This year's Best Picture nominees seemed uniquely repulsive. Two were essentially liberal wet dreams. In Blindside, Christian Republican families are encouraged, Camp of the Saints-style, to start adopting 250-pound ghetto blacks and bringing them into their homes -- what could go wrong? Precious -- which looks unwatchable -- is a typical Hollywood tale romanticizing busybody teachers and social workers who rescue the self-esteem of an abused, obese, knocked-up black teen with a Down Syndrome baby and a heart of gold. Though District 9 and Inglourious Basterds have ambiguous messages... needless to say, the take-aways from both films were that white people should be nicer to illegal aliens and that bashing in the skulls of evil Germans is morally justified and good sport. I didn't see Up In The Air, but it certainly seemed uniquely boring.
And like the rest of America, I haven't seen the Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker, either, though as my girlfriend can attest, on at least two occasions, I made plans for us to go see it or watch it on iTunes -- all to naught. But if Steve is to be trusted, Locker is actually a pretty good movie -- but which ironically might be tainted by its Oscar win.
Still, giving it the "Best Picture" award is going to raise expectations a little too high among the many who have yet to see it. It's kind of like if an early Ramones album had beat out Stevie Wonder or Fleetwood Mac for a 1970s Grammy Award for Best Album. "The Hurt Locker" is not exactly The Return of the King or The Departed in terms of satisfying a broad checklist of qualities that you would expect in a Best Picture. "The Hurt Locker" does a few things very well, but don't expect it to do more than that.
If The Big Lebowski had won Best Picture, would it seem as funny?