Oscar ballots have yet to be turned in, but awards tallies so far — including this weekend's BAFTAs and WGAs — render Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker underdog no more. Meanwhile, Avatar's James Cameron wants this all to be over.
Bigelow became the first woman to win best director at the BAFTAs in London on Sunday, part of a six award sweep that also included several technical awards that should have been a lock for Avatar. (Avatar took two awards of its eight nominations, for special effects and production design). It was the day after Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal beat James Cameron for original script at the Writers' Guild Awards.
That night in Los Angeles, before hopping an overnight plane to England, Cameron told The Los Angeles Times,
I wish there was some magic clicker device that I could just hit and jump from the beginning of the season right to the end. That way I could just look up on my shelf and see what new trophies I won, if any, and move on."
"If any" will be the operative phrase. Oscar junkies note that "no film has ever won the DGA, WGA and ACE [the American Cinema Editors' awards] awards without winning Best Picture."
At this point, observers say Avatar's best shot at an upset is its popular appeal and box office success. But for now, The Hurt Locker's Hollywood-ready narrative — the tiny war film that could — is looking pretty advantageous.
Here's an interview with Bigelow at the BAFTAs, in which she exhibits her characteristic classiness: