances on television.

Geoffrey Fletcher won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for Precious (adapted from Push by Sapphire) beating District 9 by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (adapted from Alive in Joburg by Blomkamp), An Education by Nick Hornby (adapted from An Education by Lynn Barber), In the Loop by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche (adapted from The Thick of It created by Iannucci), and Up in the Air by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (adapted from Up in the Air by Walter Kirn).

Precious has many firsts to its credit. Director Lee Daniels became the second African-American to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar award after John Singleton for 1991's Boyz n the Hood. Also ‘Precious’ is the first film directed by an African-American to be nominated for Best Picture, and Gabourey Sidibe is the first African-American to be nominated in the Best Lead Actress category since Halle Berry's win for Monster's Ball (2001). And Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher is the first African-American to win a screenwriting Oscar.

Austrian actor Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor award, the first Oscar to be presented on the night, for his diabolical portrayal of a Nazi officer Col. Hans Landa in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. Also it was the first Oscar for the veteran stage and television actor Waltz, who beat stars like Matt Damon (as François Pienaar in Invictus), Woody Harrelson (as Capt. Tony Stone in The Messenger), Christopher Plummer (as Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station), and Stanley Tucci (as George Harvey in The Lovely Bones).

Disney Pixar's balloon adventure ‘Up’ won in the category of Best Animated Feature film (Pete Docter) and Michael Giacchino won the Best Original Score Award for Up.

The Cove won the award for the Best Documentary Feature film (Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens). It had competition from Burma VJ (Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller), Food Inc. (Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein), The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith) and Which Way Home (Rebecca Cammisa).

Star Trek (Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow) won the Oscar for Best Makeup beating Il Divo (Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano) and The Young Victoria (Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore).

The Best Foreign Language Film Award was won by Argentinean film El Secreto de Sus Ojos (in Spanish: Juan José Campanella). Sandy Powell won the award for Best Costume Design for The Young Victoria.

The New Tenants won an Oscar in the category of Best Live Action Short film. Music by Prudence (Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett) won the Best Documentary Short Subject Award. Logorama (Nicolas Schmerkin) won the award for the Best Animated Short film award.

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