By now, everyone knows how the Academy Awards tend to ignore science fiction films, relegating them to the technical prizes, so I won't bore you with that diatribe today. By now, everyone also knows that James Cameron's massively successful Avatar managed to beat the odds and squeeze out a bunch of nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, flying in the face of this trend and promising new hope for the genre at awards season.
By now, everyone knows that Avatar got squashed at the Oscars by Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. Then again, so did everyone else. I was giving the superb Iraq War drama the edge to squeak out Best Picture and Director myself, but six wins is, by the definition I created for it in my head, a sweep.
However, this will be remembered as the year that science fiction made a big showing at the mother of all major media awards ceremonies. In addition to its many nominations, Avatar went home with Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction, the first an absolute no-brainer, the second a head-scratching affirmation that 3D motion capture is somehow equivalent to real camerawork and the third richly deserved, but the guy who pointed to James Cameron in the audience and said "This Oscar sees you" is never going to live that down. Ever.