Oscar is a finicky fella. Just when you think you got this contest thing all figured out, the rules change up. Most years I sort of just glance at the awards, but I was interested because of the rallying around The Hurt Locker and Avatar.
Avatar was an amazing visual banquet. 3D was pushed to an all new level in this movie, and James Cameron should be proud his movie.
Story wise...? It was a good story. It had foreshadowing. There were character arcs. Maybe there was a touch too much of divine intervention there in the end. For me the predictable was the kiss off. I didn’t see any surprises. No shocking revelations. It was a solid little story, but it didn’t sparkle. The main character was overshadowed by the lifestyle of the Na’vi and their plight. If you think I'm joking about it google Avatar, Na'vi and depression.
The Hurt Locker is--well---different. The main character in the story is a member of the US Army’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit. He plays with life threatening things on a daily basis. Most people shy away from a job like that. So yeah, I kinda expected the main character to be unique, and I wasn’t disappointed. Some viewers liked him. Others hated him. Putting personal likes and dislikes aside, the character never, ever fades into the background. He took control of his destiny. Did the story have some farfetched twists? Yes. I can’t picture a soldier running off at night in Iraq to do his own sleuthing. But you know, it’s Hollywood. They can get away with that. In books, not so much.
Solid and well-written stories don’t guarantee a sale anymore in the publishing area. Unless of course you’re a huge powerhouse, but even then I’ve seen major authors get smacked down in sales. Yes, writing well is needed, but a little thing called storytelling should never be forgotten or taken for granted. Characters are the heart of the story. They connect the writer to the reader, and when it happens the world explodes into reality.
Gawd, yes, I am this anal in critiques over characters and plots as well.