Why ‘Avatar’ should win Best Picture

It’s the top-grossing film of all time, and, extraordinarily, it’s not even that bad! Here’s a list of reasons why, even though the Academy probably won’t give it the Best Picture nod, Avatar deserves it.


Avatar - giving a new meaning to the phrase "blue movie"

It rewrote the rulebook. It used to be thought that you couldn’t shoot a non-animated movie in 3D. Now you can. It also used to be thought that to be nominated for Best Picture, you needed a non-ridiculous plot. Well, as the absurdly over-the-top army guy might say: “Hey, preconceptions about the movie business, Pandora’ll shit you out dead with zero warning.”

Did I mention it’s in 3D? In the old days, 3D used to be associated with cheap schlock like Creature From The Black Lagoon and Jaws 3D. Now, thanks to Avatar, it’s associated with ridiculously expensive digital schlock.

It has spawned a whole new community of nerds. Trekkies and Star Wars junkies are just so, last millennium, you know? Check out avatar-forums.com for an avalanche of useless information, such as a guide to learning the Na’vi language, and of course a detailed FAQ explaining how sex works between two fictional, digitised blue creatures. There are also some hilarious and touching discussions of exactly how much the members would like to become a Na’vi in “real life”. Most troubling of all, it appears that alongside “Neytiri”, “depression” is the most searched-for term.

It made breakthroughs in the key area of 3D boobies. James Cameron was happy to admit to Playboy that he spent a lot of time ensuring that Neytiri had the perfect computer generated cleavage, even though “that makes no sense because her race, the Na’vi, aren’t placental mammals”. See previous item about spawning a new community of nerds.

It created a new religion. Forget people putting Jedi on their census forms – from here, dorks will be bowing down before Eywa. Hippies too, I expect, given how much  those scenes where they all danced in front of the Tree of Souls looked exactly like a psytrance rave. We’re all connected, man – I see you. Although it might just be the mushrooms I just ate.

Sam Worthington’s an Aussie! Again, Sam Worthington’s an Aussie!

It saved us from having a funny Oscars. Sasha Baron Cohen, playing Bruno, planned to come out as a Na’vi woman and tell James Cameron he was pregnant with his lovechild. But the Academy were worried about offending the maestro, so Bruno was axed. Instead we had Alec Baldwin as host, and Steve Martin, who may not be as funny as he used to be, but is now really, really good at the banjo. (To be fair, thanks to Ben Stiller, Avatar just paid us back a little.)

We all learned something. You probably thought Avatar was just an awesomely fun popcorn movie, right? Well, here’s where I blow your mind. What if – what if – ‘unobtainium’ is like oil, and Pandora is like Iraq? Whoa, see what I just did there? The message was so subtle that you probably missed it in the cinema, right? Let me do it again. Has it occurred to you that the Sky People are like European settlers, and the Na’vi are like native Americans? Amazing, huh? Instead of destroying Hometree, the Sky People should have let them turn it into a casino.

Bring on Avatar 2, I say. Can’t wait to see what awesome technological advances James Cameron has planned for Zoe Saldana’s digital breasts.

2 Responses to Why ‘Avatar’ should win Best Picture

  1. Brianna 11 March 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I like your enthusiasm James and you’re always good for a laugh, but do you actually think movie goers want to find any layers of depth in Avatar’s plot? Special effects and a fairy floss Hollywood plot, yes. Depth, no.

    Do you honestly think the audience would sympathise with the Na’vi if they represented an actual indigenous population on earth? Look at the state of so many of the world’s indigenous populations. People get overly sentimental about underdogs on the big screen while maintaining their hard-nosed prejudices in real life.

    To turn the tables on the film’s love story, when was the last time you heard of a disabled and ostracised indigenous man winning the heart of, say, a European princess? Of course, Cameron knows that plot idea wouldn’t even fly as fantasy on the big screen. Fortunately there are loads of multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar to distract from such ‘unpleasantries’. But yeah, back to that digital cleavage you were raving about.

  2. Dean 29 July 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    you know, i have a problem with avatar. i mean, whats so visually spectacular about it? some blue people in a glowing forest. wow. i thought of the glowing forest in one of my stories and i suck. and that army guy, “where at war with these navo” or whatever. now, someone please tell me how is it a war when you have massive macine guns and huge tanks and they have bows and arrows? and “there skeletons are hard, we cant kill them” hello guts, and legs dont have bones. repeat, you have machine guns. how did they defeat those helicopter things at the end? oh yeah one landed on the back thing, and it spun out of control and blew up. yeah right. would that happen? and the arrow flying through the windsheild of the copter, oh yeah into the pilot. right. i mean someone tell me if im crazy beacause i cant see whats to like about it. the parts that didnt make sense where boring too. ok im done. i could say more but im done.

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