Avatar’s weird beauty
The thing that dazzled me most about “Avatar” was not jump in your face 3D effects (which kinda made me queasy), and it certainly wasn’t the story (which was laughable in parts). Nope, it was the strange beauty of Pandora.
At first the creatures of this futuristic world looked peculiar, and in a few cases, downright ugly. But the colors of those flying beasts was a wonder to behold; Pandora’s visual charms grew on me. And the terrible last fight sequence with the blue-hued Na’vi in warpaint was simply stunning. Say what you will about James Cameron, and I’m not the biggest fan of his movies, but those achievements are remarkable. I can’t think of any sci-fi movie as beautiful and strange as “Avatar.”
Did the evil colonel really need to be such a caricature? No. The love scenes so dopey? Not hardly. And why did those fierce Pandora creatures disappear for two-thirds of the movie? Oh, I get it: To show how idyllic that world was. So reassuring they were at Cameron’s disposal when he needed them.
But I guess I forgive him for those shortcomings. Kinda. The real question is: Will the Academy overlook them as well? Will they vote for rigorous storytelling of, say, “The Hurt Locker” or visual splendor of Cameron’s world? Real-life war or mythical one? I know which way I’m leaning.