Sr. Rose Pacatte looks at Oscar nominated films for 2010 using the theme of "human connections" as lens through which to view them.
Best animated film of the year
I love the quirky humor of "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and the depth of feeling in "Up," but in such a worthy category, on principle I would be happy to see "The Princess and the Frog" or "Coraline" win because the films are good and the protagonists are girls. There are so few heroines in animation that I like to celebrate them when I can. All of the stories in these films are about being connected in the family (or animal version of it) or the community. I didn't see "The Secret of Kells."
Achievement in directing
Any of these five directors: James Cameron ("Avatar"), Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") Quentin Tarantino ("Inglorious Basterds"), Lee Daniels ("Precious") and Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air") could walk away with the Oscar. My vote goes to Kathryn Bigelow for her intelligence, heart, and artistic restraint that she brought to "The Hurt Locker."
Best documentary feature
It's easy. This year there should be a tie between "Food, Inc." and "The Cove." "Food, Inc." because the lives of the human race will depend on what audiences do with the information in this film. It is immoral to patent life, yet that is what a U.S Supreme Court decision has allowed and a multinational corporation has done it. "The Cove" is about the capture of dolphins for entertainment and the inhumane slaughter of dolphins for mercury-tainted food. Neither of these films is easy on the digestive track, but they are a call to action because they are about the common good of the human race over profit.
Best Original Screenplay
"Inglorious Basterds" is richly scripted and a very strong contender but has an over-done quality too it. Once again my vote is for the sparse and direct writing of "The Hurt Locker" (and I think it will win for sound editing, too). The heartfelt story in "Up" of a curmudgeon and a young boy who wants "to help" might win and uplift us all.
The Oscars 2010: Movies that Connect Us
[Check Sr. Rose's blog at www.sisterrose.wordpress.com for more Oscar commentary.]