19 thoughts on “LA Times Article on Science Fiction and the Oscars

  1. Congratulations! Hero Complex is one of the LA Times’ most respected blogs.

    Avatar certainly is pushing the edge of what the Academy will vote for. I am betting that The Hurt Locker will win, though. It’s serious, dramatic, and Not Fun.

  2. So that makes you an 800 pound gorilla too, since you as an “authority – damn it” could not be ignored.

  3. Lauren Uroff, I haven’t seen the hurt locker, but a Marine friend of mine was beside himself by how inaccurate the movie was from a military tactics perspective. Additionally, he said they couldn’t even be bothered to get the proper military equipment or uniforms either. It seems to me they could have hired a military consultant fairly cheaply. I’m not sure if that matters in academy voting, but I would hope accuracy accounts for something.

  4. So many people have said, in effect, that getting an Oscar would represent some kind of validation of science-fiction/fantasy movies as a legitimate division of the media. For me they achieved that status some time ago but I guess it wouldn’t hurt any to see it happen even if Avatar is most likely to get an award based on it’s financial achievement as opposed to it’s artistic statements.

  5. Elgion @#3, you may be interested to learn that A Beautiful Mind–a biopic focusing on the Nobel-winning mathematician and schizophrenia sufferer John Nash–won several Oscars including “best picture” despite being subjected to a whisper campaign, reputedly instigated by rival producers, to the effect that the film had whitewashed unsavory details (including several same-sex love affairs and a history of anti-Semitic remarks) in the life of its subject. So much for whether “accuracy accounts for something” in Academy voting.

    (In fairness, I personally enjoyed A Beautiful Mind but would have preferred the “best picture” Oscar to go to either Gosford Park or the first “Lord of the Rings” movie. Both won other Oscars, though.)

  6. A well written article, but a trifle optimistic, I think. It neglects to mention that the Producers Guild, which, like the Oscars, expanded its Best Picture category to ten nominees this year, picked The Hurt Locker over Avatar. If any bloc of Academy voters could be swayed by staggering box office, it would be the producers.

    BTW, the Golden Globe win means next to nothing here; it’s an entirely separate bloc of voters.

    Yes, the demographics of the Academy are changing . . . but not quickly enough, methinks. It’s quite possible that if Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek all get nominated, they will cancel each other out in the voting.

    Would love to see an SF film take top honors, but I don’t think it will be Avatar.

  7. Interesting article by the way, though I’d have liked to see more quotes from you. I don’t think Annie Hall‘s Oscar victory over Star Wars was foreordained, as the latter was a major cinematic event and the former wasn’t at all obvious Oscar-bait (i.e., neither a biopic nor a prestigious literary or theatrical adaptation); Woody Allen also used to claim it was the lowest-grossing “best picture” Oscar winner ever, though it may have been surpassed since then. In hindsight, Annie Hall has probably influenced filmmakers trying to tell intelligent, deeply felt (but not necessarily sentimental) human-scale stories to the same degree that Star Wars has influenced filmmakers trying to wow their audiences.

  8. Sigh… All those mentions of Oscar-worthy scifi movies from this year, and not one mention of Moon…

    I guess it’s too much to ask for true justice in the world… =(

  9. Ha. “… a somewhat less prestigious prize shaped like a rocket ship” indeed. But one held in much higher regard (than an AA) by a quite discerning lot.

  10. Are you now going to get some mirrored glasses and start yelling “respect my authoritah!” at everyone?

  11. Nice article but I also think it might be a bit optimistic. Avatar and District 9 (much as I enjoyed Avatar) both deal in lots of cliche’s (but then again, so did Titanic). And there are lots of implications to the Avatar technology that went completely unexplored (new legs? how about an entirely new body etc.) And I’ve promised never to mention Star Trek here again…..
    Haven’t seen The Hurt Locker just bc I don’t want to know anymore than I already do about that subject (but haven’t heard any criticism, other than that here, about it’s authenticity.)

  12. O Great Scalxi, what an excellent picture of BlueCat CGIthing receiving her most deserved hardware!

    As to your claims of authority? Meh. Try again with something heavier. It does at least have the merit of being one of your shortest posts.

    The semi-official BlueCat CGIthing Fan Club

  13. John Kerr @ 11: Yeah, my response to the “a somewhat less prestigious award” line was “Depends on your point of view.”

    I’m much more likely to respect a Hugo Award winner than, for example, Roman Polanski.

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