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PREACH IT! Sigourney Weaver oughtta shut her pie hole! And we wrote that all by ourselves!

April 13, 2010 |  2:37 pm
Cameron-weaver Sigourney Weaver: She not only fights the forces of anti-rain-forest evil but she can also read minds! Hundreds of them! And all at the same time!

For example: She knows why James Cameron, her director in "Avatar," didn’t take home the best picture trophy this year.

"Jim didn't have breasts, and I think that was the reason," Weaver told Brazilian news site Folha Online over the weekend. "He should have taken home that Oscar."

Which brings us to the introduction of a brand-new category here at the Ministry of Gossip: Yeah, No.

No, honey. Kathryn Bigelow didn’t get the Oscar just because she has boobies, although that likely was a large factor. (Actually, to be fair, we don’t know if it was a large factor; we don’t know Bigelow’s bra size.) No, Cameron didn’t get the Oscar because: (a) he already has one for best picture, and that sort of thing does tend to sway the academy, and (b) more important, he can’t write. At all. Even a little bit.


Yes, Cameron’s "Avatar" did obscene box office, and it deserves every bit of praise it got for its special effects. The technology and visual spectacle achieved with that film will, no doubt, set the bar for generations of filmmakers to follow; in certain respects, we now have a film industry that can be divided into pre-"Avatar" and post-"Avatar."

Avatar-scene But not when it comes to writing. Cameron’s strategy apparently involves poring through old radio drama scripts from the 1950s and recycling their phraseology. The result: zingers like “eat your eyes for jujubes” and “you are not in Kansas anymore.” Even names of Cameron heroes rarely seem to evolve beyond Jack or Jake. And it doesn’t end there -- not for the critics, anyway.

“Aside from the contrived dialogue and a complete lack of subtlety,” Ethan Anderton, at FirstShowing.net, wrote, “the screenplay itself barely contains any memorable lines, which, for me, is indicative of a truly great screenplay.” Screenrant went further, calling the story “predictable, hokey, emotionally manipulative and (ironically) two-dimensional.” And NPR's Morning Edition essentially said the movie was little more than a montage of cliches. “'Avatar,'” the commentator concluded, "rips off every movie in the world but 'Twilight.'"

Which brings us back to Sigourney. Preach It! loves itself some Sigourney. She kicked so much alien tail over the years that she’s become one of the finest female sci-fi heroines ever brought to the screen. But when it comes to Cameron’s treatment by the academy, we might tell her, "Shut yer pie hole."

And if that tired phrase seems familiar in this context, it should: It was in "Avatar" too.

-- Leslie Gornstein

Photos: James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver, top, attend a tree planting ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 11, 2010. At right, during a break from filming, Weaver and her "Avatar" cast mates log on to the Internet and gaze with awe and envy at a copy of the screenplay for "The Hurt Locker." Is it just us, or is Joel Moore's pie hole actually gaping? Shut your pie hole, Joel!! OK, that second bit didn't really happen, but it sounds more believable than most of the lines in "Avatar." Credits: Nelson Almeida / AFP / Getty Images, top; Mark Fellman / 20th Century Fox, right. 

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