Every year I make a point of seeing each flick nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Last year, the Academy powers that be opted to double the list from five films to ten films — an obvious ploy to bamboozle schleps like me into padding ticket sales.
Presumably, the reasoning behind this was to bow to public pressure to include box-office juggernauts among the critically acclaimed arthouse pieces that usually get the nod. And of course to get viewers. No one’s seen the movies? No one’s watching the Oscars. Tsk, tsk. But who am I to judge? Yes, I cried at Dancer in the Dark. But I also shed a tear during Armageddon for chrissake. Even the Hollywood machine has it moments. Then again, maybe it’s just me.
Anyhow, since I started blogging this year, I figured I could kill two birds with one story. Oscars and Travel — together at last. So I present to you, my dear dot.comrades, The First Annual Best Picture Oscar Location Showdown! Over the coming days, I will blog for your consideration the locations of each of the nominated movies. You will debate. You will bemoan. Or maybe you will just ignore. That’s the great thing about a blogmocracy — it’s just like a democracy.
But like all good competitions, there have to be some ground rules.
- There will be a poll. As soon as I figure out how to add one.
- Animated movies do not count. (Sorry Toy Story 3, but you’re out of the running.)
- You can vote as often as you like. Whether it’s turkeys, bras, or votes, I encourage stuffiing of any kind.
- Manonthelam (moi) will be the final judge.
- On Oscar night, February 27th, 2011, the winning location will be announced. Let it be written.
- Please note, there are no prizes for you. Unless some one wants to donate one, then that changes everything.
So without further adieu, I present to you, in no particular order, the nominees…
Best Picture Oscar Location Showdown — Nominee #1: 127 Hours
Well by now everyone knows the story. Man goes hiking. Man gets cocky. Man loses fight with boulder. Man saws off arm to get away from said boulder. Man finds redemption. End scene. Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Aron Ralston’s real-life adventure gone horribly awry is heart-breaking, gut-wrenching (that scene…oh God, that scene), and visually breath-taking all rolled into one helluva 94-minute package.
No, James Franco will probably not win Best Actor, and 127 Hours will probably not win Best Picture, but that’s not what we’re debating here. We’re talking Best Location baby. And this one is a front-runner.
Primary Location: Bluejohn Canyon, near Moab Desert, Utah
Prettiness Factor: Very High. Those sunsets and sunrises and deep canyons are stunning to say the least.
Fake Factor: Unfortunately, also very high. According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, much of the footage where Franco is trapped under a boulder was actually filmed in an old warehouse in Salt Lake City. A replica of the canyon was constructed there. And that cave pool? Well, that’s real. It’s the Homestead Crater. but it’s located in Midway, Utah which is kinda nowhere near Bluejohn Cnyon. Click on the Google map here to see the actual distance. And jumping into the pool like that is not allowed. But scuba diving is. Sorry for the bubble-bursting there.
Summitpost.org — great article on how to get to Bluejohn Canyon, where to camp, and advice on the canyon itself.
Salt Lake City Tribune — interview with Danny Boyle by Sean P. Means.
127 Hours [Blu-ray] — the movie.
127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place — the book by Aron Ralston
127 Hours — the soundtrack — when you grow tired of reading, try listening for a change of pace.
IMDB — if you don’t know what this is, should you really be near a computer?
If you’ve been living under a rock (hee hee), you can watch the trailer for 127 Hours here:
So there you have it — contender number one. Hopefully you’ll tune in for the rest of the nominees throughout the week. And as always, I encourage your comments. Thanks and ta ta for now…