Lack of fame killed “Avatar”

characters from the movie. Who are they?While it’s hard to pick on “The Academy’s” choice Sunday night, I find it rather incredible that Avatar didn’t win for Best Picture. It was a remarkable film, one that so completely knocked my socks off that I just knew it would win. After all, Avatar broke new ground in film-making, ground that many believe is a new beginning.

It’s ironic that I published a post on fame Saturday morning, for I think that the lack of fame associated with the movie is the number one reason it didn’t win. Think about it for a minute. The only name that most people can cite in referring to the film is James Cameron, its creator. Why is that? Because the characters in the movie were mostly synthetic, so no “performance” could be recognized. In fact, with the exception of Sigourney Weaver, it’s unlikely most readers here can even name one of the film’s stars. And even if you could name them, it’s unlikely you’d recognize them if they walked up and introduced themselves.

Why is that such an issue with “The Academy?” Well, it’s members are largely, you guessed it, actors, people who get into the business, at least in part, for the recognition it brings them — the fame. Fame, after all, leads to bigger paychecks, and, well, we can’t have actors taken over by artificial forms, now can we?

So human nature beat Avatar in the voting, and while I can understand that, it’s hard for me to think that The Hurt Locker was actually more deserving. But then, I felt that way when Annie Hall beat Star Wars, so I guess I’m just into fantasy escapism.


  1. Maybe… but as Sree Sreenivasan put it so eloquently, each successive time you see Avatar the effects get better and better — and the dialog and acting get worse and worse. Not saying maybe it shouldn’t have won, but maybe it’s not such a slamdunk.

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