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Oscar Gets It Right: Gravity Cleans Up But Doesn’t Snag Best Picture

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GravityBigLast night we looked back at the various science flicks over the years that have been nominated for, but failed to win, the Academy Award for Best Picture. Hell, in 2009 science fiction accounted for two of the Best Picture nominees — James Cameron’s Avatar and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. They both lost out to The Hurt Locker, but it was still a noteworthy milestone. Last night it was a sci-fi two-fer once again, with both Gravity and Her up for the big award. Once again they both lost out for Best Picture, but let’s face it: Oscar got it right this time.

There was little question that Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity was going to clean up when it came to awards honoring technical achievements, and indeed it pretty much swept those. Gravity took home trophies for Cinematography, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Cuaron himself also won the Best Director award. All of those were well deserved, because Gravity was unquestionably a stunning technical achievement. There were plenty of scientific nits to be picked, but on the big screen — especially if you saw it in IMAX and/or 3D — it was a dizzying, jaw-dropping thrill ride that was well worth the higher ticket price.

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Gravity And Her Beam Sci-Fi Into The Oscars: Today In Science Fiction

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GRAVITYAs I write this we’re a little over a half hour away from the beginning of the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Okay, technically they’re already in the bit where people jabber about the things people on the red carpet are wearing, but that’s not exactly in GFR’s purview. What is of some interest to is how the science fiction nominees will fare this year, particularly Gravity and Her, both of which are up for the big one, the Best Picture award. I’ll be very surprised if either of them walks away with that trophy, but you never know. Sandra Bullock is also up for Best Actress in a Leading Role, up against tough competition including Amy Adams in American Hustle, Judi Dench in Philomena, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. Will her zero-g antics earn her a little golden dude?

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Science Fiction Takes Over The Oscars

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Historically, science fiction has been all but ignored by Hollywood’s “legitimate” awards. Geeks have been forced to go to places like the Saturn Awards, for their favorite genre films to get the attention they deserve. This is the year that changed.

The 2010 Oscar Nominees were announced this morning and not one, but two science fiction films were nominated for Best Picture. The Academy’s expanded ten nominee format allowed both District 9 and Avatar to get recognition. This isn’t some Benjamin Button cop out either. These aren’t standard, Oscar bait dramas which steal a little sci-fi ideology to bring in crowds. By any measure, both films are hard science fiction. The real deal. Geeks are taking over.

Below is the complete list of this year’s Oscar nominees. In addition to Avatar and District 9 sitting comfortably in the Best Picture category, you’ll see movies like Star Trek and Transformers 2 dropped in the technical categories, traditional realm of the forgotten science fiction movie. Not this year. This time it’s different.