Film Deep Focus (Oscars): “Avatar: The Way of Water”

Opinion posted February 15, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by Sophia Clements.

After 13 years, the second “Avatar" finally hit theaters and it lived up to every expectation and more.

When “Avatar" first hit theaters back in 2009, it was an instant hit because it was nothing audiences had seen before.

James Cameron, the director, was able to create a whole world of giant blue people just by using new film technology.

The new film reminds you of the spectacle that was “Avatar” and builds off of the story it created and then leads you into a montage showing Jake Sully’s (Sam Worthington) life with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana).

The two have created a family together as Sully leads the Na’vi as their new leader. The Na’vi’s fight to protect their land from the money-hungry humans is still going on, continuing from the story established in the first film.

Sully and Neytiri work to protect their family but when their existence threatens the lives of the other Na’vi they agree to take their family far away where they can’t be found- to the Metkayina, the water people.

The Sullys have to work together and quite literally learn “the way of water” in order to survive and adapt to their new conditions.

The three-hour-long epic brings any viewer into the world of the Sullys, especially if viewed in 3D, as Cameron himself suggested.

Somehow the visuals have improved while still being reminiscent of the original.

Although visually stunning, the plot seemed very similar to the first “Avatar”, where Sully and the Na’vis are getting chased down by the humans.

Where the two films differ is having a child’s perspective on the situation as the story is mainly told through Sully’s kids. An emotional impact is brought in, as Sully is now a dad being protective of his kids.

Cameron has not directed any films during this time because he has put all of his time and energy into making this “Avatar" one of the biggest movies of all time, and he only plans on going bigger.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is only a setup for three more “Avatar” movies, some of which have already been partially filmed and some of it is already planned out by Cameron himself.

It has since become the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, behind only two of Cameron’s own and “Avengers: Endgame”.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” certainly is one of the most spectacular movies that came out in 2022.

The visuals and technology have come further than they were 13 years ago, and there is no doubt this is essentially a lock for best visual effects, but best picture may be pushing it.

The expansion of the best picture category allows the Oscars to nominate the best of the best each year, but big, grand movies like “Avatar: The Way of Water” don’t ever get the win.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” may not win best picture, but it certainly has made a contribution to the blockbusters we see in today’s film culture and gives a view into what types of movies we might see in the future.

Rating: 4/5

Sophia Clements is a second-year majoring in public relations. To contact her, email

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Sophia Clements