So, after all the talk and the backlash, The Hurt Locker came out on top and took home six Academy Awards, including Best Director, Screenplay, and Picture. The long, droning ceremony was almost worth it to see Kathryn Bigelow's warm (if at times erratic) acceptance speeches at the end. There were no surprises in the acting categories with all the front runners coming out on top. Jeff Bridges took home his lifetime achievement Best Actor award for Crazy Heart, and gave a rambling speech dedicated to his long deceased parents. Sandra Bullock accepted her Best Actress award with the same funny self-deprecation that helped us forget that she was winning for a movie as horrid as The Blind Side. Christoph Waltz and Mo'Nique took home the Supporting Actor/Actress awards to no one surprise (or chagrin, they both truly deserved it, and it's hard to find anyone who disagrees). There were minor surprises in the screenplay categories, with Precious topping Up In The Air for Adapted Screenplay and The Hurt Locker defeating Tarantino's wordy script for Inglourious Basterds. Avatar only took home three technical awards (Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects), but I'm sure Cameron can dry his eyes on the $2 billion that the film has made worldwide. It was a disappointment to see An Education and Up In The Air go home empty-handed, but that's all in the way of anything particularly negative. As usual, the ceremony itself was overproduced, and a bit too methodical at times, but it's what we've come to expect from our Oscar ceremonies. All in all, on a scale of one to ten (ten being 2007 awesome and one being 2008 atrocious), the 2009 Academy Awards were about a six.
So, let's look forward to next year's movies. Maybe an Oscar for Anne Hathaway for the upcoming Love and Other Drugs? Does Shutter Island still stand a shot even after being released in February? What about David O. Russell's long-awaited The Fighter? These are questions which I'm sure will be exhausted throughout 2010 and well into the 2011 ceremony.