Let’s Second Guess The Academy: Best Picture 2009

An Education

Back in 2011, I experimented with something that I like to call “Let’s second guess the Academy.”  Basically, we take a look at past Oscar contestants and we ask ourselves if 1) the Academy made the right choice and 2) what else would we have nominated if we had all the power.  It was always a lot of fun (and occasionally surprising) to see which films ended up getting the most love in hindsight.

So, I figured why not revive the tradition by considering the race for best picture of 2009.  This was the first contest, since the 1943, to feature 10 nominees.  At the time, most critics felt that the race was between Avatar and The Hurt Locker.  Personally, as happy as I was to see a woman finally win best director, I thought The Hurt Locker was overrated and I hated Avatar.  Which of the 10 nominated films would I have voted for?  Well, as much as I loved both District 9 and A Serious Man, I would have voted for An Education.  How about you?

Now, here comes the fun part.  Let’s say that James Cameron never made Avatar.  Let’s say that An Education never made it over from the UK.  And maybe The Hurt Locker never got a distributor and just remained an independent film that occasionally popped up on the program at various film festivals.  In other words, let’s say that none of the 10 best picture nominees for 2009 had been available to be nominated.  Which ten films would have nominated in their place?

You can vote for up to 10 of the films listed below and yes, we do accept write-ins!

Personally, I voted for: Adventureland, The Girlfriend Experience, Moon, (500) Days of Summer, The Informant!, Bright Star, Where The Wild Things Are, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, and Me And Orson Welles.

Happy voting!



Ten Years #50: Orchid

Decade of last.fm scrobbling countdown:
50. Orchid (601 plays)
Top track (91 plays): Le Desordre C’est Moi, from Chaos Is Me (1999)

I always thought the first two tracks to Orchid’s debut album would make amazing final boss battle music for a video game. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but I did first take an interest in screamo and related genres on a defunct video game forum that had awkwardly evolved into an informal music-sharing site. (The same one I met Arleigh and and pantsukudasai56 on.) A friend of mine there who would go on to become the vocalist for Mesa Verde was really getting into the genre around the same time that I was first exploring black metal, and we traded a lot of recommendations. It’s made the recent surge of screamo-black metal cross-over bands like Liturgy and Deafheaven peculiarly nostalgic for me.

Orchid was a short-lived but especially influential band in the scene, lasting from 1998 until 2002. Most of its members went on to form the really solid and entirely out of character rock band Panthers afterwards. I will be eternally amused that Jayson Green noticed my Orchid shirt at one of their gigs.