By John C.
Don’t get me wrong, Avatar is an amazing movie in nearly every aspect. But it’s not the best movie of 2009. I loved it and had a great time watching it, but I also saw other, better movies.
People have deemed the film of being racist, the Vatican’s newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, suggested that it came dangerously close to being “neo-paganism”. It seems for every fan-rave, there’s someone debunking it’s praises.
I get the controversy, I get why people are put-off by the film. If someone told me they didn’t like it, I’d have to say I get why. There are many elements in the film that could, and very rightfully, upset certain groups of people.
But then I also get why people are loving the film. There’s lots to admire, and a great time is sure to be had by the majority of the movie going masses.
The one aspect everyone can agree on? That it looks spectacular. From what I’ve read, nearly everyone agree’s that Avatar is groundbreaking in terms of visual effects. Which it most certainly is. It’s one of the best looking films I’ve ever seen.
When everyone is talking about a film, no matter how good it is, it sometimes just becomes easier to see it’s flaws. But the fans are backlashing against the controversy, and being totally blind to any of the films problems.
It almost just feels like now the Academy will give it the Oscar, because of all the controversy and hype. But Best Picture it is not. There are some elements that could have, and should have, been tweaked to make for an overall, and more evenly, excellent movie.
All controversy aside, Avatar is a far from perfect picture. For all the brilliance of Pandora, for everything that James Cameron thought through, there was an old-school element that just stuck out like a sore thumb.
Some of the dialogue is very cheesy and laughable, especially the fact that the nearly unobtainable mineral is called “Unobtainium”. And really? In 2154, a scientist would be chain-smoking while up in space at a research base containing oxygen tanks? I truly believe that if it does win, in a couple of years people will be laughing at it.
So I guess the bigger question is, if James “Titanic/King of the World” Cameron had not directed Avatar, would it still have been the front runner for Best Picture that it’s ultimately become? Or would it have just been seen as a groundbreaking, incredibly entertaining blockbuster, albeit a very good one.
Like I said, I loved Avatar. At 163 minutes, it never dragged and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s just not perfect, and not the best movie I saw last year. Was it one of the best looking movies I’ve ever seen, and incredibly entertaining? Very much so indeed. Just, in my humble opinion, Best Picture it is not.
Neytiri (Zoë Saldana) and Jake (Sam Worthington) make final preparations for an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world. - Photo credit: WETA