Newsplex - Entertainment - Headlines

King Cameron redux? 'Avatar' aims for Oscar glory

Director James Cameron poses with the award for best motion picture drama for

Director James Cameron poses with the award for best motion picture drama for "Avatar" backstage at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

January 18, 2010

James Cameron may get to proclaim himself king of the distant moon Pandora at the Academy Awards.

Cameron - who borrowed Leonardo DiCaprio's line from "Titanic" and declared himself "king of the world" when that film sailed to Oscar glory 12 years ago - positioned himself for a repeat with his Golden Globe wins Sunday for the sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar."

The tale of big, blue aliens in conflict with rapacious humans on Pandora earned the Globes for best drama and director, prizes that also preceded the Oscar run of "Titanic."

"This is a trip," said Cameron, recalling that as "Titanic" was becoming a box-office and Oscar juggernaut, he had thought to himself, "enjoy this ride, it ain't never going to happen again."

Yet "Avatar" has soared to a worldwide box office of $1.6 billion, second only to "Titanic" at $1.8 billion, and could end up surpassing his 1997 smash about the doomed luxury liner.

A key difference for Cameron's success this awards season is that he's doing it with a space fantasy, the sort of far-out tale that usually goes overlooked except for visual effects and other technical honors during Hollywood's prestige period.

"Hopefully, this is part of a trend of the acceptance of science fiction as a legitimate dramatic form of cinema," said Cameron, whose films include the sci-fi tales "Aliens," "The Abyss" and the first two "Terminator movies.

Globe acting winners also firmed up their Oscar prospects, including dramatic-performance recipients Sandra Bullock for the football tale "The Blind Side" and Jeff Bridges for the country-music story "Crazy Heart."

The musical or comedy acting prizes went to Robert Downey Jr. for the crime romp "Sherlock Holmes" and Meryl Streep for the Julia Child tale "Julie & Julia." Supporting honors were presented to Mo'Nique for the Harlem drama "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' By Sapphire" and Christoph Waltz for the World War II saga "Inglourious Basterds."

Like "Avatar," "Titanic" was a visual marvel, but it was an epic period drama, too, the kind of movie awards voters have embraced since the early days of the Oscars.

Peter Jackson achieved rare awards acceptance for fantasy adventures with his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, though those films had a long and distinguished literary pedigree in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Cameron made everything up himself for "Avatar," a 22nd century story of interspecies romance set on Pandora, where intrusive humans are mining a priceless energy source, steam-rolling over the world's natives to do it.

Pandora's inhabitants, the 10-foot, blue-skinned Na'vi, fight back with help from a paralyzed human (Sam Worthington), whose mind is transferred to an "avatar" resembling the natives. In something of a "Dances With Avatars" story, he finds a mentor and romantic interest in a fierce Na'vi princess (Zoe Saldana).

"Thank you for believing in blue people," "Avatar" producer Jon Landau told the Globes crowd.

Assuming "Avatar" earns a best-picture nomination for the Oscars, it will have more company than usual. Oscars organizers have doubled the best-picture category to 10 nominees, aiming to bring a broader range of movies into the fold.

The Oscars often are dominated by small and sober dramas, but this time, blockbusters could hold sway in the top category. Along with "Avatar," potential nominees include two other sci-fi smashes, "Star Trek" and "District 9," the hit "Inglourious Basterds," and the animated blockbuster "Up."

Cameron said he was aiming only for a crowd-pleasing commercial success this time, not another awards contender.

"We have been down that road. It is a nightmare. You have to wear a tux all the time, and here we are again," Cameron said. "What the hell did we do?"

Maybe expand his Oscar kingdom to the cosmos.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 81980702