Review Recaps: The 10 Movies Nominated for Best Picture, and Our Take on Them

Categories: Media, Movies
Didn't get around to seeing all ten films nominated this year for Best Picture?

No worries. Fake-it-til-you-make-it with these review snippets of the nominees, by our very own Basterds: the film critics of Village Voice Media.

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J. Hoberman writes of Avatar that it "is a technological wonder, fifteen years percolating in King Cameron's imagination and inarguably the greatest 3-D cavalry Western ever made. Too bad that Western is Dances With Wolves."
Avatar
J. Hoberman writes in this December 14, 2009 review:
Let no one call so spectacular an instance of political correctness run amok "entertaining." I look forward to the Limbaugh-Hannity take on this grimly engaging development -- which will perhaps be roguishly interpreted by Sarah Palin  as the last stand of indigenous peoples (like Todd!) and women warriors against Washington bureaucrats. At least Avatar won't win James Cameron a Nobel Peace Prize -- but, then again, it just might. Read the full review here.

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The Hurt Locker is "an experiential war movie, but also a psychologically astute one, matching its intricate sensory architecture with an equally detailed map of the modern soldier's psyche," writes Scott Foundas.
The Hurt Locker
Scott Foundas writes of The Hurt Locker:
It gets inside you like a virus, puts your nerves in a blender, and twists your guts into a Gordian knot. Set during the last month in the year-long rotation of a three-man U.S. Army bomb squad stationed in Baghdad, it may be the only film made about Iraq that gives us a true sense of what it feels like to be on the front lines. It's an experiential war movie, but also a psychologically astute one, matching its intricate sensory architecture with an equally detailed map of the modern soldier's psyche. Read the full review here.

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J. Hoberman writes that Basterds is "quintessential Tarantino -- even more drenched in film references than gore, with a proudly misspelled title (lifted from Italian genre-meister Enzo Castellari's 1978 Dirty Dozen knockoff) to underscore the movie's cinematic hyperliteracy."
Inglorious Basterds
J. Hoberman writes of the Quentin Tarantino film in his August 18, 2009 review:
Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood  entertainment -- rich in fantasy and blithely amoral. Read the full review here.

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Scott Foundas writes: Precious is less about overcoming adversity than about survival--a battle the movie does not begin to pretend can be won in two hours of screen time. No slumdog millionaires here, Daniels' movie puts us through hell--Precious' hell--and leaves us somewhere like limbo."
Precious
Scott Foundas writes of Precious in his November 17, 2009 review:
Hothouse melodrama one moment, kitchen-sink (and frying-pan-to-the-head) realism the next, with eruptions of incongruous slapstick throughout, this may be [Director Lee Daniels'] stab at finding a cinematic analog for the novel's inventive, naïf-art language--a film style, like Precious' writing style, seemingly being made up as it goes along. Yet even when the movie is at its most schizoid, Precious still packs a wallop. Read the full review here.


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