The Hurt Locker Still Considered A Contender For Best Picture Oscar

Not so fast, Avatar.

Over the weekend, the Screen Actors' Guild Awards and the Producers' Guild Awards confirmed certain contenders' momentum while utterly scrambling the Oscars race for Best Picture.

First, the relative sure things: The SAG awards confirmed that Mo'Nique, Inglourious Basterds' Christoph Waltz, Sandra Bullock (for The Blind Side), and Jeff Bridges (for Crazy Heart) are strong favorites. They all won Golden Globes as well.

But The Inglorious Basterds took SAG's top ensemble award. Avatar wasn't even nominated, perhaps owing to a cruel prejudice against motion-capture acting. (That's James Cameron's theory, at least.)

Avatar was considered a lock for the top award at Sunday's Producers' Guild Awards, but The Hurt Locker won it instead. (Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were also producers on the film.)

The PGA awards have been a predictor for the Best Picture Oscar for 13 of the last 20 years. Last year's Best Picture win, Slumdog Millionaire, won in all three pre-Oscar major awards.

Like the Oscars, the PGA awards expanded the nominees for their top honor for the first time this year. The Oscars have also introduced weighted voting. According to an exhaustive analysis by Steve Pond over at The Wrap, that could work to The Hurt Locker's advantage, because a film needs "passionate support" to be pushed over the top. Plus, if District 9 and Star Trek make it into the top 10, it could split the sci-fi-leaning vote.

We'll let our favorite pontificator have the last, simple word on all this: "This is getting interesting."

Guild Awards Snub Avatar [NYT]
Oscar Analysis: How Avatar Could Lose Best Pic [The Wrap]
The State of the Race – How Did THAT Happen? [AwardsDaily]
James Cameron Sad About Avatar's SAG Snub[NYM]

Earlier: Kathryn Bigelow And James Cameron Used To Be Married—Get Over It
"Roger Ebert Doesn't Give A Shit, And I Love Him For It"