1) The lack of "The Road" for Best Picture. Sure, it's probably not the absolute best movie released in 2009, but it sure as hell deserved at least a nomination. But of course, we can't nominate a movie that's a character study. We need action! We need things that go boom! Der, boom-boom gud! Seriously, the movies most likely to get the award (Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Inglorious Basterds) all have scenes with lots of explosions and/or gunfire. Are we so devoid of intelligence that a Best Picture has to include fireballs!? ☺☺☺☺ you. ☺☺☺☺ you in the ass with a rusty coathanger. Sure, The Road had some gunfire, but it was VERY VERY MINUTE! The man and his son DID carry a gun, but it only had two bullets! Not very conducive to a "firefight" is it? Instead, we get actual character development, actual emotional connection to the people on screen, and a lasting impression beyond "Huh huh, nice booms!"
2) Avatar could easily win Best Picture There's not enough words in the English language to express my contempt for this film. Sure, it's gotten to the point where one cannot make a movie without lifting elements from various past films, but Avatar actually goes out and lifts each and every plot and subplot from previous movies. It's a blatant rip-off with purdy visual effects. Dances with Wolves, Alien, Ferngully, Atlantis: The Lost Empire...Avatar completely lacks any sort of original bone in its plastic-surgery-esque body. It's a Best Picture nominee just because vacuous mouth-breathers like you went to see it, and then went back again, and again, and again...plus, it's totally preachy and annoying. "You're human, so you're automatically a bad guy." ☺☺☺☺ that idea with a live grenade. A good movie would end up reaffirming that there are good people out there. A good movie would show that, through moral questions and harsh trials, humans can pull themselves up and become all the better for it. A good movie does NOT condemn their viewers, no matter how flashy the graphics look.
3) It took expanding the field to 10 to get an animated film onto the list This one is inexcusable. "Up" was really good, but obviously not on par with Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, The Road, or most of the field that made the list. I'm guessing they only expanded the Best Picture field for two reasons: in 2007 WALL-E was clearly the best film of the year, but wasn't nominated because of the clear "☺☺☺☺ you animation" stance the Academy has taken. Also, it was to rectify the fact that The Dark Knight should have gotten a nomination last year, but was booted in favor of The Reader (which blew donkey chunks. Both the situation, and The Reader as a movie.). ☺☺☺☺ this idea with a contaminated needle. Don't expand the field to 10 in a year where there were CLEARLY only 5 true candidates. The Academy, as well as the movie-going public at large, needs to be shot with a PATRIOT missile. You all suck.
Now, for no other reason than "Because it's my blog, dammit", my list of 5 best pictures of 2009:
1) Inglorious Basterds (WINNER)
2) The Hurt Locker
3) The Road
4) The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
5) Up in the Air