This was too awesome not to post here. On another forum there has been the standard debate about Avatar and its best picture nomination. This post was made in its defense. He is arguing that Avatar wins BP in nearly every year of the Oscars.
Perhaps you should watch every best picture. I could be slightly wrong about "vast majority" but it [Avatar] clearly wins most of them [best picture oscars]. The earlier you go the greater the discrepancy in effect quality, so you need to have a pretty awesome movie (as far as writing/acting/story go) to beat it.
Watch Sunrise, which I can only assume won in 1929 because of the awesome effects. Cells on top of each other to make it look like there were ghosts, and an interesting choice to put a camera on a swing. Best sound effects for its time. The plot was borderline retarded, but it won. If Avatar shows up in 3d with 10' tall blue people and dragons, it obviously wins.
Something like "The Godfather" has a chance to beat it based purely on acting, but there is no way that "The Greatest Show On Earth" beats it - Charlton Heston or not. "The Sound of Music" has a good chance, but "Around the World in 80 days" does not.
If you hadn't seen this same plot before (Dances With Wolves, or whatever - take your pick) it's clearly not as bad. For a lot of those years it would have been a new idea, so the story itself probably wins some votes. Hell, the acting was better in Avatar than in a lot of the older oscar winners. For a long time actors had no idea how to act for film, and overdid everything so it looked absurd.
Hell, if you release "Transformers" in 1950 it wins hands down, and the quality of the movie has nothing to do with it. The filmies will disagree, saying that "All About Eve" is clearly a better acted movie, but it would be absurd to think that the academy wouldn't vote for the one with effects they can't even begin to understand.
If you change the rules to something like "make Avatar with whatever technology is available 5 years ahead of the year in question" then there are a lot of years where it wouldn't have been released since it would have sucked so bad.
This argument fails for a multiple of reasons. Sunrise did not win the BP oscar in 1929, Wings won the '27-'28 BP Oscar (held in '29), The Broadway Melody won the '28-'29 and All Quiet on the Western Front won the '29-'30. Counterpoint 2: Star Wars did not beat Annie Hall despite similar visual advances to that of Avatar (I will be quite happy to list some of the advances). Counterpoint 2.1: 2001 did not even get a nomination (Kubrick did get a Best Director nom) let alone beat Olivier! again 2001 is a visually stunning film. Final point would be if visual impressiveness won out there would be a lot more SciFi films that had won BP, yet there are none. The only time any film not set in the our world has ever won BP is when LOTR won.