Hurt Locker Wins Big at the Academy Awards

James Bourdreau

Best Picture

Academy’s Pick: The Hurt Locker

My Pick: The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker fully explores the emotions that go along with fighting a war, and loving it at the same time. The Hurt Locker follows an Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit stationed in Baghdad charged with the task of disposing improvised explosive devices found around the city. The film is a character study with many small situations as opposed to a more plot driven movie with one large story. This movie is by far, the best of the year and one of the best of the decade.

Actor

Academy’s Pick: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

My Pick: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Almost unknown before The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner fully embodies war-addicted Sergeant First Class William James, leader of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit stationed in Baghdad. Renner’s performance gives us an inside look into the life of a soldier stationed in the Middle East.

Supporting Actor

Academy’s Pick: Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)

My Pick: Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)

Another almost unknown actor before this Oscar nomination, Christoph Waltz plays Col. Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa, the man in charge of finding Jewish refugees in Nazi occupied France. It’s the many small things that Waltz does, such as his ability to feel sympathy and compassion for a Nazi, that make him worthy of this award.

Actress

Academy’s Pick: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)

My Pick: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

When you compare the real Julia Child to Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia they are almost indistinguishable from one another. Streep absolutely nails almost everything about Child that makes her so unique, from her signature voice to how she handles a raw chicken. Streep is by far the best person that could have been cast as Child.

Supporting Actress

Academy’s Pick: Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire)

My Pick: Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire)

Throughout the majority of the film, Mo’Nique does a good, but not great, job of playing the abusive mother of Claireese Precious Jones, an obese, illiterate, African American teen growing up in Harlem in 1987. Mo’Nique doesn’t stand out until the last scene, in which she breaks down and leaves you feeling a mixture of compassion and disgust. With this last scene, Mo’Nique deserves the Oscar.

Animated Film

Academy’s Pick: Up

My Pick: Up

Pixar is famous for giving us animated family films that never cease to amaze, and they did it again with Up. Pixar created a near perfect film that appeals to both children and older people alike. It is funny, enjoyable, and at times, sad enough to make you cry. If you haven’t already seen Up, you need to right away.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Academy’s Pick: The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)

My Pick: A Serious Man (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)

Joel and Ethan Coen are notorious for writing amazing movies, and A Serious Man is no exception. Even though the final product isn’t the best, the screenplay is amazing. The movie follows Larry Gopnick as he struggles to get through life in the 1960’s Jewish community of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Coen brothers obviously use personal experience from growing up in a Jewish household to make it more authentic. Most of the jokes are hidden and not obvious, but when you think about them, they are hilarious. Instead of seeing this movie, I suggest reading the screenplay and picturing it in your head.