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“Avatar”, Oscar’s big snub?

March 8, 2010

AvatarThere is little doubt in our mind that if the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was filled with 10 ft. tall blue people with tails, that “Avatar” would have won the best motion picture Oscar on Sunday night.

But it’s not — perhaps sadly. “Avatar” and director James Cameron picked up three awards in technical categories: visual effects, art direction and cinematography. And for the highest grossing film of all time — $2.6 billion worldwide and counting — that seems like robbery. You can read about “Avatar” as an Oscar “loser” here. And there is no doubt, it lost. But did the Academy get it right?

Movie ticket seller ran an online poll and “Avatar” was deemed the biggest snub of the night by 57 percent of those responding. Quentin Tarantino losing for best screenplay to “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” was voted the big snub by 21 percent and Cameron losing best director to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow Bullock2was considered  the worst by 10 percent.

We note one consideration. Just because “Avatar” is popular with fans, that doesn’t mean it has to be popular with the Academy, which has about 5800 voting members. Importantly, most all members are in the business of making movies, and everyday they judge films on financial merit in one way or another. Oscar is one chance where they get to judge the art of film. That said, how can they deny the art of “Avatar”? Tell us what you think, here. And while you’re at it, you can read our fashion story and tell us what you think about the ladies and their gowns.


The Academy has now lost all credibility as an authentic organization of movie professionals. It is just another political body playing at power struggles. Humble people, like the honest public, who’s sight is not impaired by wealth, politics, power and arrogance, could fail to see the sheer brilliance and absolute genius of Avatar, that stands heads and shoulders above any other movie this year and of it’s kind in film-making history. Avatar and Cameron have once again humiliated by the big and proud Academy directors and producers. They could not have Cameron redefine their art of movie making and box office success once again like he did with Titanic . The Academy revealed itself for what is really is by this horrible insult to Avatar and therefore can no longer be trusted as a responsible and authentic body of film critics we once thought they were.

Posted by jazzigal | Report as abusive

i don’t see “AVatar” because movie tiket is very expensive. i don’t know that this movie is popular.
In korea, korea movies are more popular than “AVatar”
“Avatar is not sucessful movie in korea, after i read this story, i frist Know that AVatar is bsst movie in America. But if i have change to see “Avatar”, instead of i see “Avatar Movie” i choice korea Movie because korea have more funny movie than Avatar.
celebrate!! avatar won Oscar awards

Posted by leeodngyoung | Report as abusive

If the Academy were the judges at the olympics then I am sure Kim Yu Nan would not have won the gold.

Posted by general321 | Report as abusive

Avatar not receiving a oscar for best movie will go down as
the biggest injustice of all time. ” Shame on you voters of the oscars ” for robbing James Cameron & Avatar from i,ts due recognition.

Posted by richard96 | Report as abusive

I’m not quite sure it’d be the biggest injustice of all time…

Having said that, while I think it’s great the technical merits of Avatar were recognised (as the OP says) the film is obviously worth a few people buying tickets because it’s sold almost $3 billion of them.

The rest of the Academy comes across as rather jealous of a successful film, which is disappointing, but you know they’ll be churning out films based on Pocahontas by the truckload this/next year.

Posted by p7x | Report as abusive

The Academy Awards have become quite elitist without much connection to the actual moviegoer. I do miss the days when the Oscar meant something. Now, sadly, the Academy Awards is more a puppet show, and a nonevent. Academy voters may of course freely choose their favorites. I simply don’t care anymore. I vote with my movie ticket.

Posted by asteroid | Report as abusive

It’s not how many Academy Awards Avatar ought to have won, which isn’t that many really, but how many Hurt Locker should not have won – let alone been nominated for – against real competition.

For its editors, definitely, yes. Otherwise, absolutely nothing was earned.

For even considering embedded little pipsqueak Mark Boal an Award-worthy “original” writer, The Academy has shamed itself into irrelevance.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

Seems to me the majority of the academy let their egos get the best of them this year. Just like last years American Idol, the choice was clear… too clear. It was just too easy to let the absolute obvious occur. Kris Allen won. The All-American fresh-faced boy next door who really had no more going for him than 90% of the other contestants, beat a theatrical guy who wore leather and eyeliner and did exactly what the entertainment industry wants… he WOWED! Well, the academy did the same thing. They chose the Chris Allen of the movie nominations… Hurt Locker. They have big egos and the choice was just way too easy… and predictable. And just like critics, they hate predictable. To actually choose the absolute obvious was the one predictable cliche they simply could not allow. So I agree with some of the other comments here. The Academy is no longer the authority I thought they were. When it comes to choosing which movie is really the best, they lie for their own reasons. Unless of course it was a big sympathy vote, (“That big bad James Cameron is going to stomp EVERYone again. We have to stop him!) which again means they lie.

Posted by Rindor | Report as abusive

I found this event vry interesting as I told my wife the night of the Oscars no way would Avatar win an award. There competitors just lost to much money to an upstart picture. After the show she came in here and said I was right they didnt win. Come on people its not supprising. I have seen both movies. The “Hurt Locker” is an ok run of the mill war movie. But to put it in the same level as Avatar which gave us a truely brilliant and gground breaking event was just to much for the Oscar folks. But here is my promise. I will never watch the Academy awards ever again. They should just how vengefulll they can be if some upstart trashes everyone at the box office. I aplaud Weaver for going ballistic about the awards.John Cameron to his great credit has said nothing. A sign of a truely great director.
As for all the rest in Avatar. well I for one will apoligize to you all for being treated so badly.


Posted by BattleBunny | Report as abusive

I think the comments here sum it up pretty good, and agree that the Academy chooses who they want to win and not who made the best movie or had the best performance. They also say its not how much the public likes the movie, but isnt that the point, to make a movie that the population will love to watch over and over again. I wonder how many DVDs the Hurt Locker has sold, not entire racks in one day I can tell you that. I said I wouldnt watch the Oscars this year but still did, and regret it. All other awards ceremonies got it right so I am done with the Oscars. Pure favoratism.

Posted by offroader45066 | Report as abusive

I thought that James Cameron did an excellant job on Avatar. James Cameron should get an oscar for the movie. Don’t know why people have to been so hard on the directors that make really great movies like
Avatar. I hope that Mr. Cameron will be directing the next Avatar movie.


Posted by lovelylady | Report as abusive

Hurt Locker for best director? Maybe. Maaaaaybe. The award is literally called, “Best ACHIEVEMENT in Directing.” It’s a toss up to say whether that should have gone to Hurt Locker or Avatar. They are very different films.

But motion picture of the year? That’s the name of the award: “Best Motion Picture of the Year.” That means taking everything into consideration. Not just the directing, not just the screenplay, but the whole picture. Everything put together. What’s the best movie that came out in the year, all around best, what’s the big one? That’s what that award should address. This was Avatar by far. I could deal with the Best Director loss, but Avatar losing best picture is ridiculous; it’s an indescribable injustice, complete and total travesty. I can’t settle with Avatar losing best picture. That’s just wrong.

Posted by usfenderfsdlx | Report as abusive

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