As we learned with “Avatar,” hype can be a dangerous thing for a film. Sure, it will get you interested, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, but more often than not hype sets expectations so high that no film, no matter how good, can really live up to them.
This is not one of those times.
“The Hurt Locker,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, fully lived up to expectations. The acting, writing, directing, editing were all spectacular, and I almost feel like I’m running out of adjectives to express how pleased I was that the Best Picture winner really, really was that good (and it makes me extra happy that this little film beat the crappy behemoth).
I am in no way, shape or form a Stanley Kubrick fan. I didn’t arrive at this destination lightly; after watching his big three movies, “Dr. Strangelove,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “2001,” all of which I found dreadfully boring, I decided that this was not the director for me.
However, last year saw the unthinkable, a Kubrick film I kind of liked, “Lolita.” After seeing it, I even told myself that I would totally watch it again, if it was on. Imagine my surprise when, after watching “Full Metal Jacket,” I find another of his movies that I would both totally re-watch AND would even consider buying.
“No Man’s Land,” Danis Tanovic’s 2001 film about the Bosnian/Serbian conflict, is better known for an award than its subject. Yes, this is the film that won (stole) “Amelie’s” Oscar for Best Foreign Language film in 2002.
And I know I’m diving into dangerous territory here; “Amelie” and “No Man’s Land” are wildly different films, apples and oranges, etc. But since Oscar set up the grudge match, and I have now seen both, I’m going to offer my voice to the debate.